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Re: XML-dev futures discussion


bill kearney yahoo
> Moving the list will be very disruptive, so it should only be done if
> there's a *very* good reason and no plausible alternatives.

Right, if the OASIS people /won't/ let outside people help them resolve what
might be software setup and operation bugs then moving is a good idea.
Otherwise it ends up breaking lots of things.

> With the exception of the broken (re-)subscription page, I think the
> most likely explanation for the problems people have been having are
> connectivity issues at the recipents end leading to bounces. If that's
> true, then moving the list probably won't make the problems go away. If
> this is the main motivation for wanting to move, then I'd recommend
> that people first check that they've got adequate DNS secondaries and
> backup MX records.

Blaming the users doesn't make them any more likely to play nicely.  You're as
likely correct that it is indeed their own configuration woes.  That is, not the
list's fault.  However, you can't offer this excuse unless it can be backed up
with a visible list of what bounced and what the list software did about it.
List software like Yahoo shows each user their own bounce history.  Perhaps the
first thing the OASIS people could do would be to redirect admin bounce messages
to a public list.  This way people could at least see for themselves when it's
their OWN fault.

There's also the chance that mail delivery out of the OASIS list server is
hosed.  Bounce messages will help other people analyze what's going on so a
solution can be found.

> Improved archives would be nice, but that's not dependent on moving the
> list. There are already third-party archives of xml-dev with different
> degrees of reliability, completeness and selections of features. If we
> need another one there's nothing to prevent it.

+1.  It would also be nice to have any new archive take on the task of pulling
out and reloading any back archives.  It's a chore but most list software makes
it possible.

> > These are listed in the chronological order I became aware of them.
> >
> > B.1 Move xml-dev to ibiblio.org
> > B.3 Move xml-dev to the W3C
>
> Even if the number of posts to this list isn't particularly huge, there
> are a lot of subscribers. That means any alternative has to have a lot
> of bandwidth and a fair amount of horsepower. Both (1) and (3) fit the
> bill.

The w3c stuff is not without it's reliability issues.  I've not experienced what
their management of lists is like so I can't comment.  But if it's yet anoter
commitee-like layer I'd have to wonder if it's a good idea.

Above all there needs to be an effort to avoid this being an opportunity for
power-grabbing.  The contentious nature of the perma-threads here makes me
wonder if it won't ALL come crashing down if certain people are "put in charge".
Having an incompetent third party manage things is a LOT better than having it
all come crashing down because someone's ego gets out of control and starts
censoring or otherwise lording power over the participants.

So it seems like the best course of action is to really find out /why/ the OASIS
list has been dropping folks and get that FIXED first.  If it can't be fixed,
after honest efforts are applied, then moving is the only sound course of
action.  I'd go with the UNC folks as they've weathered decades now of on-going
controversies.

-Bill Kearney


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