After 13 years, it is time to retire the Launchpad developer mailing list. The new developer mailing list will be hosted on the KiCad Google Workspace instance at [email protected]. You can subscribe to the new list by sending an e-mail to [email protected]
Why are we making this change?
Over the past two years, mail delivery via the Launchpad mailing list has become increasingly spotty. Sometimes mail does not reach the launchpad archive (and therefore does not get delivered) and sometimes mail reaches the archive but does not get delivered to the recipients.
In neither case does the KiCad team have visibility on the rejected messages or any ability to recitify the problem. This leads to many messages to the list going unanswered until someone directly asks a KiCad team member about the mailing list.
What options did we consider?
When migrating our repository from Launchpad, we considered a number of different list servers including self-hosting mailman, groups.io, Framalistes and GitHub. While each of these would perform some parts of what we wanted, we needed to minimize our system administration time (so that we can do more KiCad coding) while not excessively increasing our monthly costs.
From this point of view, staging the mailing list on our Google Workspace instance made the most sense. We are able to manage the list in detail and get administrative feedback when messages are rejected or delayed. We also get to ensure that the list and its data are fully owned by the KiCad team. This will allow us to migrate the list more easily in the future, should the Google instance no longer be tenable.
I have issues with Google…
We understand that some of our users are justifiably suspicious of sending mail though a Google-hosted service. While we cannot guarantee any behaviour on the part of Google, we can say that this service is part of the corporate Google Workspace package that currently promises not to scan any data contained within it (https://workspace.google.com/learn-more/security/security-whitepaper/page-6.html).
Looking back on 2021, we at the KiCad Project feel a deep sense of gratitude. What could have been a lost year to the global pandemic and its associated effects (hello, supply chain!) has instead been a year of great progress at KiCad. This is in large measure due to our supportive and engaged community of users. Community Building We were not able to gather in person again this year.
The original KiCad domain name (kicad-pcb.org) was recently sold to an unnamed third party that is not affiliated with the KiCad Project or members of the KiCad Development Team. This sale was unexpected and may pose a risk to KiCad users. The new owners may simply post advertisements or (worst-case scenario) they may host malicious versions of the KiCad software for download. How did this happen? The domain name was originally registered in 2012 by the then project lead Dick Hollenbeck.