[Mailman-Users] problems with MailMan interface/templates

Ryan Walker rwalker at fenton.com
Mon Aug 18 19:49:27 CEST 2003

I have some bugs to report -- not really bugs, exactly, but problems with
the Mailman interface (especially the web/email interface as it pertains to
list subscribers) and the inflexibility of some of the templates.
Basically, in the version of Mailman I'm using, the program interface does
not support some important features of the software -- that is, there are
contradictions between the interface and some of the admin features that
seem impossible to resolve.

It might be possible for a single-license user to modify the templates
referenced below so that they support that user's preferred admin options,
but for a service provider using one template for many admins/customers,
there are some significant problems.   I'm wondering if you've fixed any of
these problems in a version of MailMan more recent than the one used by my
service provider.

Here are three reports I sent today to my current list hosting service:

Is it possible to edit the welcome message that is sent to new subscribers?
I see that I can pre-pend a message to the standard welcome text, but I'd
like to compose the entire welcome message. The reason I want to do this is
that much of the information included in the welcome message does not apply
to my list. For example, the welcome message provides instructions on
posting to the list, but my list is announce-only. I don't want to confuse
my new subscribers and make them think they've signed up for a list that
they can post to. I can always disable the welcome message, if need be, but
I'd rather provide a welcome message to give new subscribers confirmation
that everything was processed successfully.

Speaking of bad planning, when a subscriber confirms their subscription
through the web interface (rather than by replying to the confirmation
email) they end up on a page that asks them to click a "subscribe" button.
When they click that button, they're taken to a page that says this...

Subscription request confirmed
You have successfully confirmed your subscription request for
"blahblah at domain.com" to the Emsupdates mailing list. A separate
confirmation message will be sent to your email address, along with your
password, and other useful information and links.

...unfortunately, the "separate confirmation message" is actually the
welcome message, and that message will be disabled by some admins (such as
myself) because it contains info that isn't relevant to my list. So
basically, users are being told by this template page that they should
expect a second confirmation message when none may be forthcoming.
Maybe it would be possible, in this case, for you to remove the second
sentence from this particular template, the sentence that says "A separate
confirmation message will be sent to your email address, along with your
password, and other useful information and links." The welcome message is
explicit enough, all by itself. I don't think it would confuse subscribers
to receive the welcome message (for lists that use the welcome message)
without first reading that second sentence on the "Subscription request
confirmed" page.

After experimenting with the Mailman admin options a bit more, I've decided
I'll need to isolate my subscribers from the web interface entirely by
switching to moderator approval of new subscriptions and entering new
subscriptions manually. I can't use the "confirm" option under "privacy
options" because it generates a second email to subscribers once they
"confirm" and there's no option in Mailman for disabling that second
confirmation message. That second confirmation message won't make sense for
my users for reasons not worth describing here. In other words, no need to
consider modifying that template I mentioned in my other email, because my
users won't see the web interace at any point.

Thanks very much,
Ryan Walker
Website Editor
Environmental Media Services
ph: 202-463-6670

-----Original Message-----
From: pairList Support [mailto:pairlist at pair.com]
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2003 2:12 PM
To: ryan at ems.org
Subject: Re: [K3M9O2K] Your new mailing list: emsupdates

Hello Ryan,
Unfortunately, I can't really say when the beta-testing will be over,
what the pricing scheme will be, or when the current issues will be
Our site does mention that pairList is still in testing at
http://www.pair.com/pair/pairlist/. If you're not satisfied with the
current mailing list solution you can still cancel your account and get a
full refund under the the 30-day money back guarantee.


pair Networks, Inc. pairlist at pair.com

Ryan Walker

Website Editor
Environmental Media Services
ph: 202-463-6670

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list