[Mailman-Users] Re: mass delete

David Champion dgc at uchicago.edu
Fri Jun 2 09:12:33 CEST 2000

On 2000.06.02, in <200006020551.WAA12501 at utopia.west.sun.com>,
	"Dan Mick" <Dan.Mick at west.sun.com> wrote:
> Okay, I really don't think gritching at either Scott, Sun or me is
> appropriate to this conversation; we are having a disagreement, not a
> slinging contest.  Ease off, 'kay?

You're right.  I've been having concerns about mailman, and your
offhand remark that list admins who can't use a shell make you shudder
felt (to me) like saying that this shouldn't happen, and that it's
beyond Mailman's purview.  I apologize.

In an attempt to restate less pissily: No more than 10% of my list
admins can use a shell beyond typing "pine; exit", and I believe that
it is still appropriate to offer them the service.  Moreover, there is
NO WAY I am going to give all of them shell access to the list server;
this is a simple security matter.  And, finally, I personally feel that
in going all-web, Mailman must take on the burden of replacing the
facilities customarily offered through text interfaces with equal web
interfaces, or else extend the email interface to compensate.

Mailman implicitly has no responsibility to me or anyone else, but I'm
finding it by the week less comfortable than Majordomo, and that's
-not- a nice thing to say.  I'd expect that Mailman wants to be easy to
use for everyone, but that turns out not to be the case.

> > > I think it's much more common to "remove 5 bozos", and the
> > > web page allows that nicely.
> > 
> > As it happens, I disagree with that, too.
> ...but in a way you care not to explain?

I didn't see any need to explain it, really.  I don't think it's
convenient at all, under many circumstances.  Suppose you have a list
of 80 members, and each of your five is on a different page of the
display.  You have the list of addresses in plain text in your email,
but you have to click, look, click, look, click, look, click, look,
click, look, click to remove them.  Many of my list admins don't even
get this far, and many of my list admins' lists' members don't have any
clue that they can unsub themselves.  They all write to me.  Now,
sometimes I send them boilerplate telling them what to do, but
sometimes it's less trouble just to do it.  This might be an education
issue sometimes, but often it's not.

Worse, suppose that a list admin is asked to remove Grace Jones from
the unemployed-actors list.  What's Grace's address?  Who knows?  She
posts from a different address than she's subscribed under.  With some
other MLM's this is easy: scan a text file, maybe "| grep -i jones".
With Mailman, I go clicking on links until I spy it.

Even when no extraordinary circumstances apply, Mailman can be very
slow.  I don't expect that there's any remedy for this, though.

On a sidebar: it's amazing how many people don't know that deselecting
the "subscribed" checkbox means "unsubscribe".  We regularly get
questions from list admins wondering how to get people off the list.
They've seen the table, but not put those things together.

 -D.	dgc at uchicago.edu	NSIT	University of Chicago

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