[Mailman-Users] Managing archives

Victor Tsaran vtsaran at icevi.org
Tue Aug 12 17:18:42 CEST 2003

Hi, John!
Do you think the access to the mbox can also be done through IMAP? I am not
an administrator on this machine, just a list admin, but I need to know what
to tell the root.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Carnes [mailto:jonc at nc.rr.com]
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 10:55 AM
To: vtsaran at icevi.org
Cc: mailman-users at python.org
Subject: Re: [Mailman-Users] Managing archives

On Tue, 2003-08-12 at 09:26, Victor Tsaran wrote:
> Hello, listers!
> Here is my situation. I am managing several lists for an international
> organization. Over the last couple of years our archives have grown quite
> large and, I am sure, that many of the messages are no longer necessary to
> keep. What is the easiest way for me to pull down the whole archive,
> it to something that can be reviewed/edited by the organization's
> pull it back together and reupload back to the server. Is there a tool
> will allow me to do this? I myself don't have the time to carry out this
> task, however, I cannot expect the secretary to fool around with Unix mail
> boxes etc.
> Also, I have seen some web sites that zip their messages while archiving.
> How is this done?
> Thanks much for any response I can get on this.
> Regards,
> Vic
> ------------------------------------------------------

You should be able to set it up so that the secretary can simply browse
the archive emails via an email program and then delete the messages he
thinks are not necessary.

Mailman archives are stored in an mbox file on the server

If you copy the mbox file to a computer running evolution (that's what I
currently use for my email - and its great!) then he can read the
messages as though they are simply local messages in the INBOX (or some
other folder that you create). Once he deletes the extraneous messages,
he does an "expunge" or rebuild on the mailbox! Now you have a new mbox
that is ready to be copied back up to the Mailman archives.

Once the mbox is put back in place, you will need to run the
~mailman/bin/arch command to rebuild the archives using the new mbox

Aside: I wonder how hard it would be to build a web interface for
editing the archives?  We could use formail to break-out each of the old
messages and move them into a holding directory, then scan the holding
directory to get the subject/date from each message. Display those with
a link to pull up the whole message, and a checkbox for deleting the

Once you click done, the back-end cgi would reassembles the mbox by just
cat-ing the remaining files back together - then it would back up the
old mbox file and put this one in place. After that, it would run the
Mailman arch program for the list.

OR it would probably be easier to use the existing pipermail setup but
add a delete field for use by an admin (running pipermail from a
specified ip or from localhost), then use the built-in python libraries
for handling mbox - after all, you are just deleting a message from an
mbox file and that is a fairly boring/mundane task.

Jon Carnes

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list