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Subject:

Re: Large list processing - battle of the LISTSERVs

From:

Eric Thomas <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Forum on LISTSERV release 1.7

Date:

Fri, 20 Nov 1992 14:25:45 +0100

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text/plain (87 lines)

On Fri, 20 Nov 1992 00:37:26 EST Alexander Dupuy
<[log in to unmask]> said:
 
>I'm not  sure exactly what  "resources" you  are comparing when  you say
>that BITNET uses an order of  magnitude less to distribute messages (and
>it's  not clear  whether  you  are comparing  BITNET  to Internet  SMTP,
>Internet NNTP, or something else). My  feeling is that any comparison of
>"resources"  will be  a  case  of apples  and  oranges, especially  when
>comparing networks as different as BITNET and Internet.
 
I couldn't  agree more, but I  hope you realize  this is a 180  turn from
your previous statements I was commenting on:
 
>>Even if you could split the INTERBIT load up a bit, it would still be a
>>tremendous waste of  resources to be sending all those  copies of mail.
>>Netnews  was  designed  for  exactly  these  sorts  of  hugely  popular
>>discussion  groups, and  is very  efficient at  getting copies  of many
>>messages to thousands of subscribers.
 
And my  reply was  that if  you want  to talk  bandwidth or  resources in
general, then let's talk bandwidth/resources,  and the conclusion is that
a usenet  group with  only 10k  subscribers is a  waste of  resources and
bandwidth  due  to  the  tremendous   amount  of  hosts  which  will  get
information they are not interested in, batched or not batched.
 
>The only people who can adequately  judge that are the administrators of
>the INTERBIT MAILER in question.
 
Which you will recall is exactly what I said - it is for UB to decide.
 
>I'm sorry  if the existence  of a different (and  somewhat incompatible)
>implementation of LISTSERV bothers you.
 
You got it wrong.  I have no problem with the existence  of 200 unix list
managers, as  long as they  don't call themselves 'unix  listserv version
x.y' and don't claim  in their documentation to be a  'port of the bitnet
listserver'. How do you think I feel when users start reporting bugs they
found on  these servers to  *me*, and then  insulting me for  having made
such a low-quality  port to unix, probably because I  don't like unix? At
first I kindly asked the developers of such servers to change the name to
avoid user  confusion, but since  the most polite  answers I got  was "No
way." I quickly gave up.
 
>Given a list split and gatewayed  between BITNET and Internet, there are
>advantages for  the subscribers  on both  networks. The  first advantage
>(and the  reason I suggested it  in the beginning) is  that the INTERBIT
>mail  gateway only  has  to  expand one  address,  and  the peered  Unix
>LISTSERVs can spread  the mail load amongst themselves  more easily than
>appears to be the case with BITNET LISTSERV and the INTERBIT gateways.
 
And you're the one complaining about apple vs orange comparisons? Give me
a break. Of course a peered unix  list is more parallel than a non-peered
BITNET list, but what  makes you think the same thing  can't be done just
as easily  by peering the  lists between BITNET LISTSERV's?  In addition,
this would keep  the "single logical list" vision  and automatically send
new subscribers off to the best site.
 
>But there are  other reasons why people on the  Internet might prefer to
>subscribe to the Internet half of a mailing list.
 
Then how come people on the  Internet aren't asking for the 3500 existing
BITNET  lists to  be split  in this  fashion for  their convenience?  Try
reviewing your average BITNET list (not one devoted to a particular piece
of  BITNET software,  but a  typical discussion  group) and  counting the
BITNET vs Internet  addresses. It seems Internet subscribers  are a clear
majority. If they liked the unix list servers so much, they would start a
revolution and move all the lists to unix - wouldn't they?
 
>Other, less  visible, features could  include better support  for future
>Internet  mail  standards  than  might  be  available  on  the  INTERBIT
>gateways.
 
Well I am surprised  to see you stooping to the level  of your average US
election campaign.
 
>I believe that both implementations of LISTSERV support mail
                ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 
This is exactly the kind of statement  that I object to. The software you
are using is  NOT an implementation of LISTSERV. It  isn't compatible, it
cannot connect to LISTSERV as a peer, it just does about the same sort of
things. Internet people normally say "implementation of X" only when they
have a  piece of software which  complies to some RFC  or other standard;
however they seem to make an exception for LISTSERV.
 
  Eric

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