[Mailman-Developers] Document handling

Scott scott@chronis.pobox.com
Wed, 7 Oct 1998 14:39:57 -0400

I've been working on making mailman work with built in archiving from
The Dragon De Monsyne's  web archiving patches, and have stumbled on
something that definitely seems a good thing to discuss.

His patches use DocumentTemplate, a large and free and fairly mature
document handling mechanism from digital creations
(www.digicool.com).  While DocumentTemplate supports lots of stuff
with document handling that the current mailman distribution does not
support, there are some issues in incorporating it.

First of all, I'd like very much to see mailman have a single uniform
document management interface. So this leads to the obvious question:
should mailman use it's current mechanism accross the board or should
it use DocumentTemplate, or something else?  

Here's some thinking out loud on the top:

DocumentTemplate is in many ways a better document interface.  It
supplies conditional sections, expression evaluation, list iteration,
variable replacement, etc.

DocumentTemplate is large (20 files currently). It's size works fine
in the context of producing archiving files, but personally, I'd be
reluctant to use it in cgi's because I've found it's loading time to
be pretty slow, and I've found lots of mailman cgi's a bit sluggish. 
Personally, I'd use it only with pcgi or some cgi accelerator.

DocumentTemplate may not work well as a replacement for htmlformat
because of all the mailman-specific stuff in the htmlformat module.

Whatever is decided, it'd be nice to consider that there's probably a
good number of people interested in builtin web archiving, and so
some provision may have to be made to make that available before a
full document solution is arrived at if a full document solution would
take a while.