[Mailman-Users] Mailman Preprocessor Available - seeking feedback

Darwin Sanoy Darwin at sanoy.com
Mon Dec 1 20:57:02 CET 2003

Below is the description of a preprocessor script I wrote for mailman.  I
was looking to emulate the Topica.com features of "<list>-subscribe",
"<list>-unsubscribe" and "<list>-post-<password>" in an efficient and
extensible manner.
I am seeking feedback on the script and I have two areas that are troubling
right now:
*) I still get a succesful completion AND an error message back from mailman
when sending to "<list>-unsubscribe" (yet I don't get one when sending to
"<list>-unsubscribe" which *should* process exactly the same way.  I know I
coiuld re-write the entire message - but I am wondering if there is a way to
make unsubscribe work the same way as subscribe and post - by doing
replacements to the inbound message.
*) I am wondering if there is a way to alter all the messages sent out by
mailman to match my configuration.  There are some in "Templates" - but
others seem hardcoded.  Right now I am tied to Mailman 2.0.13 due to needing
to stay compliant with the RedHat 2.1AS distribution.    
The script can be found at http://desktopengineer.com/mmpreproc
Thanks for any time anyone can take to send feedback,
# This script pre-processes mail commands to mailman to faciliate
announcement lists and easy subscribe and unsubscribe.
# It modifies the list behavior as follows:
#   *) unsubscribes only made through the alias <list>-subscribe at domain.com
and automatically sets users password to their email
#   *) unsubscribes only made through the alias
<list>-unsubscribe at domain.com and automatically unsubscribes with no
confirm, email=password is assumed
#   *) posting to the list can only be done through a special alias that
includes a password component such as <list>-post-<password>@domain.com.
#      The list can be configured for moderation and only allow a specific
list of emails to be automatically approved.  Since it is recommended
#      that you delete the <list>@domain.com alias, using this method
prevents the need to moderate messages that try to use the standard posting
#      alias - even if you do not allow auto approval of posts to specific
email addresses.
#   *) This script accomplishes its objectives by having the mail message
piped to it and then it pipes the message into the standard mailman wrapper
#      processing.  This is more efficient than re-mailing back to the same
system.  In addition, since the program simply does regex substitutions to 
#      inbound message headers, the posting password alias can work easily
with complex messages that include mime sections because the entire message
does not
#      need to pass through mail again and therefore be disassembled,
reassembled and then emailed correctly.
#   *) Many other modifications could be made for preprocessing mailman
commands and posts - the script design is modular and dynamic - it pulls
apart the
#      mail aliases components (seperate by "-" character) and decides what
to do with the message based on these components.
# Install
#   *) Tested with mailman 2.0.13 (Redhat 2.1AS Version)
#   *) Ensure you have Mail:Mailer (mailtools) installed if you wish to have
error notification or debug emails sent, or rewrite the email section 
#      to suite your system.
#   *) Copy mmprepoc.pl to <mailmanroot>/mail (e.g. "cp mmpreproc.pl
#   *) Change ownership to the mailman user (e.g. "chown mailman
#   *) Change security to be executable (e.g. "chmod 755 mmpreproc.pl")
#   *) For sendmail create a link in the /etc/smrsh directory (e.g. "ln -s
#   *) Set $mailmanpath - this should be the directory with all your mailman
subdirectories (including "bin") in it.
#   *) Set $blockrequests - if set to "1" this script blocks all
<list>-request at domain.com messages except replys to 
#      subscription confirmations.
#   *) Set $emaildiscards, $emailerrors, $emaildebug and $emailnotifyaddress
if you wish to use email notification.
# Configure Mailman (note your lists cannot have a "-" character in their
#   *) add the list alias <listname>-subscribe:
#   *) add the list alias <listname>-unsubscribe:
# Configure Mailman: If using the post-password alias feature
#   *) add the list alias <listname>-post-<password>:
#   *) remove the list alias <list> or send it to null so that you don't
have to moderate messages sent there.
#   *) in mail man set posting to the list to be only allowed from members
of the list and setup any auto-approval email
#      addresses.  It won't matter that users can see your auto approved
email when receiving messages because they cannot
#      tell that you used a special alias to send the message rather than


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