SWARPAnet News

2006-01-30 - Migration to Mailman

We're in the process of migrating our mailing lists to Mailman; below is the message that Chaos sent to all-fun when the first wave of lists migrated, for reference.

  From: Chaos Golubitsky 
  Reply-To: sysadmins@swarpa.net
  To: all-fun@swil.org
  Subject: [ALL-FUN] Migration of swil.org mailing lists
  Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 22:53:35 -0500
  Message-ID: <20060117035335.GG84165@glassonion.org>

  Hash: SHA1

  You are getting this message because you are subscribed to one or
  more mailing lists at swil.org.  Beginning within the next day or
  two, and concluding within a week, we will be migrating all swil.org
  lists from the Majordomo list software to Mailman.

  You do not need to do anything, but we wanted to inform you about
  some effects of the list migration which will be visible to list
  subscribers.  The remainder of this message will cover:

  1. The Mailman user interface
  2. Changes to default list posting policies
  3. How to filter Mailman messages using procmail

  1. The Mailman user interface

  At the time of migration, you will receive an e-mail from each list
  to which you are subscribed.  That e-mail will contain an introductory
  message, and also your randomly-generated list password.  As an
  anti-abuse mechanism, Mailman requires you to use your password
  whenever you want to interact with the list software.  If you lose
  it, you can go to the list's web interface:


  (where  is the name of the mailing list), and have it
  e-mailed to you.  For the most part, interaction with Mailman lists
  is done via the web interface found at that address.  However, there
  is also an e-mail interface to each list.  We have written some
  hints for interacting with Mailman via e-mail, which can be found at:


  In particular, note that e-mailing majordomo@swil.org will no longer
  allow you to get information about mailing lists.  Instead, each
  individual list can be reached at the address -request@swil.org.

  2. Changes to default list posting policies

  In order to help prevent accidental mail misdirection, we are using
  Mailman to implement some improved filters for swil.org mailing
  lists.  If you send a post to a mailing list whose subject header
  contains the word "Re:" but does not contain the subject tag (e.g.
  '[CHAT]') of the mailing list to which you are sending, the message
  will be rejected and bounced back you with an explanatory error.
  This is a generalization of previous filters which existed on the
  chat list, and will have the effect that, for instance, if you reply
  to a message on debate and inadvertently send your response to chat,
  your message will probably be caught and bounced back to you.

  There will be an explicit exception whereby posts with '[CHAT]' in
  the subject may be posted to the debate list.  Similar exceptions
  can be setup as needed for other lists.

  Note that this change will affect cross-posted messages: If someone
  sends a reply-all follow-up to a cross-posted message (such that
  the reply is sent to both lists), the reply will be bounced by the
  filter from one of the lists (whichever one doesn't match the subject
  tag). The net result is that you should probably refrain from
  cross-posting messages, which we hope won't be too much of a problem.

  Along similar lines, if you want to intentionally redirect a reply
  from an off-list conversation to a swil.org list, you should edit
  the subject line to remove the "Re:".

  This is an experimental policy change.  We can easily tune the
  filters later as we get more data about how well they work, and we
  can revisit the policy if it turns out to have undesirable side

  3. How to filter Mailman messages using procmail

  If you are using procmail to filter your swil.org list e-mail, you
  may need to rewrite your filters.  For Mailman lists, a good header
  on which to filter is:

    List-Id: .*

  (where "listname" is the name of the mailing list).  Note that the
  Id contains a '.' rather than than an '@' symbol.

  Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about the
  list migration.  We plan to begin moving lists within a day or two,
  and to complete the migration within a week.

  Your SWARPAnet administrators, 
  Chaos and Josh
  Version: GnuPG v1.2.2 (FreeBSD)


2005-06-23 - Welcome to SWARPAnet

Josh and Chaos are pleased to announce the the inception of SWARPAnet, a joint project to use professionally run hardware and bandwidth to host the computing resources we provide. We have a domain (swarpa.net [1]) and a server (melfpelt.swarpa.net [2]). In late May we moved e-mail, DNS, and login service for the domains Josh had previously been running out of his apartment on workstations over residential DSL (infersys.com, swil.org, eastgate.net, los-robles.org). During the latter half of June, we plan to move the rest of Josh's services (web and IRC), as well as all of the services Chaos runs on her residential DSL (keyfitz.org).

Josh and Chaos are currently the "Partners" of the system, which means that we're jointly responsible for its operation, primarily in the realms of system administration and financial obligation. Having two sysadmins will let us work together to set up new services, allow us each to take advantage of things the other has already done, and provide coverage for each other when one of us is out of town or otherwise unavailable.

We also intend to use this more robust and reliable platform to offer services to the extended SWIL community. We haven't yet figured out the details of how this will work, but we expect that a login account, a web site (either under an existing site or at a domain of your own), and/or mail hosting (ditto) should be pretty straightforward if you want to become a SWARPAnet "User" (beyond stuff like subscribing to mailing lists). We won't formally charge a fee to become a User, as we enjoy doing this stuff; but we do plan to accept contributions from those who can afford it and would like to chip in, to help cover the costs of the server. We'll figure out and write up some details about this stuff over the next few weeks.

(BTW, if one of us was already providing those services for you, you'll continue to have uninterrupted access to them via SWARPAnet. Chaos has already notified her users (so if you didn't get a message from her, let us know), and Josh will soon contact the folks who he has been hosting.)

We're also willing to consider taking on additional Partners, who would have both the ability to do sysadmin type work on the system, and the obligation to pay for a share of the costs. Becoming a Partner is more involved than becoming a User: Partners will have to work closely with us, and abide by the rules we've developed for system maintenance (ticketing system for tracking requests, CVS for configuration changes, filesystem layout policy, etc), so we're only willing to add people as Partners if we believe that we can work well with them as a team. If you're interested, get in touch with us, and we'll talk further.

Stay tuned for more details! And if you have any questions, comments, etc, just let us know.

-Josh & Chaos

[1] SW as in SWAPA, ARPA as in ARPA or DARPA.

[2] Our "theme", should we have more systems in the future, is "things from board games" (and probably card games and RPGs if we feel like it).

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Last updated on 2006-01-30 (Mon) at 18:46 EST