Beginning March 2nd, 2020 the Mailing Lists functionality on RootsWeb will be discontinued. Users will no longer be able to send outgoing emails or accept incoming emails. Additionally, administration tools will no longer be available to list administrators and mailing lists will be put into an archival state.
Administrators may save the emails in their list prior to March 2nd. After that, mailing list archives will remain available and searchable on RootsWeb
[ This is a retransmit of a message I sent last Thursday -- turns out
most of the list didn't receive it the first time through. My
apologies to the folks who receive it twice ... -B ]
It's been a long, rough summer.
We had excruciating problems with attacks from crackers, but we've
tightened security somewhat and that problem seems to have abated.
<knock on wood>
As many of you know, RootsWeb adopted the 1,000-odd Maiser mailing
lists after a spam attack forced Larry Stephens to close his site.
Since that time, the number of lists has grown to more than 1,500 and
we are continuing to create more than 100 new lists each month.
We've also adopted the eWorld mailing lists after Apple chose to stop
supporting them at LSoft. These are among the largest genealogical
lists, and share gateways with the various genealogical Usenet news
It's important to note that Apple didn't forsake the lists, though:
they generously donated a server to RootsWeb to help house the lists.
As a consequence of these adoptions and the natural growth in use of
RootsWeb, we're now "moving more bytes" than *any* other genealogical
site on the Internet. Our Web server handles a substantial fraction
of the load handled by Microsoft.com's 15 servers, and our older (and
more heavily loaded) mail server handles about half the load of
plum.lsoft.com, the world's busiest list server.
In part caused by the influx of new lists (and also by the increasing
popularity of the 1,700 Websites we host), RootsWeb experienced a
series of technical problems. While we managed to come through the
problems with little actual downtime, Karen and I were running with
very little sleep and no free time for several months.
During that time we made a number of changes, including:
o Growing from 2 to 4 main servers, and from 2 to 5 auxiliary
o Upgrading the operating systems on our servers to a more
stable version of Unix.
o Adding industrial quality uninterruptible power supplies
and power conditioners.
o Adding redundant networking hardware in our network
o Growing from one to two (and soon three) separate and
partially redundant network operating centers.
o Adding fast, high-capacity tape backup systems.
o And a hundred other large and small improvements.
But the executive summary is that we've made a laborious and
expensive transition to operating a professional-quality site.
Concerning Member and Sponsor services, the one thing we regret from
the last year is that we've done a poor job of supporting folks who
wanted Web space or GEDCOM service on our servers.
We intend to remedy that problem within the next several weeks.
And as we announced before, all of the folks who wanted Web space or
GEDCOM service will have their memberships extended to a year after we
get them up and running.
Concerning fundraising, RootsWeb is now entering its thirteenth month
of full operation. We've been too busy supporting the site to spend
much time on fundraising, but we anticipate launching a major drive
shortly. While part of the funds will be used for covering the costs
of operating the site, we're hopeful that in the next fiscal year we
can raise enough fungible funds that we can get on with what we'd
really like to be spending money on:
BUYING GOVERNMENT RECORD SETS AND BRINGING THEM
ONLINE FOR EVERYONE TO FREELY USE.
I'd like to end with a personal thank-you to everyone who has
contributed to RootsWeb during the last year. You should each feel
like you've done something for Internet genealogy -- if you hadn't
supported RootsWeb, the world would have been a different place:
o ROOTS-L, the Maiser lists, and the eWorld lists would
still be depending on the charity of others, and might
not exist at all.
o 1,700 USGenWeb and other Websites wouldn't have had a
home with unlimited space for data.
o The Roots Surname List wouldn't have had a home.
Thank you for helping Internet genealogy grow! -B
Dr. Brian Leverich
RootsWeb Genealogical Data Cooperative
P.O. Box 6798
Frazier Park, CA 93222-6798