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Searching Ubuntu Mailing List Archives December 6, 2006

Posted by Carthik in guides, ubuntu, Ubuntu Sites.
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Almost all of the tips I post here are either things I stumble upon myself or things that I read at the Ubuntu-users mailing list. Seeing as how useful this mailing list is, I thought there should be a fast, efficient way to search it. Mailman, the software that the list runs on does not provide a good search functionality. Don’t give up hope yet, though.

You can use Gmane’s search functionality at http://news.gmane.org/gmane.linux.ubuntu.user. Similar searchable archives can be found at gmane for the other Ubuntu lists.

But wait, it gets even better. Nabble provides interfaces to:

  1. Search ALL Ubuntu related mailing lists
  2. Specific Ubuntu mailing lists – eg. Ubuntu-users

To compare performance let us search for “searching mailing list archives” using both these websites. Here’s the Gmane result, and the Nabble result. To Nabble’s credit, it finds more results. You are free to look at the results and decide which one is better.

I rather prefer Nabble since it is neat and clean, and since threads are returned in results, sometimes reducing the total number of results. This is a case where less is more, since, most of the time, I can eliminate a few threads just by looking at the subject of the thread. Nabble also provides a short excerpt from each result showing me what matched. The ability to search across all the Ubuntu lists is a definite plus, too. I hope Nabble stays along for a long time. Much as I like Gmane, I think I am falling in love with Nabble’s search.

Comments»

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