Annnhhhhhd we’re back

Proper post tomorrow.

Brief now note - I’m installing GNU mailman version two. Version three is a resource hog - completely insane for a mailing list.

Version two however has it’s own completely unexpected and utterly incompetent drawback…

Namely, it emails you, en clair, the password you set to control mailman.

Why not just post it to 4chan and have done with it?

It’s truely staggering. I mean, mindblowing. EMAILING A PASSWORD. Holy Jesus Christ on a fucking stick. I mean it’s so bad you’d never think to worry about it, because no one, and I mean, NO ONE, is going to do something SO BLATANTLY WRONG, are they? are they??

Oh wait. Mailman just did.

And you know what? mailman is actually the least worst mailing list out there.

I mean, it just posted my low-security password in public on the Internet during the install procedure, but APART from that…


Mailing lists

Are not working yet, but we’re getting there.

Mailman 3 is a joke - a mailing list front-end should not require a beefy server, guys.

Mailman 2 is, apart from the truely mind-blowing issue of mailing passwords in the clear, looking spot on.


Open source blues

Well, mailman 2 is going pretty much the way of all open source software.

It’s broken out of the box, and there are no logs.

“Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to debug some random, large application, which you’ve never touched before, purely from the source code, as there are no logs.”

I’ve spent two days on this now. I’m getting dem open source blues.

Basically it’s this : don’t use open source.

For some large projects, like a database or compiler, you have no choice, because you can’t write those yourself. For anything you can write yourself, for the love of God, write it yourself. It’s quicker, and the quality is infinitely higher, and it’s infinitely more flexible.


Good news

I’ve written the core functionality of a mailing list.

Python of course; I’ve completed the crontab scrpt - it reads email from a given user, looks at the email address it was sent to (using Postfix virtual addresses), checks the database for lists and who is subscribed to which list, and emails the incoming email on to the subscribers.

Also wrote two CGI scripts, one for subscribe/unsubscribe, the other is called from the confirmation email. Another day of work and it’ll be done.

Two days to write my own mailing list.

I think I must have spent two or three weeks all told experimenting with every mailing list available, and finding them all bad enough, in their different ways, that they were impossible to use.

I have really hopefully finally learned the lesson from this : use open source only if there is absolutely no other way for you to solve he problem. Write your own software if you possibly can, rather than use open source. Open source is awful. It does not work, in any way, at all, ever. Open source has no quality, configuration management, user experience or documentation. It is broken, out of the box, without any docs, and often without any logs or error messages (not to mention spurious and incorrect error messages). You must be a developer, and learn the application yourself, in all its unprofessional horror, and fix it, to make it work at all, and having done this, you will find it’s totally unfit for purpose anyway.

To say there’s a quality problem would be to somehow imply there was any quality at all to start with.

Do not use open source software.

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