[Mailman-Users] Dynamic subscriber lists

Jon Carnes jonc at nc.rr.com
Tue Feb 3 18:46:50 CET 2004

On Mon, 2004-02-02 at 13:47, Simon White wrote:
> 02-Feb-04 at 12:09, Chris Barnes (chris-barnes at tamu.edu) wrote :
> > This is a repost of a question I asked last week.  NOBODY replied - even
> > just to say "can't be done".
> Maybe nobody has a setup like that already, so they have nothing to say.
> "Can't be done" is usually a phrase in the open source world that would
> never be said. Nothing is impossible with source open for you, you could
> even interface Mailman to your toaster. Not out of the box though :-)
> > I need a MLM that can make an LDAP query and get all of the "faculty",
> > then send the message out.  It needs to do this for EVERY message for
> > that list.
> AFAIK, the Mailman subscribers are stored in an internal database. In
> order to get something working you'd probably have to hack your own
> Python code. I might be wrong about that, but it can't be too hard to
> get LDAP and Python working together.
> I don't know where the dev is going where using an LDAP or SQL DB to
> keep data is concerned. Apparently Sympa has an SQL backend which may or
> may not be easier to hack.
> Otherwise you can use the tools add_members and sync_members to keep a
> sync between an external LDAP query tool in any language and the Mailman
> DB. Getting query output to look like a plain text list of email
> addresses to STDOUT shouldn't be too hard.
> Without making some provision yourself for some kind of hacking, it
> can't directly be done with Mailman, or with any other tools that I can
> think of 'off the shelf'. You might get away with just an MTA with LDAP
> and some kind of group aliasing hack (à la Postfix+LDAP aliases) too,
> that depends on your list management requirements.
> The difficulty with Mailman or any other mailing list tool is that
> subscribes and unsubscribes have to be intelligently handled, so you'd
> have to add flags (unsubscribe) to your LDAP queries, etc. If you don't
> need to worry so much about subscriptions, because you're sending bulk
> announcements in an education or corporate environment, then you don't
> need all the complexity of Mailman, (digests, unsubscribes and
> moderation + bounce processing to name the main ones off the top of my
> head). You just need aliases to groups determined, most probably, by a
> single LDAP query, see my comment about LDAP and Postfix for example.
> Regards,

Well answered!

If you are up for a bit of hacking, you might even think about
converting Mailman's sync_members into ldap_sync_members.  The code
hacks would actually be fairly minor.  Triggering it's running would be
up to you.  I would think an hourly cron job would do the trick nicely.

Good Luck, and do let us know what you do - Jon Carnes

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