Notes 27/11

Nic Bernstein nic at
Tue Nov 28 10:31:35 EST 2017

Thanks for this write-up.  My comments interspersed, below...

On 11/27/2017 06:43 PM, Nicola Nye wrote:
> Summary of feedback from the Write the Docs doc sprint last Friday.
> As mentioned, I had two users I was talking with. One is a technical 
> writer and used to dealing with subject-specific terminology but  had 
> no experience with mail systems. The other is an engineer who 
> currently runs Dovecot for a side project and thinks he might have 
> used Cyrus in the past.
> *Front page*
> Wall of text and acronyms. Intimidating.

I'm looking at the website ( and I'm not 
seeing a lot of acronyms.  Were you referring to some other location?

>   * Pull in content from the github readme that explains in simpler
>     language what Cyrus is


>   * Some images to break up the text and reinforce that Cyrus supports
>     not just mail, but calendaring and contacts on mobile too.


>   * Showcase places that Cyrus is being used. (If you're happy for
>     your organization name to appear in the docs, please let me know!
>     Optional: send me a logo and a link) This helps distinguish Cyrus
>     as mail software, not a mail hosting service.
>   * If there's anyone who does professional services support for
>     Cyrus, make sure they're listed. (anyone? anyone?)

We do, we do!  Onlight, Inc. are an Internet consultancy, and Cyrus has 
been a focus of ours for over 20 years.

>   * Explain target profile. "You want to run Cyrus if you want these
>     features, and you have this many mailboxes/users and you know what
>     you're doing with running/supporting a mail system. You do not
>     want to run Cyrus if: ..."

I think we've developed some verbiage on this, which we'll be happy to 
share.  I'll dig it up when I've got a chance.

> *Navigation*
> The top navigation bar confused users. They were expecting dropdown 
> sub menu, but then there's also the left menu.
>   * The top menu bar no longer needs to be there. It's a hangover from
>     when the left hand menu bar was a maze of twisty passages all
>     alike and I wanted a way to quickly help users find common entry
>     points.
> The search box was overlooked.
>   * I might make this bigger and/or put it in the top menu bar as the
>     only thing.
> Confused by left hand menu ordering.
>   * They both expected the Overview to come first, followed by
>     Quickstart, then Download, then Setup.
>   * They did like the categorization of the top level menu hierarchy.
>     Easy to drill down one level.
>   * Second level and beyond menu items were intimidating in many
>     places. Again, technical overwhelm.

I agree with all of this.  Reminds me of the late discussions we had 
whilst I was in Melbourne.

> *Content*
>   * Cyrus is not a complete solution on its own: you need other system
>     components (MTA: sendmail/postfix/exim/..., possibly webmail
>     interface).
>   * Both users went looking for system requirements and couldn't find
>     a succinct list. I'll need to write this. (including content from
>     the above point)
>   * They wanted to know if it could be run on vmware (or equivalent)
>     or cloud hosted.
>   * Overview was deemed too technical.
>       o The Overview/Features section was just okay
>       o The Overview/Concepts section was more of a reference manual
>         than an explanation of ideas: need to review and split this apart.
> The documentation has plenty of ways to evolve! If anyone is 
> interested in helping out, do let me know.

I should be able to get back into this in the new year.  I've just 
completed an extraordinary season of travel, and have three Cyrus 
upgrades planned in the next month.  Come January, I should have a lot 
to say about upgrading and new feature deployment.

> And if you know of anyone who
>   * does professional Cyrus support, or

Ahem, <hand raised in air>

>   * uses Cyrus and is happy to have that listed on our site
> drop me a line and I'll put you in.

Will see if any clients would not object to such a listing.

> Cheers,
>     Nicola
> On Mon, Nov 27, 2017, at 10:26 PM, Bron Gondwana wrote:
>> Present: Bron, Ken, Nicola, ellie
>> Bron:
>> * Lots of Xapian issues last week
>> * including seqset bug
>> * incorrect UID issue for per-user-data only updates with calendar 
>> events.
>> * index_snippets is keeping the mailbox locked while reading from 
>> disk and generating snippets, which can be slow and block out other 
>> actions.  We should find a solution to this.
>> Ken:
>> * working on docs for internals changes - sync, rename safety etc
>> * SASL - looks like Alexey is correct, and people were relying on 
>> buggy behaviour
>> * found a logic error with Bearer Token authentication.
>> * short week this week
>> Nicola:
>> * went to write-the-docs on Friday, single day conference
>> * didn't fix any doc bugs
>> * had people with mail server knowledge
>>   - used them as guinea-pigs to look at our existing docs
>>   - have notes which will write up and send to list
>>   - if you don't already know what Cyrus is and how it works, it's a 
>> wall of acronyms
>>   - FastMail webpage was the kind of thing he was expecting - but at 
>> least Cyrus docs look better than Dovecot!
>> * FastMail caldav sync doesn't handle alarms particularly nicely.
>> * Also, FastMail caldav sync should be copy through 
>> calendar-user-address from the source and passing that through for 
>> clients to use for scheduling.
>> ellie:
>> * just been looking into the jmap getmessagelist stuff -- that email 
>> thread today is v useful
>> sasl is just a point release, so should be safe to upgrade independently
>> Partha is back working on zeroskip after being involved in the xapian 
>> fixes most of last week.
>> --
>>   Bron Gondwana, CEO, FastMail Pty Ltd
>>   brong at

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