[Mailman-Developers] Architecture for extra profile info

Terri Oda terri at zone12.com
Thu Apr 18 02:21:17 CEST 2013

Background for folk new to this discussion:

Currently, all user information is stored in Mailman core, but it's 
minimal: a real name, a set of email addresses, subscription info, and 
preferences.  Barry suggests that it should stay minimal: only the 
things Mailman needs to know to correctly deliver mail (which actually 
doesn't include "real name" but let's leave that as a legacy item for 
the moment)

It's pretty likely that future features of Mailman will want to attach 
extra information to users.  Some of it will be social-y stuff like user 
icons for HyperKitty to display in the archives. Other things include 
metrics like "when did this person last post to the list?" or "how many 
posts have they made over the lifetime of this list?"  One thing I know 
of is that Systers requires a short essay for all new subscribers, 
explaining why they want to join the list.   (And they're considering 
porting this feature to Postorius, which means we potentially want an 
answer to "where will the extra profile data get stored?" before their 
students start coding.)


I think we've sort of agreed that it would be best if whatever we built 
just had a rest interface and hyperkitty/postorius/whatever would talk 
to it through there, and could share data that way, but we need a simple 
prototype that folk (particularly students) will be able to start using, 
and there's still some internal architecture decisions that need to be 

Does anyone have time to build such a thing or write up some short 
architectural documents so a student could build such a thing in 
relatively short order?  It doesn't have to be the perfect final design, 
but we probably need a basic starter api for adding, accessing, editing 
and possibly even removing profile data.



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