DCML maintenance, present and future

Daniel van Eijmeren dve at kabelfoon.nl
Tue Aug 1 11:55:29 CEST 2006

> Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2006 15:49:16 +0200
> From: Per Starb?ck

>> http://stp.ling.uu.se/~starback/dcml/pointers.html
[quote]As you can see at the bottom of the page it is last updated in 2001,
so like a big part of the web it is severely outdated. Like many other old
parts of the web it can sometimes be partly useful anyway, so it's generally
better to keep it than to remove it completely. If nothing else, the state
of affairs in 2001 can be rather interesting to see now.
I agree it's interesting to see how internet looked 5 years ago. If you want
to keep the pages that way as an historical impression, then you have have a
clear vision why they are there. Looking at the pages as a visitor, from the
outside, they might as well be there because someone forgot to delete them.

Hearing news about you going away from DCML and DDB, I'm interested in
knowing what you will leave behind, and if there's someone taking care of

If you just want fresh information you can certainly find it elsewhere. Old
parts of the web will fade away by being less and less googleable, so it's
generally not really a problem. I haven't checked, but I would assume that
the google ranking of the page you referred to is really low now.
The pages are an introduction and explanation of DCML. If the google ranking
of the page is really low now, it could mean that only few people are
getting to know DCML nowadays. My solution is to have new DCML-pages at a
different URL, to which the old pages can refer. And I'm very willing to
help updating the information.

What I prefer most is a Wikipedia-like structure to which more people can
contribute at once. I think the system of having a club (DCML) where one
person (Per Starbäck) do all the work is old-fashioned and unfair. Unless
you insist on doing it all alone.
So, what I would like to know is: If  people are willing to support your
maintainance work, would you accept that?

In the past I've already contributed to the DCML-webpages, via you, and I'm
willing to do more. I think DCML needs an updated website, which can exist
at a different URL if you prefer. Then we'll have both an historical exhibit
and an updated DCML-website.

Today I updated NAFS(k)'s Mailman to the latest version (2.1.8). Something
about the "scrubbing" was mentioned in the release notes, but I don't know
if the problem you refer to has been fixed with this. If you are interested
in working on this, get in contact with the Mailman people.
Yes, I'm interested in working on this. As with the PunBB software I also
have some questions about Mailman. Can you give an address where Mailman
people can be reached?

Via Google I found this page: http://www.gnu.org/software/mailman/index.html
Is that the place to discuss Mailman, or do you have other adresseses? What
do you recommend?
And does it have to be Mailman, or are you open to other software?

I will certainly not do any development of the list software myself, and I'm
sure the same goes for the rest of the NAFS(k) board as well, but if there
is a bug in Mailman you can help fix that will eventually be of benefit not
only for this list but for lots of other lists as well.
I know that a few programmers are willing to write software for DCML. Maybe
they and others are willing to do more. Important is that a lot of time and
effort would be saved if there's direct communication with Mailman people
and you.

With PunBB software there's a similar situation with updates and
developments. Maintainers can write their own software for it, but when they
do it outside of PunBB, they will have to reïnstall and reprogram their own
software whenever PunBB is updated. Therefore it's better to contact the
developers, so that improvements will become part of the official software

Now it's clear you are still updating the software, and that you're open to
new updates, it's a thankful and worthwhile task to contribute. Otherwise
people might be helping Mailman and then see that DCML is suddenly running
on other software, or not running at all. That's why I want to be certain
about the status of DCML and its software.

Dani?l has also written a lot about the moderation here and writes several
times of "The Moderator", meaning me. I introduced moderation before I
handed over the list to NAFS(k), because of an emergency situation that you
know about, so back then I was "The Moderator", but right now we are
actually two moderators from NAFS(k).
Who is the second moderater? What's his/her name? I think that if a place is
moderated, it should be clear who are the moderators. At McDuck there are
now two moderators, which both can be reached personally both in public and
in private. Their names are mentioned on each forum overview, as you can see
here: http://forum.mcduck.nl

At this moment here at DCML, at least one unknown person is judging our
contributions anonymously, and I think that's wrong. I think people should
be able to know who is looking over their emails. When I asked for blocking
a link mistake, last Saterday, I got an anonymous report which gave me some
eery Big Brother idea, despite the helpfulness. Because the report looked as
if being written by a machine. It's very alienating. I think mentioning at
least the moderator's first name would make the reports look more human and

If anything really hard to judge should come up we will refer to the whole
board, but no moderation has been necessary for a long time so it doesn't
feel like a big issue. That the list should continue to be watched like this
was one of the requirements that NAFS(k) had on accepting the list though.
My personal take was that I had got enough and would have preferred not to
be involved at all anymore, partly because now that I'm still here I guess
the break hasn't been that noticeable, and some people are still seeing it
as my list.
I would prefer it to be your list forever. I think the situation of you
leaving is awful. Would it make difference for you if most of the
maintenance would be taken care of by other people and that you can stay as
a retired maintainer? Currently the situation looks to me is if it's all or
nothing. I hope that there's an in-between option to keep you here, if
people would save you from having to do the work.

But I still thought the continuation of the list was important enough that I
preferred to be a part of it over closing it down, and those seemed to be
the only options.
What do you mean? I don't understand what you are writing here.

None of the above is really about Disney comics. I'm sorry about that. I
hope this will answer Dani?l's questions to his satisfaction so this
half-off-topic thread won't have to be continued.
If you think that talking about the status and future of DCML isn't
on-topic, then I think there should be a open DCML list for volunteers
willing to contribute to DCML. There's already the option of using McDuck
International for that. So, there are good possibilities for keeping the
technical stuff away from DCML, in case people are bothered by it. Just let
me know what you prefer.

Thanks for replying and my apologies for me being impossible in recent
emails. When I heard people complaining you were gone and unreachable, I
feared a doom scenario which I hope will never happen. Per Starbäck leaving
us without even looking back. I know it's your right to leave at any moment,
but that is only even more frustrating. Especially after 14 years. I'm glad
that it's still possible to communicate about DCML's status. I've been very
cynical about that, until you wrote this reply.

If there's one thing we all have in common, it's the wish that DCML should
stay. So, I hope there will be many people willing to do some volunteering
for DCML.


P.S. There are still Mailman problems, after the update. Some higher ASCII 
is being skipped in the digests (replaced by "?"-signs), and Jerryblake's 
email got scrubbed. 

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