Re: [Tools-discuss] [Gendispatch] Updating the IETF Discussion List Charter (was: Fwd: New Version Notification for draft-eggert-bcp45bis-02.txt)

John R Levine <> Sun, 18 July 2021 22:22 UTC

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Date: 18 Jul 2021 18:22:03 -0400
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From: "John R Levine" <>
To: "Jay Daley" <>
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Subject: Re: [Tools-discuss] [Gendispatch] Updating the IETF Discussion List Charter (was: Fwd: New Version Notification for draft-eggert-bcp45bis-02.txt)
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> When it comes to letting people select the information that they want to get notified about, the concept of a list such as ietf-announce is perhaps a bit out of date.  Nowadays people simply use a form to say, I want this, this and that delivered to this mailbox and that to that mailbox and none of that please.  Behind the scenes this would probably best be implemented with API populated Mailman lists and possibly topics and I’m sure people would want the from address to be stay as <>, but it might actually be several lists in the background.

That's certainly a reasonable way to do it.  To minimize mysterious side 
effects in the mail archive and IMAP server, I'd do it with an API that 
adjusts the topics in one list and leave the lower level stuff alone.  I 
don't think that would be very hard.


>> On 14/07/2021, at 8:14 AM, John Levine <> wrote:
>> It appears that Lars Eggert  <> said:
>>> On 2021-7-13, at 1:50, Eric Rescorla <> wrote:
>>>> With that said, there's no reason to be locked into the "one-size-fits-all" mailing list paradigm for this kind of automatic notification. Unlike ietf@, the number of people
>>> who send mail to ietf-announce is very small, so we don't really need to have it as a simple mailing list. Instead, what I would suggest is that we modify the automatic
>>> notification system to allow people to customize which notifications they want to receive (they can still allo appear to go to the same list, which could even be called
>>> ietf-announce if we want). That way, people can easily filter on the server side and get just the subset they care about. [0]
>>>> -Ekr
>>>> [0] We can of course still build an archive that has every announcement.
>>> I like this idea. Would this need to result in new custom datatracker code, or is there a third-party service that could be leveraged?
>>> (This part of the discussion should also probably move to tools-discus.)
>> You really, REALLY, do not want to try to reinvent a bulk mail system.
>> GNU Mailman has a little-used "topics" feature that I think can do the trick here.  The list manager configures
>> a set of topic regexps for the list, and subscribers can say which topics they want.  In each message the topic(s)
>> appear in the Subject or Keywords line and it sends the message to the people subscribed to the topics.  If you don't
>> pick any topics, by default you get all of them.
>> See
>> The interface within mailman to set the topics is pretty grody, but I presume it just puts stuff in the underlying
>> database so we could invent our own interface to it without extreme pain.
>> R's,
>> John
>> PS: Some of us don't subscribe to any IETF lists but instead retrieve the messages from the IMAP server, but I think we
>> can fend for ourselves.
>> ___________________________________________________________
>> Tools-discuss mailing list -
>> This list is for discussion, not for action requests or bug reports.
>> * Report datatracker and mailarchive bugs to:
>> * Report bugs to:
>> * Report all other bugs or issues to:
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John Levine,, Taughannock Networks, Trumansburg NY
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