Sympa outscores Mailman, will replace Listproc

The project to replace Listproc, the timeworn service that has managed UC Davis email lists since 1993, has made its choice: Sympa.

Sympa handily outscored Mailman, the other software the project group was considering, in the project's scoring and evaluation phase. Information and Educational Technology (IET) worked with volunteer testers and the Client Support Issues subcommittee of the campus Technology Infrastructure Forum (TIF-CSI) to reach a decision.

Listproc (short for Listprocessor) manages more than 10,000 lists, which people throughout UC Davis use to share email messages, discussions and news about everything from classwork to common interests. But it hasn't had a major code revision since the 1990s, no longer meets campus security standards, and lacks the features found in modern mailing list applications.

Up next: a review of the campus guidelines for using a mailing list service, plus preparations, testing and a winter quarter 2010 pilot program for Sympa. The new service is due to be rolled out in April 2010, followed by the retirement of Listproc in June 2010. All Listproc lists will be migrated to the new service, and IET expects minimal disruption during the transition.

Both Sympa and Mailman are open-source software. Evaluators reviewed each based on its architecture; levels of support; how well it integrates with the campus infrastructure; security; capabilities; system and service administration; help desk support; list management; and list archiving. Sympa has a good reputation, strong developer and user community, is easy for customers to use, offers searchable archives, and the Web page that users will visit to manage their mailing lists can be customized to look like a UC Davis Web site.

Read more about the Listproc replacement project in its 200-45 report. Please di rect any questions to Doreen Meyer, project coordinator, at