Sunday, May 13, 2007

Easiest mailing list manager to use

I felt that it was time to run my own electronic mailing list. When I was about 16, I used to run a mailing list with about 300+ subscribers manually. It was a pain. So, I spent most of today setting up a mailing list manager on the website. It is not a trivial thing to do. There are a bunch of open source mailing list managers available but they're usually quite tightly coupled to a particular mail server. As mail servers are particularly complex pieces of software, instructions are not very clear on how to link a mailing list manager to my particular system setup.

However, after some googling, I found the easiest mailing list manager to set up. It is called mlmmj (Mailing Lists Made Joyful). Finding it took me almost a day but setting it up only took me about an hour. On the outside, it is similar to ezmlm. But unlike ezmlm, it is currently well maintained and very easy to use. It is not as powerful as ezmlm though it is good enough. It is now thoroughly integrated with the site forums so that any posts on the mailing list will automagically get archived on the website forums and vice versa, just like how YahooGroups does it.

I also did some basic site optimisations today. As I have limited memory on the private server that I'm using, I have to be thrifty on memory use. I had been getting out of memory errors several times. So, I trimmed down a bunch of stuff to get it to be nice. I will leave it to run for several weeks before deciding whether to upgrade to a more powerful server or to keep the current one. At the moment, it all feels fairly stable and useful.

My next plan is to build up a small community around my processor cores. For some reason, although I had released my aeMB microprocessor for several years, it's only recently that people had started to notice it. I have been getting quite a few queries on the core, over the last couple of weeks. So, I will try to build up a small community by inviting these people who're working with the core to join the mailing lists and submit bugs, patches and feature requests. This will hopefully turn my once slow traffic site into a medium traffic one.

As for the ae18, it doesn't seem quite as popular as the aeMB. So, I think that I will stop updating that core until enough people show some interest in it. There's probably little interest in it as it isn't quite as powerful a machine as the aeMB. When my new ae68 core is ready, I will probably release it on my website as well. This will provide people who're looking for a powerful processor, a choice between using the aeMB or the ae68, which are both 32-bits and capable of running Linux. The ae68 already has a community waiting for it. All I need to do is actually finish it.

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