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Re: more mailing list rants

From: Jack Repenning <jrepenning_at_collab.net>
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009 10:07:52 -0800

On Jan 22, 2009, at 2:24 AM, Greg Stein wrote:

> In random order while trying to fix Bert's posting issues (mentioned
> via IRC):
> * when admin'ing dev@ list, to add a subscriber, hit "Browse Users"
> ... the filter doesn't work

Can you describe more what you mean by "doesn't work"? I know of one
butt-stupid bug here, which we're working on, but am very interested
in hearing if there are others we need to fix. The one I know: filter
only applies to (what the UI calls) "subscribers": people who are
registered at the site, and subscribed by their registered emails. The
moment you filter, all the so-called "anonymous guest email
addresses" (that is, people who are just subscribed to the email list,
not registered with the site) disappear. You cannot possibly hate this
bug any more than I, though if it will help, please feel free to vent
your spleen on it.

But if there's some *other* form of "doesn't work" in this
neighborhood, I wanna hear about that, too!

> * tried to subscribe one of bert's secondary email addresses, but it
> says "already subscribed", yet I can't see/filter on that in the
> subscriber list

By "secondary email addresses," do you mean "the extra addresses in
his profile"? That is (as you might not yet have noticed), a
registered user can now provide a list of email addresses that are all
"me," and all of them get the same rights (ability to post, for
example). But a "subscription" (that is, by a registered user) will
always send the mail to the "primary" address.

But conversely, as mentioned just above, there's this distinction
between "addresses known to belong to registered users" (aka
"subscriptions"), and "addresses not so-known" (aka, "anonymous guest
email addresses"). Maybe, by "secondary email addresses," you mean "an
address Bert hasn't added to his profile," in which case it sounds
like you're running, again, into that "filtration ignores the latter"

> * for bert's record, I tried to alter the Trusted flag -- the
> changes don't take
> * to actually *get* the Trusted flag set, I had to unsub and resub
> Bert

Several people have reported this. In all cases to date, it turns out
that's because they clicked the "submit" button, just below the
"trusted" check boxes. As it happens, that has nothing to do with the
trust settings, only to do with the adjacent "number of lines per
page" control. To make your trust changes stick, you need to click the
"Save changes" button, a line lower and way over at the other side of
the window. Very bad UI. But I think you'll find it works. Fixing that
UI confusion is also in the queue.

> * Bert posts from one of N addresses, but they all get converted to
> From: his one profile address (not desired; it isn't an "active"
> address)

Can Bert change his profile primary address the the one he wants to be
known as? That is: Bert can certainly change his primary profile
address, as well as provide others if that's useful; my question is,
is Bert's life simple enough that he can afford to be known by a
single address?

If this boils down to "Bert should set is active address as primary,"
then there's the solution.

If this boils down to "Bert needs different addresses for different
purposes," that would be an enhancement, which is not (so far as I can
tell) presently in the queue. Poke me, and I'll put it there. In the
mean time, there might be a work-around, such as *not* putting some of
the addresses into the profile, but rather "anonymous guest email
address" subscribing them instead. Bert, if you're within the sound of
my voice and want to talk about that, drop me a line.

> Then we come back to the "convert to attachment" thing. While it may
> appear that the mailing list is fixed in that attachments finally go
> through,

Whoah! I never ever EVER said it was "fixed"! It's still massively
busticated! What I said was only "data is no longer being lost." We
have several engineers feverishly working on the rest of the breakage.

And, as we discovered yesterday, we seem to have re-broken the "data
getting lost" part recently; as of the last report I received, we were
restoring that fix and trying to understand how it got broken again.

> I found that the web-based list browser still shows them as
> attachments (tho hard to tell if this example is auto-converted or
> what). And it forces you to download the thing, so some messages are
> simply blank unless/until you download an attachment to your box in
> order to simply read a posting. For example:
> http://subversion.tigris.org/ds/viewMessage.do?dsForumId=1065&dsMessageId=1028366

Yup. Yup. Yup. And for what it's worth: even message-by-message
subscribers (who do get the attachments, or will once again when we re-
fix that) get highly variable display, depending on which mail client
they prefer to use. In some cases, it's quite a pain to get to the
attachments; in other cases, they may not even know anything's broke.
I mention this only to emphasize again that I do NOT think it's
"fixed," only "improving," and "not actually LOSING data."

> And on the auto-convert... there are lots of commit messages that get
> converted, so my several line preview of the message tells me
> *nothing* about what was in the original email. That preview is there
> for a reason: it is really useful. The attachment conversion blows it
> away.

Absolutely true. Absolutely suck. Absolutely working on that.

> Might seriously be time to consider a Google Group or something.

Obviously, that's a decision for the community to consider. I am
actually a very minor member of this community, but probably not
objective on these matters since I'm also a representative of the
service provider; FWIW, and assuming we can re-fix the "lost data"
part, it seems to me we're at the "flamingly annoying, but I can just
barely still get my work done" stage of repair. Fully donning my
CollabNet hat, I again assure you that we will not rest until we have
it actually _working_.

Jack Repenning
Chief Technology Officer
CollabNet, Inc.
8000 Marina Boulevard, Suite 600
Brisbane, California 94005
office: +1 650.228.2562
mobile: +1 408.835.8090
raindance: +1 877.326.2337, x844.7461
aim: jackrepenning
skype: jackrepenning
twitter: http://twitter.com/jrep

Received on 2009-01-22 19:08:12 CET

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