[Mailman-Users] Several problems, including Membership Management page

Barry A. Warsaw bwarsaw at cnri.reston.va.us
Thu Sep 2 17:26:20 CEST 1999

>>>>> "L" == Listwrangler  <listwrangler at iximd.com> writes:

    L> Problem #1, which I posted earlier: Some user passwords are not
    L> working.

    L> I spelunked the archives and found out that apparently the
    L> reason why some of my users' passwords are failing is because
    L> they mix up and lower case letters. According to the post I
    L> found in the archives the fix is to upgrade to the latest
    L> version of Mailman. I sent this information to my ISP. The
    L> director of operations has informed me, "I am running the
    L> latest version."

    L> Can anybody tell me what the latest version of Mailman is? They
    L> are running 1.0, as far as I can tell.

1.0 is definitely the latest official release, but be sure they aren't
running one of the 1.0 betas.  All the known bugs in mixed case
address handling should have been fixed in 1.0b11 and existing
databases should have been taken care of automatically.

    L> As I said, I don't know anything about their Mailman
    L> installation. All I got was a tersely worded 'Your new mailing
    L> list' message. This message doesn't even tell me what kind of
    L> software it is or what version. It doesn't identify who made
    L> the software, or how to reach them. It doesn't say where to go
    L> for help learning more about the software. If it's supposed to
    L> generate some sort of help file, or send me and URL to find
    L> online help, it didn't. Bug or feature?

Current Mailman documentation is pretty poor.  There are a number of
volunteers who are trying to correct this.

    L> Problem #2, The Membership Management console crashes my
    L> computer.

    L> Whenever I go to the Membership Management console in the admin
    L> web pages, it loads, then freezes. Nothing works. Total screen
    L> freeze. I have to turn off the machine and reboot. I've done
    L> this several times this evening and I'm getting a little testy.

This looks to me like a browser bug that's tickling an OS bug.
Mailman's web pages don't do anything that funky really: simple tables
and cookies is as complicated as it gets -- no frames, no Java or
JavaScript, and the only graphic used is the (optional) Mailman logo
at the bottom of the page.  My only suggestion is to upgrade your
browser, although if you feel adventurous, it would be interesting to
know exactly what in the Mailman page is crashing your system (maybe
it's easy to work around?).  That's a long debug-edit-test-reboot
cycle that I can't help you with.

    L> Side note to #2. It would be useful if there was a 'delete'
    L> button in the management console so that I could unsubscribe
    L> half a dozen people just by checking them off, then hitting
    L> submit. It is a royal pain in my ....neck.... to have to
    L> manually unsubscribe fifteen or twenty people one by one via
    L> the web interface.

You can do this, although admittedly the chunking interface that
Membership Management uses can be inconvenient for this.  Just check
off the "subscr" field for all the addresses you want to delete, then
submit the form.  We need to find a better way to present the
membership lists though.

    L> Strongly recommended side note to #2. It would be better still
    L> if there was a place where I could dump a whole batch of
    L> subscribe/unsubscribe requests and do them all at once, instead
    L> of having to cherry pick through the thirty odd screens of my
    L> 1000+ user list. The thing I really REALLY like about Majordomo
    L> is that I could simply email a slew of subscribe/unsubscribes
    L> in one message and have done with it. No web interface needed.

Surprise!  You can do this in Mailman too.  Since Mailman supports an
email command interface very similar to Majordomo, you can just craft
a message to yourlist-request with lines such as:

    unsubscribe password addr_one
    unsubscribe password addr_two
    unsubscribe password addr_three

The trick here is that `password' is usually the member's password,
but it can also be the list admin password or the site password.  Just 
use your list admin password (which you presumably know), and you can
easily delete a ton of addresses in one fell swoop.

    L> Soapbox time: It seems strange to me that Administrators are
    L> deprived of a really efficient and effective way to administer
    L> email lists. It's just so much faster to pop off an email than
    L> to wade through a web site to perform administrivia like
    L> un/subs. Yes, when I don't know what a command does or the
    L> syntax, then the web site is a great fall back that coaches me
    L> through it. I found most (but not all) of the help files
    L> associated with the web pages helpful. But now that I know, I
    L> just wanna do it, not read about it.  End soapbox.

I suspect the lack of documentation is the biggest problem, since most 
of what you ask for above is already available.  I'd still like to
improve the email command interface for certain admin tasks
(approving, rejecting, discarding held messages, sub/unsub requests,

    L> I have some other questions and queries, but that seems like
    L> enough for one email. As always, I'd appreciate pointers to
    L> sources of more information where I can get help learning how
    L> to use and troubleshoot Mailman. (Right now I'm feeling rather
    L> nostalgic for Majordomo.)

Don't worry, that feeling will subside.  :)

Hope that helps,

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list