[Mailman-Developers] A request - increased clarity in <listname>-request responses

Thomas Wouters thomas@xs4all.net
Mon, 8 May 2000 12:58:20 +0200

On Fri, May 05, 2000 at 05:57:24PM +0100, Adrian Joseph wrote:

> Hi, I'm not a subscriber to this list, but I'm the admin for a number of
> mailing lists using Mailman v1.1. One thing which has proved to be a
> problem is the relative lack of clarity in the replies to mailcmd
> subscribe & unsubscribe attempts. Since it has become common for
> companies to tack on lengthy legal disclaimers, the resulting output
> from the parser, ending in " Too many errors encountered; the rest of
> the message is ignored:", is more than enough to confuse those who are
> not computer savvy· I know the relevant information is present in the
> mail, but I've had literally hundreds of e-mail from confused would-be
> subscribers to demonstrate that its presentation needs some improvement.
> Griping aside I think its a pretty cool app, thanks folks

Well, Barry must have been using Guido's time machine again, because that
problem is already fixed. And more than that, too, because Barry flew back a
lot farther and fixed Majordomo too ;-)

You can force mailman to stop parsing mail commands two ways: by using 'end'
as a command, or by starting a line with '--'. By strange coincidence, '--'
(actually '-- ', two dashes with a trailing space) is the commonly accepted
and well documented way to start a signature -- precisely so that mail
robots and filters and what not can distinguish the message text from the

Want to help the not very computer savvy ? Force their mail administrators
to tack the legal statements on the end as a signature, starting it with the
recognized prefix, '-- '. Good mail (and news) programs do this
automatically, bless their programmers' little hearts, but unfortunately
some refuse to follow almost-standards. Most unfortunate for Mailman, which
has to take a lot of different mail programs (client and server) into
account :P

Thomas Wouters <thomas@xs4all.net>

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