lists.ibiblio.org outage and changes
START of outage: Mon Jan 29 10:00:00 EST 2024
END of outage: Wed Jan 31 14:00:00 EST 2024
This is a major outage that will span three (3) business days.
If you are a list owner or moderator of a mailing list hosted at lists.ibiblio.org, you are affected and should read on. If you merely post messages to ibiblio-hosted lists, your posts will bounce back and not be delivered during much of the outage, but if that is not a problem for you, you can stop reading here.
Owners and moderators of mailing lists hosted with us that support communities that depend on messages being delivered within a business day should alert their communities now and make alternative plans for the three business days involved. Even if your community does not depend on timely delivery of messages, people may have concerns about the outage if they are caught unawares, so consider letting them know that this maintenance is planned.
Owners and moderators of mailing lists hosted at lists.ibiblio.org will have new workflows for common tasks such as adding subscribers, changing list landing page text, and approving or denying messages held for moderation. We understand that this will mean re-learning where to click for quite a number of people and quite a number of tasks. That’s why we have prepared this page and why we encourage you to set aside some time to get familiar with the new interface. Fear not, for as with the old interface, the new one is web-based. Additionally, common tasks will often be easier to perform.
There are really three questions here. The first one is “why change at all?” ; the second is “why change now?” ; and the last is “Why so long an outage?” We will tackle them in order.
Our existing infrastructure powering lists.ibiblio.org is now End-of-Life and not receiving updates. A major change to the web interface was inevitable, as our existing software moved to a new major version that split the web interface out into its own separate project. We reviewed what other institutions that had migrated away from our old solution had done, and we prioritized looking at migrations that had stayed with self-hosted Free/Libre and Open Source Software (F/LOSS), as well as migrations done by institutions similar to ours. We considered several of the options and eventually settled on one that has an active community, good documentation, and multiple large universities that have been public about their migration from the same system we currently have to this solution.
The reason we have accelerated this change and are implementing it now is that our parent institution has support for complying with new rules from Google and Yahoo! about mail signing (and other factors) for bulk mail. There is no way for us to be confident of the needed changes to comply with Google’s new rules using our existing platform.
The reason why this outage is taking multiple business days has two parts. The first is that we have relatively few staff given the size of our infrastructure, and the second is that we take our role as an archive very seriously. While we could have a relatively short outage, we are not confident that we could assure you that your list archives would still be present in full and available (either privately to subscribers or publicly depending on the list) as they are now. The only way that we can confidently migrate our systems is to take additional time to test while the system is down to prevent changes.
The new lists.ibiblio.org infrastructure uses Sympa, and for an example of a public mailing list landing page and archive using the default styling, you can click here to see the english language support list for Sympa itself.
A Comparison of Terms between old and new:
|Moderator (also called Editor)
|Subscriber (also called List Member)