[Mailman-Developers] Editing messages held for moderation

Foo Bar foobar at eh.net
Thu Dec 23 16:57:23 CET 2004

I run a mid-sized website (http://eh.net) for the Economic History 
Association, with some associated mailing lists. These lists have 
traditionally been very "moderated" (since we switched to Mailman, they've 
been left in "emergency" moderation mode) and our moderators insist on 
being able to edit the messages waiting in the moderation queue.

I have already put together a terribly ugly little hack to manage this: 
I've added a link on the moderation page to edit a particular message; 
this passes the message's ID to a Python script entirely out of Mailman 
(protected by regular HTTP authentication) which proceeds to read the 
pickled file and display the message and certain key fields in a form, 
which another Python script will read and modify the original messages. 
(There's a little more going on here, actually, but if I told you the 
exact details you'd make fun of it. Heck, I make fun of it.) This method 
is suboptimal, particularly when it's fed messages in certain encoding 
schemes. And my unholy scheme for passing these data around between 
scripts is nigh unto reaching its limits.

Now, the first item on Mailman's Wishlist for list administration is 
"Allow the moderator to edit posts being held for approval". I would like 
to reimplement this in a more clean fashion, prefrably properly integrated 
with Mailman.

Taking a look at the developer wiki, however, I'm not quite sure where I 
should get started, and I'm note quite sure how up to date it is (due to 
little tidbits like "The current plan is to release Mailman 2.1 final by 
the end of 2002. It's been long overdue. Sigh.") There's also talk of 
Mailman 3. So...

I'd just like to know what Mailman developers (presumably with more 
experience than I have) think about the best way to proceed, what versions 
of Mailman would be most amenable to this sort of a modification, if 
there's any sort of "Getting Started Hacking Mailman" or architectural 
overview of which I am not aware... whether I should bother with the IRC 
channels... and, to be specific on at least one topic, how the CGI 
wrappers in the mailman/cgi-bin/ directory are set up and operated.

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