[Mailman-Developers] [ANNOUNCE] Mailman 2.1 alpha 2

Barry A. Warsaw barry@digicool.com
Fri, 13 Jul 2001 16:15:20 -0400

This the official announcement for Mailman 2.1 alpha 2.  Because it's
an alpha, this announcement is only going out to the mailman-* mailing
lists.  I'll make two warnings: you probably should still not use this
version for production systems (but TIA for any and all testing you do
with it!), and I've already had a couple of bug fixes from early
adopters.  2.1a2 should still be useful, but you might want to keep an
eye on cvs and the mailman-checkins list for updates.

I am only making the tarball available on SourceForge, so you'll need
to go to http://sf.net/projects/mailman to grab it.  You'll also need
to upgrade to mimelib-0.4, so be sure to go to
http://sf.net/projects/mimelib to grab and install that tarball first.

To view the on-line documentation, see




Below is an excerpt from the NEWS file for all the changes since
2.1alpha1.  There are a bunch of new features coming down the pike,
and I hope to have an alpha3 out soon.  I'm also planning on doing
much more stress testing of this version with real list traffic, and
I'm hoping we'll start to get more languages integrated into cvs.


-------------------- snip snip --------------------
2.1 alpha 2 (11-Jul-2001)

    - Building
        o mimelib 0.4 is now required.  Get it from
          http://mimelib.sf.net.  If you've installed an earlier
          version of mimelib, you must upgrade.

        o /usr/local/mailman is now the default installation
          directory.  Use configure's --prefix switch to change it
          back to the default (/home/mailman) or any other
          installation directory of your choice.

    - Security
        o Better definition of authentication domains.  The following
          roles have been defined: user, list-admin, list-moderator,
          creator, site-admin.

        o There is now a separate role of "list moderator", which has
          access to the pending requests (admindb) page, but not the
          list configuration pages.

        o Subscription confirmations can now be performed via email or
          via URL.  When a subscription is received, a unique (sha)
          confirm URL is generated in the confirmation message.
          Simply visiting this URL completes the subscription process.

        o In a similar manner, removal requests (via web or email
          command) no longer require the password.  If the correct
          password is given, the removal is performed immediately.  If
          no password is given, then a confirmation message is
    - Internationalization
        o More I18N patches.  The basic infrastructure should now be
          working correctly.  Spanish templates and catalogs are
          included, and English, French, Hungarian, and Big5 templates
          are included.

        o Cascading specializations and internationalization of
          templates.  Templates are now search for in the following
          order: list-specific location, domain-specific location,
          site-wide location, global defaults.  Each search location
          is further qualified by the language being displayed.  This
          means that you only need to change the templates that are
          different from the global defaults.

          Templates renamed: admlogin.txt => admlogin.html
          Templates added: private.html

    - Web UI
        o Redesigned the user options page.  It now sits behind an
          authentication so user options cannot be viewed without the
          proper password.  The other advantage is that the user's
          password need not be entered on the options page to
          unsubscribe or change option values.  The login screen also
          provides for password mail-back, and unsubscription w/

          Other new features accessible from the user options page
          include: ability to change email address (with confirmation)
          both per-list and globally for all list on virtual domain;
          global membership password changing; global mail delivery
          disable/enable; ability to suppress password reminders both
          per-list and globally; logout button.

          [Note: the handle_opts cgi has gone away]

        o Color schemes for non-template based web pages can be defined
          via mm_cfg.

        o Redesign of the membership management page.  The page is now
          split into three subcategories (Membership List, Mass
          Subscription, and Mass Removal).  The Membership List
          subcategory now supports searching for member addresses by
          regular expression, and if necessary, it groups member
          addresses first alphabetically, and then by chunks.

          Mass Subscription and Mass Removal now support file upload,
          with one address per line.

        o Hyperlinks from the logos in the footers have been removed.
          The sponsors got too much "unsubscribe me!" spam from
          desperate user of Mailman at other sites.

        o New buttons on the digest admin page to send a digest
          immediately (if it's non-empty), to start a new digest
          volume with the next digest, and to select the interval with
          which to automatically start a new digest volume (yearly,
          monthly, quarterly, weekly, daily).

          DEFAULT_DIGEST_VOLUME_FREQUENCY is a new configuration
          variable, initially set to give a new digest volume monthly.

        o Through-the-web list creation and removal, using a separate
          site-wide authentication role called the "list creator and
          destroyer" or simply "list creator".  If the configuration
          variable OWNERS_CAN_DELETE_THEIR_OWN_LISTS is set to 1 (by
          default, it's 0), then list admins can delete their own

          This feature requires an adaptor for the particular MTA
          you're using.  An adaptor for Postfix is included, as is a
          dumb adaptor that just emails mailman@yoursite with the
          necessary Sendmail style /etc/alias file changes.  Some MTAs
          like Exim can be configured to automatically recognize new
          lists.  The adaptor is selected via the MTA option in

    - Email UI
        o In email commands, "join" is a synonym for
          "subscribe". "remove" and "leave" are synonyms for
          "unsubscribe".  New robot addresses are support to make
          subscribing and unsubscribing much easier:


        o Confirmation messages have a shortened Subject: header,
          containing just the word "confirm" and the confirmation
          cookie.  This should help for MUAs that like to wrap long
          Subject: lines, messing up confirmation.

        o Mailman now recognizes an Urgent: header, which, if it
          contains the list moderator or list administrator password,
          forces the message to be delivered immediately to all
          members (i.e. both regular and digest members).  The message
          is also placed in the digest.  If the password is incorrect,
          the message will be bounced back to the sender.

    - Performance
        o Refinements to the new qrunner subsystem which preserves
          FIFO order of messages.

        o The qrunner is no longer started from cron.  It is started
          by a Un*x init-style script called bin/mailmanctl (see
          below).  cron/qrunner has been removed.

    - Command line scripts
        o bin/mailmanctl script added, which is used to start, stop,
          and restart the qrunner daemon.

        o bin/qrunner script added which allows a single sub-qrunner
          to run once through its processing loop.

        o bin/change_pw script added (eases mass changing of list

        o bin/update grows a -f switch to force an update.

        o bin/newlang renamed to bin/addlang; bin/rmlang removed.

        o bin/mmsitepass has grown a -c option to set the list
          creator's password.  The site-wide `create' web page is
          linked to from the admin overview page.

        o bin/newlist's -o option is removed.  This script also grows
          a way of spelling the creation of a list in a specific
          virtual domain.

        o The `auto' script has been removed.

        o bin/dumpdb has grown -m/--marshal and -p/--pickle options.

        o bin/list_admins can be used to print the owners of a mailing list.

        o bin/genaliases regenerates from scratch the aliases and
          aliases.db file for the Postfix MTA.

    - Archiver
        o New archiver date clobbering option, which allows dates to
          only be clobber if they are outrageously out-of-date
          (default setting is 15 days on either side of received
          timestamp).  New configuration variables:


          The archived copy of messages grows an X-List-Received-Date:
          header indicating the time the message was received by

        o PRIVATE_ARCHIVE_URL configuration variable is removed (this
          can be calculated on the fly, and removing it actually makes
          site configuration easier).

    - Miscellaneous
        o Several new README's have been added.

        o Most syslog entries for the qrunner have been redirected to

        o On SIGHUP, qrunner will re-open all its log files and
          restart all child processes.  See "bin/mailmanctl restart".

    - Patches and bug fixes
        o SF patches and bug fixes applied: 420396, 424389, 227694,
          426002, 401372 (partial), 401452.

        o Fixes in 2.0.5 ported forward:
            Fix a lock stagnation problem that can result when the
            user hits the `stop' button on their browser during a
            write operation that can take a long time (e.g. hitting
            the membership management admin page).

        o Fixes in 2.0.4 ported forward:
            Python 2.1 compatibility release.  There were a few
            questionable constructs and uses of deprecated modules
            that caused annoying warnings when used with Python 2.1.
            This release quiets those warnings.

        o Fixes in 2.0.3 ported forward:
            Bug fix release.  There was a small typo in 2.0.2 in
            ListAdmin.py for approving an already subscribed member
            (thanks Thomas!).  Also, an update to the OpenWall
            security workaround (contrib/securelinux_fix.py) was
            included.  Thanks to Marc Merlin.