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Hello everyone,

*TL;DR*: Freedesktop mailing infra is buggy, has lot of quirks wrt.
email deliverability. Freedesktop infra team cannot help. Migration to
TDF infra is fixing the issue.

Discussion happens on the website mailing list.

# Situation

  * The FreeDesktop infra has deliverability issues, I noticed the issue
    back in the day, when I switched my personal email address to my for all LibreOffice related activities. We spent
    much time to debug the issue. Guilhem tried to help me, but without
    much results as he hasn't access to the FreeDesktop infra.
    FreeDesktop infra team which I contacted aren't able to help either.
  * At the last French community meeting in France, I did a comparison
    of the number of emails people registered to dev and qa are
    receiving. Much of us hadn't the same amount which means the service
    is unreliable.
  * This is a deliverability issue, not related to moderation area.
  * Some issues fixed thanks to help of Kendy at FOSDEM by explicitly
    whitelisting my account on the FreeDesktop Mailman instance.
  * The mailman instance suffers from database inconsistencies. While my
    account using my personal email address had been removed, the new email is leading to error 500 when I try to
    connect. Need to use the credential from the removed account to make
    it work. This proves the database has inconsistencies from their end.
  * New comers are often asking the question why the DEV and QA mailing
    are on the FreeDesktop infra and not on TDF one. We always have to
    answer that's for legacy reasons, etc. We need more consistency for
    new comers. related to rdm#3118
  * New generation of developers hate mailing lists and prefer forums
    (cf. related project Disource <-> mailman bridge). Having to
    subscribe to a mailing list which doesn't work reliability is even
    more annoying and an even greater barrier blocker. related to rdm#2952
  * Situation deadlocked for more than a year. Being the referent of
    some people wanting to contribute via the French community (due to
    me being the previous CM of the LibreOfficeFR Twitter account), I'm
    still receiving requests like this one on my personal email address.
    Promised to report the issue and do my best to provide a fix once
    and for all.

# Solution

  * TDF admin team is willing to help. Only possible if they are able to
    debug and thus managing the mail instance is the key here, which
    means migration to TDF infra.
  * Current and future deliverability issues will likely we solved as
    well into the process since we have a sysadmin team that rocks and
    answer quickly to issues.
  * Nothing changes for current Dev and QA mailing admin POV. They still
    can be the maintainers/admins of these lists. Those who may complain
    that TDF could get in the way will thus have their expectations met.
  * Attachments are available on TDF infra. The admins of the mailing
    list simply choose whether to authorize them or not.
  * Reply-to mangling is not an issue, the admins of the mailing list
    are choosing which best fits them. TDF is using mlmmj-compatible
    optionsĀ  which are:

     1. Don't touch Reply-To: headers: preserve the one found in the
        sender's message when present, don't add/replace the header.
     2. Strip existing Reply-To: headers.
     3. Add/replace a Reply-To: headers.

# Next steps

  * See a timeframe with the TDF infra. Will be present at the next
    infra team
  * Provide a warning on the Dev and QA mailing lists at least 1 month
    in advance with reminders each week.
  * If nobody complains after some period, enforce the migration
  * Timeframe of end of July would be great.

Your thoughts here? (answers on website@ please)


William Gathoye
Hyper<hack>tive volunteer for LibreOffice
Proud member of The Document Foundation
Member of LaMouette - French based association promoting ODF and LibreOffice

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