The mailman instances that hosted lists.mozilla.org and mail.mozilla.org were decommissioned on April 03, 2021. There was no public announcement about this decommissioning anywhere. The only mention that I could find of it here was this post by mhoye from May 2020.
The traffic to my mailing list address decreased substantially after April 3. I noticed the anomaly but thought that it was probably that the mailing lists lost activity. But even after 2 weeks, when that situation did not improve, I went looking through my emails and found a few notices to specific mailing lists that were being migrated to Google Workspace Groups or elsewhere.
My question is : "What about the other mailing lists that had the occasional posts? Who were going to tell them?"
Someone could try to send an email to one of those lists and get their emails bounced and then be taken by surprise that the mailing list infrastructure itself has gone away.
I could not even find read-only archives of the mailing lists from lists.mozilla.org ( at least some of the lists from mail.mozilla.org are archived ). Many regional communities had mailing lists on lists.mozilla.org in the
community-* namesapce. I am guessing this is another nail Mozilla ‘Corporation’ is putting in the ‘community’ coffin like they have been doing for many years now.
My biggest discomfort is that mailing list administrators were not even informed of the mailing lists going away. At least, they could have been given some form of notice if not a migration option.
From the perspective of regional communities, I am sure most of the regional communities also have a discourse sub-topic here. And it would have been an option to create an email relay between the mailing list address and the discourse sub-topic address.
If mozilla did not want to take that additional burden of creating those email relays, at least they could have given the notice to the administrators of those mailing lists so that they could set up for something on their own or at least inform their subscribers appropriately.
Now that the damage is already done, there is no point in blaming anyone. Rather, we should look for another way to transition those mailing lists to other avenues according to the preferences of the list administrators.
Here are some options that I can think of :
- Inform list administrators about what happened to the mailing lists.
- Suggest discourse as an alternative.
- Provide a read-only archive of the list
- Provide the list of subscribers to the administrators so that they can decide how to move on with their list.
Option 2 is kind of done in a single line on the landing page of lists.mozilla.org and mail.mozilla.org.
Option 3 is already kind of available publicly on google groups in the
mozilla.* namespace. It would take a little fiddling around with the URL to find the right links.
I would not accept that the way options 2 and 3 provided are the optimal options, but at least they are not non-existent.
I think the most important steps that need to be taken are 1 and 4. Is it achievable?