Widely used campus email list service will be retired, replaced

Listproc, a workhorse service that has managed campus email lists since 1993, will get replaced next year. Basically, it is wearing out.

The service manages more than 10,000 lists, which people throughout UC Davis use to share email messages about everything from classwork to common interests. Any outage would disrupt campus email communications for tens of thousands of people.

Listproc (short for Listprocessor) still works, but it hasn't had a major code revision since the 1990s, it no longer meets campus security standards, and it lacks the features found in modern mailing list applications. All Listproc lists will be moved to the new service, and Information and Educational Technology expects minimal disruption during the transition.

The project includes a look at the guidelines for using a mailing list service. They have not been revisited in years; the guidance for setting spam filters, for example, probably allows too much spam. Further details about the project, including the criteria for evaluating a replacement, are presented in its 200-45 report.

IET, working with volunteer testers and campus tech oversight groups, is evaluating Mailman and Sympa as alternatives to Listproc. Each is free, open-source software. IET hopes to make a choice early this summer. Preparations, testing and a pilot program will follow, with the new service rolled out in April 2010. Listproc would retire by June 2010.

Updates about the project will be posted here and in TechNews. Please direct any questions to Doreen Meyer, project coordinator, at dimeyer@ucdavis.edu.