OpenSSL project is considering to close this mailing list

Tim Hudson tjh at
Mon Mar 20 00:19:20 UTC 2023

On Mon, Mar 20, 2023 at 8:18 AM Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell at>

> Hiya,
> On 19/03/2023 21:20, Tim Hudson wrote:
> > Right now it is sitting at about 20-30 people who have responded. That
> is a
> > small set of feedback (given the size of the list)
> I'd suggest being careful in what you wish for - asking
> that everyone on the list +1 the response closest to
> their own seems like a bad ask to me fwiw. I'd hope that
> what seems so far pretty close to unanimity would be a
> sufficient signal without numerous +1's.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that simply won't respond publicly
because they don't want to get a hostile reaction from those who disagree.
It does mean a level of "spam" on the list to get a sense of responses. If
there is concern about spam we can always set up a poll to click on to
register responses.

One of the reasons why I'm responding is that there is even a hesitation to
actually email such questions out because of this sort of situation - where
being the target of a series of responses where people disagree isn't a fun

It also makes it challenging to gauge overall views when the silent
majority remain silent - and assuming that everyone else agrees because
they don't speak up on the mailing list is definitely not a good way to
make decisions. I've received a lot more feedback from parts of the
community indicating that having openssl-users is doing a disservice to the
project because it splits focus, it isn't tracked, and the responses are
all over the place and people aren't sure where to send things and stuff on
openssl-users tends to not hit the majority of the developers contributing
to the project these days.

Seeking feedback on a mailing list about a mailing list is pretty much a
self-selected group - that was a given.
If the question was sent to active GitHub community members we would get a
fairly different set of responses.

Now there is some overlap between the groups - and the overlap is useful to
look at - but the non-overlap is the critical issue in terms of figuring
out the *impact *of such a change.

And again the question being asked was specific - will this reduce your
contribution to the project significantly - it wasn't a question of do you
prefer getting things in email or interaction via GitHub.

If we look at the activity since 1-Jan-2022 (last year + this year to date)
and count the questions/posts and questions/posts-replied-to and total
interactions you get this list (for those who have had more than 5
questions/posts they have replied to.

matt at 25 51 118
tomas at 3 47 96
openssl-users at 0 45 85
pauli at 0 16 38
Michael.Wojcik at 1 14 64
levitte at 0 9 10
Matthias.St.Pierre at 0 8 12
beldmit at 0 7 12
mcr at 1 6 24
it at 0 6 9

Most of these are committers to the project and heavily participate on
Michael you do stand out as a substantial non-committer who has voiced that
their contributions will reduce.
Viktor has already been on record that he responds on the mailing list and
only when specifically asked on GitHub (where Viktor does respond on many
issues because we know to ask).
Uri Blumenthal has said he will probably stop using OpenSSL if the mailing
list closes.

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