[Mailman-Developers] Want to Code... need some feedback

Charles Iliya Krempeaux tnt@linux.ca
Thu, 05 Jul 2001 11:55:03 -0700


When it comes to Mailman, I'm a newbie, and some of my understanding
of Mailman is probably naive or just plain wrong.  But I'd like to do
some coding on Mailman.  (And with the help of J C Lawrence <claw@kanga.nu>
and Devdas Bhagat <devdas@worldgatein.net> [on the Mailman-Users
mailing list] I think I have enough of an understanding of how Mailman
works to attempt to get started.)  It's my hope that maybe someone code
point me in the right direction, of where to get started (to start

For example, should I use the 2.0.5 source, or should I get the
source directly from the CVS?

Also, what is the usual work environment that people use to develop?
Mailman with Sendmail?  Mailman with Qmail?  Mailman with exim?
Mailman with PostFix?  Etc?  Does it matter?

Also, I'd like to describe my ideas (to everyone) to get some feedback.
(Tell me if the ideas are good.  If they suck.  Or if someone is already
doing them.)

Anyways, here's my intention....

     It is my opinion that the current web based archive system leaves
     much to be desired (in terms of usability, funtionality, and even
     aesthetics).  And I'd like to see it improved; or at least provide
     the ability from website creator to improve them.  (And if noone else
     is working on these things, I'd like to do them myself.)

     I'd like to say straight off, that I do not really know anything
     about the internals of Mailman, except that it is coded in
     Python.  (I haven't yet begun reading the souce.)  But anyways....

     I think that the interface for the archiver would be more usable
     if it was more like that of a Weblog or Bulletin Board.  From this
     Weblog or Bulletin Board like interface [of the mailing list archiver]
     the user could see the `traffic' of one single mailing list, or see
     the `traffic' of many different mailing lists.  Also, the users
     of this interface, would have other functionalities at their displosal;
     like searching.

     Also, the archiver's webpage could also serve as a kind homepage for
     the mailing list.  Providing additional functioanlity, like FAQs,
     Links, etc.  (I'm expecting this to get some critisizm.)

     Further, the Weblog or Bulletin Board interface could also serve as
     an additional way of users being able to post messages to the mailing
     list(s).  (Basically, my intention is to blur -- from the user's
     perspective -- the difference between a Mailing List, and a Weblog
     or Bulletin Board.)

     To do this, I think that e-mail messages should be dumped into a
     database.  (Since I have MySQL and PostgreSQL at my disposal, those
     are what I'll be able to support myself.)

     I am assuming that the current archiver for Mailman doesn't do this
     already, but instead uses some kind if file format.  Is this correct?

     Also, I think it is a good idea to provide a gerenal PHP (and whatever
     other language) library for accessing to archive (in the database).
     That way the database structure, for the archiver, is free to change,
     without necessarily breaking everyone else's code.  And websites can
     completely and seemlessly integrate the archiver into their website
     (by creating their own front ends, using the PHP [or whatever language]

     Also, a default Web based user interface should be provided (using the PHP
     library).  (For those user's who don't want to do any coding.)

Those are the basics of what I'd like to do.  (I'll leave it at that, to
get some feedback, before describing things further, or in more detail.
But there is alot more to it.  Stuff that would affect other parts of
Mailman too,... besides just the archiver.)

See ya

      Charles Iliya Krempeaux