[vtkusers] [vtk-developers] Transition to Discourse - thoughts from lurker

Andras Lasso lasso at queensu.ca
Wed Jan 23 17:55:13 EST 2019

Full content of VTK mailing lists, names, email addresses have been already publicly available on the web (http://vtk.1045678.n5.nabble.com/, https://vtk.org/pipermail/vtkusers/, etc).

However, spammers don’t even need to harvest email addresses one by one. It is enough if a spammer subscribes to any of the VTK mailing list (there is no sophisticated anti-spam measures) and he gets access to email addresses of all the other subscribers. See for example the 3000+ email addresses listed at https://vtk.org/mailman/roster/vtkusers:

[cid:image001.png at 01D4B342.4BFD6C60]

On discourse your email address is never publicly disclosed and many spam countermeasures are implemented. If you have privacy or security concerns then you should welcome the switch to discourse.


From: vtkusers <vtkusers-bounces at vtk.org> On Behalf Of Paul Douglas Hahn
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 5:22 PM
To: David Gobbi <david.gobbi at gmail.com>
Cc: VTK Developers <vtk-developers at vtk.org>; VTK Users <vtkusers at vtk.org>
Subject: Re: [vtkusers] [vtk-developers] Transition to Discourse - thoughts from lurker

OK, thanks for that. Sounds more innocuous.

As a remark, I believe that the quality of analytic products done on mailing lists is far less than that which can be done on community sites with engines in the middle, especially for one reason: the latter allows tracking message reads in detail, and moreover, who does the reads (vs. who does not), and what are the characteristics. All this to formulate rich feature vectors for ANN training. I believe that that is not feasible with mailing lists, but I may be wrong. And of course, it's easy enough to correlate names to confidential info already snarfed into the world of databases out there.

- Paul
On 1/23/19 4:03 PM, David Gobbi wrote:
Hi Paul,

As far as I understand, Kitware is running Discourse on their own server.  So even if it is bought out, Kitware can continue to use the version that they currently have and fork/patch it as necessary.  And I'm sure that if anyone audits the Discourse code base and finds that it is leaking analytics to someone, Kitware would be happy to plug the leak.

In any case, there's plenty of analytics that companies can do based on public mailing lists, and I don't think a public forum is any different in that regard unless you include confidential info in your profile.


On Wed, Jan 23, 2019 at 2:25 PM Paul Douglas Hahn <pdhahn at compintensehpc.com<mailto:pdhahn at compintensehpc.com>> wrote:
I realize I am not an important voice for this topic, but with
Discourse, I can say that I anticipate termination of "real-time"
monitoring of VTK issues that I now do with the mailing lists. I do not
want to be on a "free" community site that is or might become oriented
to make money of me one way or another (hidden), tracking me, etc. etc.

Hmmm ... so how long will it take Microsoft to come in and buy Discourse
just like they did with Github? And what is the relationship (if any)
between Bloomberg's Discourse Analytics (www.discourseanalytics.com<https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.discourseanalytics.com&data=02%7C01%7Classo%40queensu.ca%7C9b4e04e5fb5d4ff4395908d68181453e%7Cd61ecb3b38b142d582c4efb2838b925c%7C1%7C0%7C636838789558842462&sdata=0N5PPRyO0%2Bt0kAYFmuZZ3x71mnF1VGYHkaV1iamvhmg%3D&reserved=0>) and
Discourse.org? They both have similar logos. Just wondering.



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