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Bits from the listmasters

Hi everyone,

Quite a few things have happened in the last 18 months since the last
time we sent out a `bits from the listmasters', so here is your chance
to find out what you have been missing out on.

1. Debian white-list

   Debian mailing lists are currently using something called
   Cross-Assassin (CA) which checks to see how often a message has been

   To make this work, all messages that come from an
   email address which is not subscribed to the list it is trying to
   post to, and is not on the white-list gets delayed by at least 15
   minutes. After 15 minutes, CA checks that the email has not been
   cross-posted to other lists, and then lets the message
   through. To bypass this, you can subscribe yourself to the Debian
   white-list [1], which will allow your posts to go through
   faster, and skip this particular check.

2. Spam

   Despite popular misconceptions[2], the listmasters are not currently
   injecting extra spam into the lists when we feel the spam level is
   too low, and we have been trying to decrease the amount of spam
   constantly. For an idea of how things are going there, murphy.d.o,
   (our list server) is currently blocking over 60,000 emails a
   day. Unfortunately, this is still not good enough as there is still
   a fair amount of spam going onto the lists.

   In the future, we hope that our upcoming move to faster hardware
   will allow us to run more stringent anti-spam checks.

   Special thanks go to Santiago Villa who has made a number of useful
   suggestions, which have been quite helpful in reducing spam on Debian 

3. New & changed lists

   There's been a fair amount of changes since our last update:

	This list exists to help people working on CDD (Custom Debian
	Distributions) to communicate better, and to ensure that
	tools and procedures are shared.


	This list can be used for discussions about the Debian Desktop
	sub-project which is dedicated to improving the desktop
	experience for Debian users.


	This is a moderated announce list used to inform people of
	Debian-related jobs that they might be interested in.


	This list is used by the various Debian kernel maintainers to
	co-ordinate their efforts, and for discussions related to
	kernels in Debian.


	This list is used for the discussion and coordination of
	efforts towards ensuring that Debian meets the requirements of
	the Linux Standard Base.


	This is a development list used by the maintainers of Qt and
	KDE packages, as well as related packages to discuss issues
	relating to those packages.


	This list is used by maintainers of ruby-related packages to
	improve the ruby experience for Debian users, but also to
	discuss issues faced by ruby-related packages.

	This list is for Icelandic users, developers and


	These lists are used by translators to translate Debian into
	their respective languages as well as improving currently
	existing translations.


	Just to keep this email on topic ;-). This is actually the old
	debian-x86-64 which was renamed back in August 2003. 


	This is our latest list, which is used by users and
	developers for discussions and collaboration involving women
	in Debian.


	These two lists have also been revived after a long 6 months
	where they were inactive. There are now a number of extra
	moderators, and things are working much more smoothly.

   If you wish to subscribe to any of those lists, simply head over to
   http://lists.debian.org/<listname>, or email
   <listname>-request@lists.debian.org with the subject subscribe.

4. Some numbers

   There are now 169 lists, with 162,861 subscribed email addresses
   (83886 of which are unique). 

   Debian-curiosa now has over 1000 subscribers.

   Our list server is now attempting ~1,500,000 deliveries every day.

5. Misc

   As you probably realise, there are a high number of lists, and we
   can't monitor all of them constantly. This means that unless
   someone alerts us when something is wrong, we might not immediately
   notice it, even if we do try to be omniscient.

   If you're going to email[3] us, there's a few things you can do to
   ensure that we actually read it. Firstly, never bounce something to
   us, but forward it instead, with an informative subject. Please
   email us in English, as although we can deal with a couple of
   western European languages, we can't tell if an email is ham or
   spam if it's in chinese. Finally, if you haven't gotten a reply
   from us in a few days, please try again, we've probably missed your

   If you do find that you are not able to subscribe to any lists and
   that you are not getting any answers from the listmasters, please
   make sure that you are not using a challenge-response program, and
   that you have not blacklisted half the Internet.


Pasc (with his listmaster hat on)

[1]: http://lists.debian.org/whitelist

[2]: Listmasters get an email almost every week (and sometimes more
     often) informing us that we should consider implementing some
     type of spam filter on Debian lists.

[3]: listmaster@lists.debian.org

Pascal Hakim
Do not bend.

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