PGLister Announce

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The PostgreSQL Infrastructure team will be migrating the project's mailing lists from "majordomo2" (ancient and unmaintained) to "PGLister", a newly developed mailing list system which better addresses the needs of the PostgreSQL community. PGLister is updated to work with recent improvements in email technology and spam filtering. While we have tried to make the changes as minimal as possible, everyone will notice the differences. Below we list the most significant changes.

Contents

Managing subscriptions and Unsubscribing (here)

Note that some aspects of subscribing and unsubscribing from the lists change with the new system:

  • PGLister includes a web interface which is greatly improved from the old majordomo2 system. Users can log into the PGLister system using their regular community accounts.
  • The URL for users to manage their subscriptions in PGLister is: https://lists.postgresql.org/manage
  • At this page, users can subscribe, unsubscribe, and adjust parameters associated with their mailing list subscriptions.
  • There is also an option at the above URL to have a test email sent from the mailing list system as if it were being sent from the list, to assist users with testing their filter settings.
  • List members who do not have a community account may create an account and then, through the PGLister web interface, associate their email address(es) with their account.

Unsubscribing without a community account

If you do not have a community account, or if you do not wish to use it, you can of course unsubscribe without it. There are two ways to do that:

  • Look in the headers of the email for the header List-Unsubscribe. This header has a link to it, starting with https://lists.postgresql.org/unsub/ and a unique key. Click this link, or copy/paste it into a web browser, and follow the instructions given to confirm the unsubscription.
  • Send an email to <list>-unsubscribe@lists.postgresql.org, for example pgsql-general-unsubscribe@lists.postgresql.org. The email must be sent from exactly the same address that is subscribed. An email with a confirmation link will be generated and sent back within a couple of minutes. Click the link to unsubscribe.

Please note that if you are subscribed to multiple lists, you will need to unsubscribe from each one of them independently. The unsubscribe link will be different on the different list, and of course the email address contains the list name so it will also be different.

Email Filtering

(The examples use pgsql-hackers, but all lists will be affected.)

  • The industry-standard email header List-Id will be set to <pgsql-hackers.lists.postgresql.org> and is the recommended way to filter messages.
    • Non-standard headers will no longer be set.
  • The Subject: will no longer be modified to have a [HACKERS] tag inserted.
  • See more below.

Changes and incompatibilities with majordomo2

(The examples use pgsql-hackers, but all lists will be affected.)

  • No adjustment of Subject: lines any longer
    • The "Subject:" header will no longer be changed to include the name of the list (for example, "[HACKERS]"). This change is to avoid breaking DKIM (a standard for preventing nefarious changes in email between the sender and the receiver). Not breaking DKIM signed messages will make it less likely that list emails will be classified as spam.
    • If you filter your email based on those "Subject:" header insertions, you will need to adjust your filtering rules. We recommend looking at the industry standard "List-Id:" header instead.
  • New email addresses for the lists, although existing email addresses will work for a while
    • For example, this means that pgsql-hackers@postgresql.org will change to be pgsql-hackers@lists.postgresql.org.
    • Having a flat namespace for mailing lists, user accounts, and other addresses has been a maintenance issue for the PostgreSQL Infrastructure team. It also prevents us from implementing DKIM on messages from postgresql.org. Moving the lists to "lists.postgresql.org" reduces this burden, allows us to implement DKIM, and allows additional flexibility for handling other lists in the future.
    • The existing list email addresses will work for some time, but eventually must be retired for us to realize the maintenance burden reduction.
  • Other email header changes
    • The old majordomo2 system used both non-standard and industry standard headers to provide information about which list a given message came from.
    • PGLister will use standard, industry-recognized headers to identify mailing list messages. The non-standard header "X-Mailing-List" will no longer be included. Any users whose filters are based on this non-standard header will need to adjust their filters.
    • The value of the headers will also be changing, to match the change of list names. The header "List-ID" will be changed from, eg, "List-ID: <pgsql-hackers.postgresql.org>" to "List-Id: <pgsql-hackers.lists.postgresql.org>". (Note that the 'd' is now lowercase also) Users who have filters defined to use this header will need to adjust their filters to account for this change.
    • Additional standard headers such as "List-Unsubscribe" will also be set and should work better than the current ones.
    • Certain email providers should be able to take advantage of these headers automatically to provide things such as an "Unsubscribe" button, but we cannot guarantee this as it depends on their systems.
  • No more email footers
    • The footer text inserted by the old majordomo2 system will no longer be included in each email (the footer is the text which starts with: "Sent via pgsql-hackers mailing list (pgsql-hackers@postgresql.org)"). Removing the footer is necessary to avoid breaking DKIM signed messages as they pass through our system.
  • Cross-posts no longer de-duplicated
    • Emails cross-posted to multiple lists will no longer be de-duped, so if posted to two lists the message will be delivered twice. Both copies will have the same message-id (and can be locally de-duplicated on that), but different envelope sender and recipient addresses.
  • The digest capability offered by majordomo2 will not be supported anymore
    • This was discussed with a few of the users who use digest and determined to be acceptable.
    • Using digest emails also caused problems when a user replies to the digest email.
    • There are no plans to implement digest capabilities in PGLister in the future.
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