|| ||Dan Randow <dan-AT-onlinegroups.net> |
|| ||pr-AT-lwn.net |
|| ||Media Release: Open Source Alternative to Mailman and Google Groups |
|| ||Wed, 21 Jul 2010 16:27:21 +1200|
|| ||Article, Thread
Open Source Alternative to Mailman and Google Groups Released
100722 OnlineGroups.Net http://onlinegroups.net
OnlineGroups.Net has just released the second beta of GroupServer, an open source web-based mailing
list manager. Via email, GroupServer works like traditional mailing list managers but it also has a
web forum interface for reading and making posts, and list administration.
GroupServer provides the kind of web interface that users of Google Groups enjoy. Being open
source, it also provides the administrative freedom that mailing list administrators expect.
The popular E-Democracy.Org Forums site <http://e-democracy.org/> is powered by GroupServer. Steven
Clift, Director of E-Democracy.Org says "our forums combine e-mail lists, web forums, and basic
social networking in one space". Clift says that a key challenge with hosting online groups is that
people tend to split off into different spaces, based on their technology preference. "With
GroupServer," he says, "folks can turn off the default e-mail delivery and follow posts via the web
feed if they like."
The developers of GroupServer provide a hosted offering at <http://onlinegroups.net>. This site
enables visitors to easily start a free GroupServer site, to evaluate the software or to run a live
site without having to worry about hosting, or upgrading. "The hosted service works well for
organizations that want several groups in a dedicated site, and do not want to concern themselves
with the operational details of GroupServer" says Dan Randow, Chief Wrangler at OnlineGroups.Net.
Sites are advertising-free, and can easily be configured to use a custom domain. OnlineGroups.Net
can also customize the visual style and content of sites.
For experienced administrators seeking more control over their site, GroupServer is also available
for free download <http://groupserver.org/downloads>. While it is easy to get started with
GroupServer, the system can be scaled to support thousands of lists and hundreds of thousands of
users. GroupServer is built using Python and
the web application platform Zope, and uses PostgreSQL for message data. GroupServer Technical Lead
Richard Waid says that GroupServer provides a lot of flexibility for the administrator. "The
implementation can be customized in many different ways to cater for different end users."
OnlineGroups.Net offers specialized technical consulting for implementation, as well as custom
Randow says this release includes all the features required to run a large production site with
GroupServer, packaged for easy installation. Getting a feel for GroupServer's features is easy as
<http://groupserver.org> is itself a GroupServer site. The site also has a feature comparison
between GroupServer, GNU Mailman and Google Groups.
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