Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 1995)
 

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Subject: Re: Request for some information regarding mailing list packages
From: "Elena Fraboschi" <elena @ journal . math . indiana . edu>
Date: Mon, 22 May 95 18:10:00 EDT
To: csdayton @ midway . uchicago . edu
Cc: list-managers @ greatcircle . com, majordomo-users @ greatcircle . com

I believe an assessment of what program might be best for large,
very active mailing lists should take into account something I
overlooked in my case, namely, hardware.

I run eight mailing lists, some of them with 1700 subscribers,
some of them with 100 messages per day.  I was running them with
antiquated C scripts that required me to do a lot of work (subscribe,
unsubscribe, answer queries), but that never taxed my machine too
much.  I have relatively little memory (16 MB).  I switched to
majordomo after hearing accolades about its virtues, and the praise
is all well deserved.  In particular, the time needed to administer
the lists went down very substantially.  However...

majordomo is built on Perl, which is much more of a memory hog than a plain
C script.  Or I do not know what the story is, but my machine very
often runs out of memory, and the time I no longer need to administer
the lists, I now have to invest into pruning mqueues, rebooting
the machine in order to bring the processes down to 0, if I do not
have the time to wait till the out-of-memory condition ceases and
I again can work, etc.

If this were a dedicated machine, doing exclusively majordomo,
majordomo would be ideal.  But sad stories have a happy ending:
I was scheduled to upgrade my hardware anyhow, so I have bought
a machine, not yet running, which doubles the amount of memory.
I hope my out-of-memory problems are a thing of the past.  (And
I do hope that no one tells me to look at the FAQ or to check
my permissions... majordomo is well installed, and it works like
silk during the weekends, when the subscribers are half as active!)

Still, I believe the moral of my story applies: check what hardware
you have.  In particular: memory and swap space!  Best, elena


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