The new internet, GMail & Mailman

This may sound weird, but give it a shot. It’s another example of how open source software can improve your life, indirectly… Let me explain.

What’s GMail?

Visit for more accurate information as things tend to change quite frequently with GMail. In a nutshell it’s Google’s own attempt at offering a web-based mailbox, with a 1000MB of storage (yes, a 1000MB). It’s almost impossible to grasp how many plain-text e-mails can be neatly archived in your GMail account. Bonus, you can use Google’s powerful search tools to get the messages you want quickly and effectively.

What’s Mailman?

OK, a fair question needs a fair answer. According to the Mailman website, “Mailman is free software for managing electronic mail discussion and e-newsletter lists.” I hear people saying that they don’t want to run a mailing list, you don’t need to. The magic is that most mailing lists for open source projects run Mailman. Now, as an open source user you want to subscribe to as many mailing lists as possible since they’re always up to date and contain a lot of useful information.

The downside? Imagine opening your mailbox in the morning having 200 or more additonal unread e-mails waiting for your keen eye. Use a GMail account and subscribe to as many mailing lists as possible, setup some filters and have the messages labeled and archived in an instant. You never see these mesages until you need to, and with 1000MB of storage you don’t need to worry.

You can now conveniently search through your e-mails looking for answers that might not even be on the web yet, or they are but the Googlebot hasn’t tracked them down yet.

What’s so open?

Mailman is mainly coded in a technology called Python, which is open source just like Mailman. The fact that both technologies are open source allows server admins to quickly and freely (except for bandwidth) setup big communities of users that can collaborate to make open source software itself, a big success. And don’t worry about Python, Google themselves use it for some of their services…


Access the new internet using Google’s GMail service and Mailman-powered mailing lists. Personally I’m subscribed to the following OSS mailing lists:

Visit the websites above to explore the new internet using your GMail account!

Welcome to the Open Sourcery Archives. These are my older blog posts, from days gone by. I'm keeping them up as part of the historical record. That, and I'm strangely sentimental about them. Please keep in mind that things most certainly have changed since these articles were written, links to external sites might be broken, and general thinking might have changed.

Regardless of all this, I hope you enjoy your stay!

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