[Mailman-Users] Umbrella_List Option?

Jon Carnes jonc at haht.com
Tue Sep 25 15:40:38 CEST 2001

An Umbrella List is a list of other lists.
For example, you have the following lists running in Mailman:
  ThreeBlindMice: Minnie at farm.org, Mighty at cartoon.net, Mickey at disney.com
  ThreeBears: Smokey at usda.gov, Little at pbs.org, Momma at mgoose.net
  ThreeMenNaTub: Rub at tub.org, Dub at tub.org, Little at pbs.org

You can create an Umbrella List called, "Threesomes" and instead of people,
it will contain the above list names.  When you send email to Threesomes, it
goes to each of the individual lists...
  Threesomes: ThreeBlindMice at mylists.com, ThreeBears at mylists.com,
ThreeMenNaTub at mylists.com

When mailman sends out a monthly password reminder, it sends an email to
every person in its lists.  If it did that for the Umbrella List
"Threesomes", then it would treat "ThreeBlindMice" as an ordinary user.
Mailman would send an email to "ThreeBlindMice" that contained the password
for subscribing or unsubscribing it to the list "ThreeSomes".  Everyone on
the "ThreeBlindMice" list would receive that message with the password.  Now
that is fine in the case of Minnie and Mighty, but Mickey has been known to
do a few silly things in his time...

You can keep Mickey from getting the password by telling Mailman to send
this type of information to "ThreeBlindMice-owner" instead of to

By making "Threesomes" into an Umbrella List, you can tell Mailman to add
"-owner" to any notices, confirmations and passwords that it sends out to
list members.

Personally, I would like to see Umbrella Lists do more than just that.  IMO,
they should only send one message out to each actual user, regardless of how
many lists that user is on.  Currently, if a user is on multiple lists that
are under one Umbrella list, then that user will receive multiple mailings
from one message sent to the Umbrella list.  In the example above,
Little at pbs.org would receive two messages everytime someone sent an email to

BTW: there is a work around for that using a script and a cron job to create
a separate mass list - but that's not pretty.

Jon Carnes
----- Original Message -----
From: "Alain Chappuis" <alain.chappuis at medecine.unige.ch>
To: "Mailmain" <mailman-users at python.org>
Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2001 2:43 AM
Subject: Re: [Mailman-Users] Umbrella_List Option?

> >Read the details for the selection:
> >  Send password reminders to, eg, "-owner" address instead of directly to
> >user.
> >This is the option directly above where you set the suffix for Umbrella
> >lists.
> >The phrasing is odd and (IMO) should actually read: Is this an Umbrella
> >(a list that includes other mailman lists): yes or no
> >I just joined the list today, so I hope I'm not out of bounds...
> Okay, but please more details, What does it make understand by
> Umbrella? It's for the sun?...or what others.
> For we who do not speak very well English, I did not
> understand the sens of this option yet.
> (I am very new in this mailing list!)
> Thank you in advance for your precision.
> Alain.
> --
>  +----------------------+------------------------------------------+
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>  | Universite de Geneve | E-mail : Alain.Chappuis at unige.ch         |
>  | Centre Medical Univ. | Phone  : +41 (22) [70]25.073             |
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