[Mailman-Users] 2nd Question: Bypassing Confirmation/Approval forNew Subscribers

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Sun Dec 19 03:36:27 CET 2004

Mike Ewall wrote:
>Perhaps someone can answer another point of frustration I have with Mailman.
>The software doesn't seem to allow people to subscribe without being 
>subject to confirmation or approval.
>Is there any way to circumvent the need to require confirmation or approval?

If you set ALLOW_OPEN_SUBSCRIBE = Yes in mm_cfg.py, you will be given
the option to allow unconfirmed subscribes on a list on Privacy
options...->Subscription rules->subscribe_policy. Alternatively, you
can set subscribe_policy = 0 for a list with bin/withlist.

This is not really recommended. See
http://www.mail-archive.com/mailman-users@python.org/msg27706.html for
a few of the reasons why.

>Since the confirmation process isn't very user-friendly, many people fail 
>to complete the process to subscribe or unsubscribe.  After analyzing one 
>of the lists I run, I found that 18% of those who try to subscribe and 38% 
>of those who try to unsubscribe fail to complete the process (some of the 
>38% manage to unsubscribe after multiple attempts or by bugging me to 
>remove them).
>I used to run many Listproc lists where I was able to create 
>(user-friendly) web forms to allow people to automatically un/subscribe 
>themselves -- no confirmation required.
>If there were a command-line way for a mailman listowner to add someone 
>without requiring confirmation (this feature is already available through 
>the web interface), I could program my forms to re-enable this.
>Do command-line options for this exist?


 bin/add_members --help

This requires the subscribee's address be written to a file to be read
by the command.

See the thread with subject "[Mailman-Users] Admin (un)subscribe via
wget or email w/out confirms" beginning at
for a way to use wget.

You could set up your web forms to post to the admin mass subscribe
URI, but you may not be able to do this without revealing the list
admin password to anyone who looks at the HTML source of your form.
Again, see the above thread.

>P.S. Please don't write back with replies about how users who can't 
>complete a confirmation process are stupid, lazy or incompetent or why you 
>feel that list managers shouldn't have certain features due to security 

OK, I won't say that list managers "shouldn't have" the ability to
allow unconfirmed subscribes. I've told you a few ways you can do it,
But if one list manager's ill considered subscription policy has the
potential to get your entire domain blacklisted by AOL and other large
ISP's, you might want to let other list managers in the domain weigh
in on the decision.

Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net>       The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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