[Mailman-Users] Really Fustrating - Searchable Archives

Peter Russell prussell at mteliza.com.au
Thu Jul 10 00:18:39 CEST 2003

MANY thanks for taking the time to try and help me - much appreciated. 

I suppose io want to emulate what list.org have on the mailman-users 
archive. I hope i dont sound unappreciative, i realise that this software 
(and all the patches and the support) are people investing thier own time 
for little/no financial return - sounds like my job), i really do think 
mailman is fantatsic, but these things are fustrating, especiually when 
you see how good it can work when you see the searchabkle archives at 
list.org - kind of expected to get that when i installed it.

Again many thanks in advance for trying to help me - answers to your 
questiosn follow.

1. Both. Internet/international users and local 'staff'.

2. All public - we only have a handlfull of lists in mind.

3. Preferably i would like to keep the search specific to each list. But i 
dont think this is essentail.

4. I dont have anything like that installed - i have mailman, sendmail and 
apache. Except for a little bit of mail relaying for machines on our 
private network, the mailman machine is dedicated to mailman

5. We only have a handful of Linux machines, everything else in win32 - my 
boss beleives that linux is not mature or robust enough for enterprise use 
:( In fact he says same about win2k and insists on using NT4 - i am sure 
he doesnt even like that and would prefer we had %100 DOS environment. We 
dont have any other linux machines running any kind of search software.

6. I dont completely understand this question - i want to be able to 
search on the contents of the archive - the body/subject of messages.

7. Red Hat 9 and the mailman version that came with it, RPM - which is a 
little bit of a hassle, because i am not an expert i dont know where to 
begin in regards to recompile and apply tio RPM instalation - where as now 
i know that with a little bit of effort compiling was easy enough on my 
test machine. (i have a test machine i am trying to get this all working 
on first)

8. I typed python and it returns 2.2.2 - it came with red hat 9

Richard Barrett <r.barrett at openinfo.co.uk>
10/07/2003 12:40 AM

        To:     "Peter Russell" <prussell at mteliza.com.au>
        cc:     mailman-users at python.org
        Subject:        Re: [Mailman-Users] Really Fustrating - Searchable Archives

At 14:34 09/07/2003, Peter Russell wrote:
>Not being a Linux guru, just getting mailman and sendmail or postfix all
>set up and working properly is a fair task. Attacking a working 
>to get mhonarc and htdig working and MM patched is just an excercise in
>fustration. (without a detailed howto, slightly beyond my linux skills)

You do not have to install Mhonarc to get searchable archives. Mhonarc is 
an external archiver and some people prefer that to using the Mailman 
internal pipermail archiver. Adding Mhonarc to the equation just 
complicates the issues for you rather than simplifying adding search.

With the following information available, more directed advice will be 

1. are you making the list archives available over the internet or only 
within your own domain?

2. are all your list archives public or do you have some private archives 
whose privacy you want to preserve over search?

3. do you want per-list search indexes that will only return search hits 
relevant to individual lists or do you want site-wide search indexes that 
may return hits from many lists?

4. do you have any search engine installed on the server running Mailman? 
If so what is it?

5. do you have any search engine installed on any other server in your 
network? If so what is it and can you change its configuration files so 
that it can be directed to also index your list archives?

6. do you want search forms on the TOC pages of individual list archives?

7. what OS and version are you running?

8. what version of Python are you running?

8. what version of MM are you running and how was it installed: from 
or was it packaged?

With the above information it will be easier to produce a directed guide 
setting up search for your list archives.

>Is there anywhere that a 1, 2, 3 - press this then type that type guide
>exists to achieve threaded archiving and a good search feature?

Answer the above questions and you may get your wish. btw: Mailman's 
internal archiver produces threaded archives out of the box.

>OR is there any chance that these types of features are going to be
>avilable in the MM release? Or is there a CVS i can download and install?

It is being considered.

>Can anyone tell me why archive search (or even threaded archives) are not
>used out of the box with this product?

A fair number of people are running htdig with or without using the 
integration patches. It really is not that difficult to install and setup. 

Like a lot of Open Software, there may be a certain lack of polish but the 

base technology is pretty good and comes at a remarkably good price.

btw: did I mention that Mailman's internal archiver produces threaded 
archives out of the box.

>Is there a product that does EVERYTHING that mailman does and does have 
>search and archives features too?

Maybe, but a mailing list supporting no-cost Open Software is probably not 

the place to look for it.

>The punters who wanted mailman are starting to get mad as hell at me for
>not having these features going, i appreciate ANY input/suggestions.

Richard Barrett                                      http://www.openinfo.co.uk

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