The email situation and plan?

John Bailey rekkanoryo at
Tue Oct 18 19:08:59 EDT 2022

On Tue, Oct 18, 2022 at 5:52 PM Gary Kramlich <grim at> wrote:
> So yeah.. Another quarter and email isn't done.. Sorry this has taken
> so long, it's just difficult and complicated.. That said, I was
> talking to Robby O'Conner (r0bby from #pidgin) and he's in charge of
> the infrastructure for librehealth[1] and he mentioned that they use
> mailgun[2] for their email.
> Mailgun doesn't have an Open Source plan, which means we'd need to pay
> for it. It does support both incoming routing rules (it looks like for
> multiple domains but I need to confirm) as well email forwarding and
> even a REST API if we need that for some reason. The price for 10,000
> emails a month (their lowest plan) is $35 per month, which would be
> about $420 USD a year. This seems like an obvious no-brainer to me as
> supporting, securing, and maintaining an email system is no simple
> task and we can make it not our problem for less than $500 USD a year.

This cost seems reasonable to me and within IMF's means for a
considerable amount of time given our current cash reserves.  I assume
this includes spam filtering; handling being DKIM, SPF, and DMARC
compliant; and whatnot?  (I have never looked at this kind of service
so I really have no clue.)

As I've said before, I've been inactive in the day-to-day for long
enough that I'm not sure my opinion on anything would be relevant,
aside from expenses IMF would need to bear.

> So my plan, with the board's approval, is to roll out Discourse[3] on
> a DigitalOcean node, import the mailman users lists into it, and
> create spaces for Pidgin, Finch, Purple, GNT, and IMFreedom on it with
> appropriate threads and stuff to replace our existing mailing lists.
> We would then point Discourse to the current email server that Richard
> has patiently been hosting as I try to get this all figured out. Once
> that move is complete, we would then replace the email server with
> mailgun and finally move past this.

I like the idea of getting rid of that old server finally.

> I need to verify a few things yet, like confirming that mailgun does
> support multiple domains, how robust their incoming filters are, and
> testing the user import from mailman into Discourse.
> When it comes to the existing archives, the easiest solution is to
> just dump them in a container with pipermail and serve them at the
> existing URLs, but I'd really like to not have to require that old
> version of mailman to get pipermail. So if anyone knows of another
> solution, including just rendering it all out to static HTML please
> let me know.

I will think about this and try to find some options.  The one thing
working in our favor here is the existing archives are in mbox format,
and there are only about 10 trillion tools and libraries out there to
do stuff with mbox.


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