[Mailman-Users] What is with all this password stuff?

Owen Taylor otaylor at redhat.com
Fri Nov 17 03:55:56 CET 2000

Mo DeJong <mdejong at cygnus.com> writes:

> I just tried to unsubscribe from the list and
> I got this back:
> On Thu, 16 Nov 2000 mailman-users-request at python.org wrote:
> > This is an automated response.
> > 
> > There were problems with the email commands you sent to Mailman via
> > the administrative address <mailman-users-request at python.org>.
> ...
> > The following is a detailed description of the problems.
> > 
> > 
> > ***** unsubscribe
> > >>>>> Usage: unsubscribe <password> [<email-address>]
> Is it just me, or does mailman try to do too many
> things with passwords? I have enough passwords
> to deal with, I don't need any more. I really
> don't need to be told that I need a remember
> a password to unsubscribe from a mailing list.

The secret to using mailman is _not_ to try to remember your
passwords. (Without stopping to count, I'm sure I'm subscribed to more
than 50 different mailman lists on 6-7 servers...) Instead, when you
want to do something to your list options or unsubscribe, go to the
web page and have it mail you a password reminder. Then, when you get
it go back to the page and do whatever you wanted to do.

(you can also request a password reminder by mail - I think simply
echo password | mail foo-list-request at foo.org works.)

But the point is, let the list server keep track of the password for
you. If you do that, its fairly convenient.
> Does this password thing seem like a stupid
> idea to anyone else? Please tell me this is
> a bug and will get fixed?
I think that you wouldn't get too much disagreement if you said:

 - Users should have one password per site, not per list

 - Attempting to unsubscribe without a password should
   result in a confirmation message, as is sent out
   when subscribing.

However these are both significant amounts of work to implement, and
from what I understand are definitely not pre-2.0 features.


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