[Mailman-Users] Newlist from a webpage?

Scott Brown scott-brown at home.com
Sun Dec 24 17:37:10 CET 2000

Hi Dave,

> Essentially the problem here is just to pass a piece of
> information from a program with no privileges running as
> nobody to a program with the ability to update the aliases
> file and run newlist.  The 15-minute solution is to
> use what's there already (sendmail and perl) to send the
> information through the mail system via cgi.

Thats only a "15-minute solution" if you're versant in sendmail and perl.  I
can hack away at a perl script until it works (generally with a few trips to
the man pages ;-), but sendmail... well, I know how to update the necessary
files for new virt domains, and I can restart it when it's confused... but
past that.... ;-)

> Since the message never leaves the machine, it's just like
> using a file semaphore; a POST calls the MTA, which then leaves
> the information in a file, which then gets picked up by the
> MTA and passed to a little script that makes the necessary updates.

A definite bonus...

> You can go further by having a watched file; when the file
> changes a program (probably a perl or python script) wakes
> up and reads the contents of the file, then makes the
> necessary changes.  Or you can use cron to sit there
> and call a script like you've described below that watches a
> file and makes the changes if they're there.

Thats only because I feel confident in creating that process... I _LIKE_
your suggestion, but I dont know if I could implement it.  I do know I could
implement what I discussed.

> My personal choice would be the one I suggested first because
> it's easiest, yields instantaneous changes and is effectively
> exactly the same as if I wrote a real program that called an
> ioctl to watch a file for a semaphore.
> This way inetd takes the place of the watcher, waking up the
> MTA and having it call the script that calls newlist and updates
> aliases.

It's the hand-off from sendmail to the perl program that has me scratching
my head right now.  Obviously, it would need to be done in the way that
Mailman does it now - but I've not fully disected the WRAPPER program as of
yet...  My background is in mainframe business application programming - so
I dont have a lot of experience with OO code ...

Of course, once the sendmail part is happy and functioning, it should be a
simple job to parse out the required fields, run newlist, update the domain
info, update /etc/aliases and the virt domain user file, and then send off a
confirmation message...

> On another note, I have verified that hostway.com does indeed
> offer mailman as part of their virtual hosting service.  Given
> that I've spent many hours trying to get virtual mailmen to
> work in a way that would satisfy me, I'd love to know how they're
> implementing it.

Well, it would seem there's as many ways as there are people looking at the

>  Better yet, I wish someone would shoot me.

Thats not the answer.  Chocolate is the answer.  Chocolate, cold pizza and a
beer or two works wonders for me when I'm running into a deadline ;-)


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