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End of linux.* mail <-> news gateway

As some of you may be aware, a number of linux mailing lists, including
debian-user and debian-announce, were bidirectionally gatewayed to the
linux.* news hierarchy.

As the posting included here indicates, this gateway unfortunately is
being/has ended.

--- begin posting ---
Path: nic.wi.leidenuniv.nl!newsgate.cistron.nl!news.cistron.nl!ratatosk.yggdrasi
From: hpa@transmeta.com (H. Peter Anvin)
Newsgroups: linux.admin.isp,linux.appletalk,linux.apps.bbsdev,linux.apps.cdwrite
Date: 3 Apr 1997 18:30:29 GMT
Organization: Transmeta Corporation, Santa Clara CA
Lines: 19
Approved: hpa@transmeta.com
Message-ID: <5i0t05$ojr$1@palladium.transmeta.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: palladium.transmeta.com
Xref: nic.wi.leidenuniv.nl linux.admin.isp:2340 linux.appletalk:1 linux.apps.cdw
 rite:289 linux.apps.flexfax:2 linux.apps.linux-bbs:1 linux.apps.xword:1 linux.b
 bs.rocat:1 linux.debian.announce:1 linux.debian.user:14190 linux.dev.680x0:2 li
 nux.dev.admin:6383 linux.dev.apps:383 linux.dev.atm:25 linux.dev.bbs:12 linux.d
 ev.c-programming:555 linux.dev.config:536 linux.dev.debian:1 linux.dev.diald:88
 3 linux.dev.doc:51 linux.dev.ftp:2 linux.dev.gcc:1705

David Miller, the maintainer of the linux mailing lists on
vger.rutgers.edu, has informed me that the mailing list gatewaying
agreement for linux.dev.* has been terminated due to complaints of the
news interface reducing the signal/noise ratio in the discussion
groups.  Although I personally feel it is not necessarily a fair
claim, I do feel it is his decision to make.  However, without
linux.dev.* I feel there is no justification for me continuing to
spend time maintaining the remaining few linux.* gates.  I will
continue to gate mailing lists to newsgroups for the convenience of
myself and my coworkers, but will no longer distribute these groups
outside Transmeta Corporation.

Thank you my friends, it has been real.


Always looking for a few good BOsFH.  **  Linux - the OS of global cooperation
        I am Bahá'í -- ask me about it or see http://www.bahai.org/
--- end posting ---

I find this quite unfortunate, because using a newsreader with
killfiles/scoring allowed many, including me, to keep some track of various
high-volume mailing lists (including linux-kernel) in a convenient manner.

I think the following automated moderation strategy, which could undo the
perceived bad effects of the gateway on the signal to noise ration, and
which is based on the one currently used for the Debian mailing lists, could
help to save linux.*: the first time one posts to a linux.* group from a
certain address, the posting is not accepted. The moderatorbot sends a
message to the address, explaining the purpose and netiquette of the list
(e.g. linux.dev.kernel is for _kernel_ development, not general linux
development discussions), and the user is asked to indicate agreement by
sending an "I AGREE" message to the bot. Subsequent postings from the
address used will be passed through automatically.

The advantages I see in adopting this approach are:
- the ease of interface of the news gateway remain.
- after production of the moderation scripts, maintenance time costs of 
  linux.* will be the same as in the past.
- posters to a group/list are made aware of the purpose and expected conduct 
  on the group.
- should a poster still turn out to be abusive, (s)he can be blocked by the
- garbage like usenet SPAM, MMF schemes etc. is highly unlikely to reach the

Should linux.* indeed die, I hope that someone will start a similar gateway
for the various Debian lists.


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