Great Circle Associates Majordomo-Workers
(January 1996)

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Subject: Re: Any recent or planned changes in set of legal chars in list names?
From: Ken . Coar @ Eng . PKO . DEC . Com
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 15:23:29 -0500
To: Majordomo-Workers @ GreatCircle . Com

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From: Dave Wolfe <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: I have a goal... (was Re: Any recent or planned changes in set of legal chars in list names? )
To: (Chan Wilson)
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 09:33:48 -0600 (CST)
Cc: (Majordomo developer's mailing list)
In-Reply-To: <> from "Chan Wilson" at Jan 19, 96 01:34:09 pm
Reply-To: Dave Wolfe <>
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[ Chan Wilson writes: ]
> No offense to anyone, but the current complexity of Majordomo (which
> includes resend) is psychotic.  The worst case is resend:  Not only
> can you invoke it with options that override the list configuration
> file, "droppings" in the listdir can override the list configuration!
> Understanding which options, files, and config variables affect each
> other is *non* trivial.  In fact, how everything affects each other
> isn't even consistent from *command* to command*, much less program to
> program.  IMHO, there is no reason for this complexity.

Most of it is for backward compatibility. I agree, Mj is overly complex,
but such is the legacy of incremental addition of features (feeping
creaturism, a.k.a. creeping featurism). But I do think you're making
things more complex when you talk about removing resend and putting its
functionality in majordomo. First, of course, is that majordomo then has
to make more decisions about what is a valid administrative command and
what is a list message, not to mention that majordomo is bigger simply
because resend is folded into it. It bothers me since this seems to
exhibit a shallow understanding of what resend does. If you are simply
substituting the "listname-request" alias for the "majordomo" alias,
you can do that now. I fail to see how that is a simplification for
non-list-specific commands.

Another consideration is levels of control. Usually when there are
multiple ways of specifying the same option, it's to allow exceptions
to general settings for specific cases or to provide specific settings
when general settings aren't specified (but not allow general settings
from being overridden when they are specified). While doing away with
the so called "droppings" files and command line options doesn't break
my heart, remember that command line arguments do have their place in
intelligent designs. I, for one, would be very disappointed in (and
probably immediately begin hacking on) any implementation that didn't
allow multiple (well, at least 2) levels of control: as Mj administrator
there are certain things that are list specific that I don't want list
owners messing with, but there are some things I'd like to let list
owners set at their whim without bothering me. Please consider this in
you configuration DBM design, preferably by letting the Mj admin set the
access level required for each DBM element. Global configuration, of
course, should remain the private domain of the Mj administrator.

Speaking of the configuration DBM, changes as dramatic as you suggest
in your goals deserve and demand a quantum revision level (if not a new
name!). Declare this to be 2.0 and claim little if any compatibility
with 1.xx Majordomo. For that matter, don't even call it Majordomo if
little remains that's recognizable as Majordomo (just don't forget to
include effusive gratitude for its parentage).

 Dave Wolfe    *Not a spokesman for Motorola*  (512) 891-3246
 Motorola MMTG  6501 Wm. Cannon Dr. W. OE112  Austin  TX  78735-8598

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