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Showing posts from January, 2013

Are Internet mailing lists a dying breed?

That is the question I've been asking myself lately. Mailing lists used to be a staple communication mechanism on the Internet. Now nearly all of the mailing lists I'm subscribed to are very quiet - still have 10,000+ subscribers on most, just no one seems to use them. The distinct trend I am noticing is that people are forgoing mailing lists and using quick question and answer sites like Yahoo! Answers and StackOverflow to get the answer to their questions. (Or using the Facebook commenting system or Twitter - but that depends on your friends, connections, and followers). Experts Exchange used to hold the position and used to do quite well but then shot themselves in the foot by putting annoying barriers in the way. People went back to mailing lists after that fiasco.

Unfortunately, there are two significant problems with the Q&A websites out there that mailing lists solve and StackOverflow is demonstrating the problems quite well.

The first problem is community and…

Setting up MySQL + Postfix + Dovecot to do Gmail-like '' plus multiple delimiters

When I set up my Postfix + Dovecot + MySQL installation, I wanted GMail-like filtering for my domain. GMail allows you to do '' and it will automatically be delivered to '' with the label 'whatever'. From there, it can be filtered into the folder of your choice. I figured something similar would be very useful when registering on websites where I'm not necessarily wanting to use a mailinator address but do want to track whether they sell my e-mail address or not. Well, I thought doing the same thing would be useful, but more on the difficulties I've encountered with special characters like '+' in a bit.

In MySQL, I have 'virtual_aliases' and 'virtual_users' tables. If I remember correctly, Postfix first attempts to find an e-mail address in users, then aliases, then tries again without the extension specified by 'recipient_delimiter'.

To set up Postfix with a 'reci…