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   Unofficial state of the system

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  • From: Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>
  • To: Peter Murray-Rust <peter@ursus.demon.co.uk>
  • Date: 22 Apr 2000 17:12:18 -0400

/ Peter Murray-Rust <peter@ursus.demon.co.uk> was heard to say:
| You will have seen some of the suggestions made by list members - please

I'll be reviewing those messages carefully in the next few
days. In the meantime, I'm in a unique position to make a few
unofficial comments. (Unique because I am currently "unemployed"
and hence unaffiliated officially--my last day at Arbortext was
Friday and my first day at Sun is Monday :-)

I sincerely believe that OASIS will correct the situation and
will be able to provide responsive and useful mailing list and
web facilities.

| don't hesitate to discuss technical problems with the list - we all know
| the joys and sorrows of running servers and many can sympathise.

I won't. I completely agree with the many individuals who
pointed out, essentially, that this isn't rocket science. I
maintained the lists at O'Reilly when I was employed there and
an old sparc box had no trouble managing all the traffic in a
timely fashion. There are lots of examples of lists on the
internet that have excellent response time.

I've isolated why (or at least one reason why) the OASIS machine
hangs completely: the root partion fills up and things get ugly.
Ok, I can make sure that doesn't happen, but I haven't quite
figured out yet why the machine performs so poorly when it is
running. It's essentially unloaded (the load average is
typically less than one, I've seen it as low as 0.1), so I'm
pretty sure it isn't CPU bound. Anyone have any suggestions
about where to look for general majordomo/sendmail sluggishness?

By looking at the entries in /var/log/syslog, I'd estimate that
it manages to send about 2800 messages an hour. How bad is that?
(Given that there are 1700 or so subscribers to xml-dev alone,
I'm pretty sure it ain't good enough :-)

It's been a long time since I had to think about managing lists
on a daily basis. What's the current state of the art? I've used
Majordomo in the past, and that's what OASIS is running now, is
that still the best choice?

Finally, on the subject of mail archiving, I'm pretty sure that
we can construct a complete and uninterrupted archive.
Regardless of whether or not the OASIS machine has kept the
messages that aren't currently in the archives (I bet it
hasn't), I have all of them.

The current archive system is built around MhonArc. Is that the
best choice?

Anyway, I hope that a little more patience will be rewarded with
significant improvements. I'll keep you posted...

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com> | Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of
http://nwalsh.com/            | this: that you are dreadfully like
                              | other people.--James Russell Lowell

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