listserv hosed? [Was: Fwd: mailing list memberships reminder]

valdis.kletnieks at valdis.kletnieks at
Fri Feb 2 21:04:25 UTC 2018

On Fri, 02 Feb 2018 06:30:20 -0500, Rich Kulawiec said:
> 1. It's not a listserv.  It's a mailing list.  ListServ is obsolete,
> expensive, closed-source garbage software used exclusively by people
> who don't know any better and like to waste their money.

Well Rich, your bias is obvious.  Have you ever considered that in some
cases there's reasons it's used by people who don't agree with your assessment?

We recently completed a migration from Listserv to Google Groups.  It took
us close to 3 years of planning and execution and well over 1 FTE/year, because
we had been running Listserv for well over 30 years, and there were a *lot*
of places where the way Listserv does things were embedded into business
logic or otherwise difficult to replicate/migrate.

One biggie - Listserv has this useful feature where you can say "people subscribed to
this *OTHER* list are allowed to post".  One very large department had well over
100 lists for various things, and all 100 had "accept post from [email protected]".
Worked really slick - if they create a new list, they just have to include that options.
If they hire new administrative staff, they just add that person to dept-admins.

Then there was the creeping horror for "class lists" - professors got a list for
each of their classes, pre-loaded with the roster of the class.  When you have
35,000 students, that's a big bunch of lists. (Amazingly enough, I never *did*
get our ERP people deploy the Listserv feature of building subscriber lists
on the fly using an SQL query - which would have been another thing that
would be difficult to replicate (Hint: just doing an extract and doing a bulk
mailing is similar - until you try to make "Reply-to: Listname" work)

Don't ask how that works under Google Groups - it's another creeping horror :)

Now add in the fun of migrating the archives for 12,000+ lists, notify list owners
and users of the new addresses, etc etc etc, and suddenly the $4500/year doesn't
look so bad.
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