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

Mike Ewall catalyst at actionpa.org
Mon Dec 20 02:45:12 CET 2004

Mark and Dan, thanks for the advice so far.

I just checked with my webhost and confirmed that they don't allow us 
access to mailman configuration files, since the files are server-wide and 
would affect other clients they host.

I therefore can't modify the mm_cfg.py file or use any command-line options.

I tried out the wget method mentioned below, but it doesn't seem to work 
for me either.  Trying them through a browser gives me a "CGI script error" 
stating "Error: No such list [listname]."  Trying the commands while SSH'd 
into the server gives errors as well.

Any idea why the wget methods described in the thread earlier this month 
wouldn't work?

Any other suggestions or am I out of luck until I switch my web hosting to 
a host that allows access to the mailman config files?


At 09:36 PM 12/18/2004, Mark Sapiro wrote:
>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.
> >Mike
> >
> >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
> >concerns.
>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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