[Mailman-Developers] Mailman headers roundup

William Bagwell William at alt-config.net
Wed Nov 2 14:26:45 CET 2011

On Monday 31 October 2011, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> Patrick Ben Koetter writes:

>  > X-Topics
>  > 	This contains a list of all the topic names that matched the
>  > message. Are there any other MLMs that support topics in a way that
>  > would make that header generally useful?
> "Topics" is way too general a word, and easily confused with Summary
> (an existing standard header) or perhaps a digest table of contents.

Has been a few days and no one else has commented on this. My thoughts are 
strictly from an end user and list owners point of view. 

I happen to like Topics and find them quite usefull. You are correct 
however in that they are confusing. The few lists I have been on through 
the years that enabled Topics were all social lists with non-technical 
users. BTW, these lists started on ListServe and later migrated to 
Mailman to save money. I'm presuming that the name and function "Topics" 
originated with ListServe?

Many people (including more than a few list owners) have problems with 
Topics and using them correctly and efficiently. Can proved examples / 
statistics if anyone wants? Oddly, I personally have never seen a 
technical list that uses Topics. Have been greeted by crickets the few 
times I have suggested tuning them on in responce to a political flame 

Only word I can think of that more accurately describes the way Topics are 
used in real life is "Sub-list". Unfortunately it is also confusing and I 
think not strictly accurate in what they really are. 
Perhaps "mini-sublists" to distinguish them from true sublists?

>  > X-Archive
>  > X-No-Archive
>  > 	deprecated
>  > 	Next Step: Remove from code
> These are originator headers, and I don't see any harm in respecting
> them (or providing the option to list owners), even if many other
> agents do not.

Yes, please keep. If and when Mailman gets a user friendly archive, then 
the need for this header might grow. Both KMail (Linux) and Forte Agent 
(Windows) support custom headers, so options exist for end users to use 

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