[linux-elitists] Proposal: Roster accessible to subscribers

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Mar 26 14:54:47 PDT 2009

Quoting Tilghman Lesher (zgp-org at the-tilghman.com):

> As Joe previously posted, it's on the info page for linux-elitists:
> "Most are "lurkers", people who do not post to the list. If you are a lurker,
> your address is confidential."

You evidently are not grasping the concept of "pledge".  So, sorry, no
$50 for you today -- quote aside from the fact that you did not accept
the offer.

> But let's alter the bet a bit, and let me suggest a
> betterment.

Sorry, no.  I'm not entertaining counteroffers at this time, but have a
great day.

> ...needlessly flames somebody for disagreeing with you.

I am sorry to hear about the cognitive problem that impels you to
confuse expressing a view I think is idiotic with "disagreeing with me".
You really should have that checked.

On a matter somewhat less mired in comedy, let's return briefly to Mr.
Aidan Van Dyk's notion that "the current membership should all be
flagged as 'hidden' en masse", which is at least bothering to think
creatively.  Aidan probably doesn't know it, but this suggestion 
implicitly volunteers Don Marti's time for frobbing the "hide" flag 
to the enabled setting individually for (what I would estimate to be) 
every one of some several hundred existing subscribers.  Personally, I
am in less of a hurry to create lengthy makework tasks of dubious value
for friends to carry out.

However, it does suggest a much more modest alternative:  Apparently,
the gist of your, Joe's, and Aidan's moral-outrage-tinged qualms about 
theoretical, apparently difficult-to-find and extremely shy subscribers
is that they should not be obliged to exercise their poor abused fingers
to switch their "Conceal yourself from subscriber list?" flags to "yes".

OK, then.  Let's take that as a moral imperative, just for the sake of
discussion.  I mean, it's meshugge, but let's adopt the assumption

Then:  Estimate how many painfully shy, and morally opposed to being
obliged to reset a subscription flag, subscribers we're talking about.
In the case of the main SVLUG mailing list, as I detailed in my initial
posting, there are currently 605 subscribers total.  Of those, 16 are
"private members" (hidden flag set).  2%.

That is a mailing list that has been running GNU Mailman for a decade
(majordomo before that).  The mailing list's settings are extremely well
known to its 605 members, having been debated to death and the dead
horse hanged, drawn & quartered, and buried.  It is, unlike present
company, not an elitist mailing list.

So, I think it reasonable to suppose that the number of subscribers
the current estimate requires to be maybe three total as an outside
estimate.  Actually, on present evidence, zero would seem a more
plausible estimate, but let's be generous.

With three people (likely maximum, as a statistical expectation) who
would, hypothetically, feel extremely put out at having to do a one-time 
selection of a radio button, perhaps Don would, to allay their
(hypothetical) suffering, be willing to visit the
page and check up to three checkboxes in the column marked "hide".

That has the signal merit of being orders of magnitude less work than
Aidan's suggestion.  I'd offer my own labour for the (still) staggeringly
arduous task of clicking up to three checkboxes on a Web page, but Don
would have to set the listadmin password to let me do it, and then
change it back afterwards.

Speaking of that:  Would you, Joe, or Aidan consider a wager to the
effect that all three of you know fsck-all about GNU Mailman?

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