[Mailman-Users] Four simple questions not answered by the FAQ. [was: Re: Attachments Possible?]

James Devenish j-devenish at users.sourceforge.net
Thu Jul 31 05:36:22 CEST 2003


In message <0chgivk5a87gec08q7g97raosqo781cm1e at 4ax.com>
on Wed, Jul 30, 2003 at 05:31:23PM -0500, schuetzen wrote:
> what i want to delete is stuff which is ATTACHED to the body of the
> message,

As far as I can see, Mailman will do that for you. But first...

You do not seem to understand how mail is constructed. "Strip all
attachments" is actually vague because e-mail was not originally
designed with "attachments". Terms such as "attachment" and "message
body" are not well defined because a layperson would use a term like
"attachment" in a way that does not map unambiguously (or even at all!)
to technical details. Then again, the usage might correspond *exactly*
to technical usage. Without details, this situation is ambiguous. You
may wish to say that in this debate, "attachment" refers to Mailman's
user-interface usage of "attachment". In that case, I don't see why you
are not already satisfied with Mailman's options (read on).

Asking to "strip all attachments" could involve a number of activities
and the correct answer will depend on your circumstances. For example,
here are some distinct acitivites which could all be described as
"stripping all attachments" in the context of MIME (RFC 2045 and so on):
retain only the preamble and the epilogue; strip all MIME entities with
'attachment' disposition; convert messages with Content-Type: text/html
to plain text; aggregate all text/plain segments and drop others; retain
only the first text/plain segment; and more.

Furthermore, what is "plain text"? HTML is plain text. text/enriched is
plain text. From your recent posts, we can rest assured that you want
only the text/plain content type (even though others might allow
text/enriched and text/html). Mailman gives everyone the ability to make
a range of choices. Yahoo, on the other hand, might make its own choice
and give it a particular name.

To help solve your problem, I have just created a new list on a host
running Mailman 2.1.1. I have subscribed myself and verified that I can
send a GIF-format "attachment" through the list. I am now visiting the
"Content Filtering" configuration category. I see an option to turn on
content filter. I think it needs to be on.

Next, I see an option to remove message attachments that have a matching
content type. That doesn't sound like it fits your requirements, so I'll
move down the list.

The next option is to remove attachments that don't have a matching
type. The default option allows multipart/mixed, multipart/alternative
and text/plain. That sounds like exactly what you want, so I leave it

The next question relates to converting text/html to text/plain. I don't
think you need it, but I'll leave it on its default setting anyway (it
is turned on).

The next option is the "action". I'll choose "reject", so that I get
some feedback when I test this configuration.

I now re-send my GIF test message. My message was not rejected but was
instead sent through the list with the GIF removed and my text/plain
entities intact. This sounds like what you want.

So basically, Mailman 2.1.1 comes with your desired settings entered by
default (other than "turn on content filtering"). If this is not the
case, perhaps you can try again to explain your requirements.

In message <3439. at www.wingfoot.org>
on Wed, Jul 30, 2003 at 05:50:03PM -0400, Glenn Sieb wrote:
> schuetzen said:
> Hi Chas..
> What I've done on my lists is, under Content Filtering, where it says
> "Remove message attachments that don't have a matching content type. Leave
> this field blank to skip this filter test.":
> multipart/mixed
> multipart/alternative
> text/plain
> That seems to strip most all attachments that have tried to be posted to
> my lists... :)

Oh look...you already received the correct advice! And yet you said:

In message <t8fgiv0uppl2k7teokpj7n5fp7bkoqsq75 at 4ax.com>
on Wed, Jul 30, 2003 at 04:59:44PM -0500, schuetzen wrote:
> if you read the instruction, you want to remove the two multipart 
> It is poorly written and confusing but if you turn it around, it says "keep
> attachments that do have a matching type."
> actually, you (I) do not want ANY attachment.  PERIOD!!
> that is why I do not like this system of content or pass filtering.
> I simply want to state, PLAIN TEXT only, NO attachments period.

You have clearly misunderstood the documentation and rejected the
correct advice that was given to you. If you feel that the English
documentation for Mailman is not well written, or you would like the
interface written is a different language, you could contribute the
necessary changes yourself.

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