[Mailman-Developers] Web UI

Vivek Sant vsant at hcs.harvard.edu
Sun Jun 29 04:25:10 CEST 2008

Hi everyone,

My name is Vivek Sant, I am a rising sophomore at Harvard College. I  
am a member of the Harvard Computer Society, and among other things,  
we use Mailman to host approximately 3000 mailing lists for student  
groups. I wanted to start by saying thanks for a great product -  
we've been using Mailman successfully for several years. Recently, we  
decided to modify the user interface to make it easier to use, and to  
make it look nicer. As I've seen from the -users and -developers  
lists, it seems that there has been discussion lately about modifying  
the UI, and I'd be glad to help out in any manner possible.

For HCS' own instance of Mailman, I went ahead and changed up the UI,  
integrating CSS and generally making pages look much more visually  
appealing, and themed. If anyone is interested in seeing the changes  
I was able to make, check out <http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~vsant/mm/ 
mailman.html>. This page has comparison screenshots of a few  
representative pages where I did most of the work. I'd recommend  
looking at this page in Firefox/Camino, because Safari renders it  
badly and I've not checked with IE. If the screenshots look weird,  
open any image directly in the browser - they are "full-size." Also,  
I created a branch with bzr and its located at <http:// 
www.hcs.harvard.edu/~vsant/mm/mailman_stable_newGUI>, in case anyone  
feels like looking at my code changes.

I had to modify files all over the place in making these changes;  
files in templates/en, Mailman/, Mailman/Cgi, Mailman/Archive,  
Mailman/Gui, and interestingly, cgi-bin. I had to place a few files  
in cgi-bin, but in the bzr branch (I pulled this off of lp:mailman/ 
stable) it seems that cgi-bin scripts were created by the makefile,  
so I just created a cgi-bin folder in my branch saying that files in  
there (css, imgs etc) must be copied to the install dir's cgi-bin  
folder. There is a lot of code that creates links with a function  
like Link(label, href), and while it seems like great abstraction, it  
was a bit difficult for me to add something like say,  
class=cool_link. So I ended up ripping out some of those function  
calls and just building each link piece by piece.

So overall, I just wanted to introduce myself, describe what work I  
have done so far, and also say that I'd love to help out with UI  
redesign efforts this summer! Comments/suggestions about my design  
are, of course, welcome, as well as questions if I have been unclear.

Best regards,

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