[Mailman-Users] Length limit of list names

Richard Barrett r.barrett at openinfo.co.uk
Thu Aug 7 18:14:33 CEST 2003

On Thursday, August 7, 2003, at 04:33  pm, Chinn, Hindy wrote:

> What are the do's and don'ts of list names? Limit number of characters?
> Can there be spaces, dashes, underscores in name?

I am not aware of any explicit length limits but I wouldn't write an 
essay in a list. Long list names can be inconvenient for users to type 
when posting etc

Mail list names have to function as valid mail aliases, as a directory 
name and as part of file names in the server's file system so you have 
several  constraints to consider.

To complicate life, there is a set of mail aliases associated with any 
given list; for instance for the list called 'testlist' the menagerie 


You want to avoid like the plague having a list whose base list name 
ends/begins with any of the suffices/prefixes. This will cause problems 
for instance if one list's -admin alias is another list's base name!

Although mail aliases are notionally case sensitive, that way lies 
insanity, and few MTAs will distinguish mail aliases that are 
differentiated by case alone. Mailman treats all list names as case 
insensitive and the directory/file names associated with a list in the 
file system and in MM's web GUI interface URI's exclusively use the 
lower-case version version of the list name.

Various characters other than a-zA-Z0-9 are entirely legal in mail 
aliases but will cause grief when used in file names. In some case they 
may also break code that decomposes mail aliases in a simple-minded, 
maybe even incompetent, way. There is little point in exploring the 
outer-reaches of such code's capability unless you are a masochist.

I would suggest you stick to a-zA-Z0-9 and hyphen as characters in list 

> Thanx
> hindy
> ----------------------------------------
> H I N D Y   C H I N N
> Asst. Director of Information Technology
> Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
> phone: 202-449-6542   fax: 202-449-6442
Richard Barrett                               http://www.openinfo.co.uk

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