[Mailman-Users] Re: [Mailman-Developers] feature requests

Harald Meland Harald.Meland at usit.uio.no
Mon Feb 7 14:59:23 CET 2000

Yes, the message this is a reply to is pretty old by now -- I'm quite
some messages behind on -developers, not to mention -users :(

I'll try to get up to date (and stay there :) now...

[Christopher Kolar]

> While beating on the documentation a few things came to mind.
> 1.  Any chance that the monthly reminder can be used by a bounce
> handler script as a membership probe (good for low-volume lists).
> Right now I just get N bounce messages as mailman-owner but I do not
> see that the list manager ever gets the information.

With the currently released Mailman, where only the list objects
themselves know which addresses are members, trying to implement
something like that would probably scale pretty badly.

However, here at uio.no, we've now been running a Mailman with a user
database -- mainly for avoiding the pains of having separate passwords
for separate mailing lists -- and I guess one could pull of something
like what you suggest with the help of the user db.

I'll try getting around to post some details about what (rather
substantial) changes I've made to our Mailman within the next few days
-- but for now, to -developers only, I guess.

> 2.  How about adding an "invite" feature like on some of the
> commercial list providers.  The invite would be non-binding, but a
> simple reply would add the person to the list (I suppose that it
> would use most of the same code that the sub-confirmation bits use).
> See listbot and egroups if you do not know what I am talking about.

This would just be a slightly differently worded "subscription
confirmation" message and something to avoid "open subscribes" turning
into "open invites", I guess.

> 3.  How about a chunk of html code that can be dropped into a web
> page that would allow a person to just type in their e-mail and
> click to make a sub request (also something that listbot/egroups
> do).

Mailman does, to my knowledge, not do any kind of Referer checking or
somesuch, so the only problem is the (current) need to enter a
subscription password when posting a sub request.  This _could_ be
hacked around in various (ugly) ways by generating this form
(dynamically, to avoid everyone having the same password) with HIDDEN
fields for passwords.

> The request could be handled like a normal sub request with a
> confirmation request being sent out to the e-mail address that was
> entered.  Is this already possible by hacking the listinfo page to
> remove everything but the field for e-mail address and the submit
> button?  I deal with a lot of novice users and I would like to take
> out a lot of the verbiage and the initial password setting.

How do others feel about this?  Should Mailman allow users subscribing
without explicitly setting their member password (and instead have
Mailman set a random password for them)?

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