[Mailman-Users] cascaded lists -- any tips?

martin f krafft madduck at madduck.net
Thu Feb 19 14:14:29 CET 2004

also sprach Richard Barrett <r.barrett at openinfo.co.uk> [2004.02.19.1209 +0100]:
> Maybe, but it is an inevitable consequence of Mailman's model as 
> currently in use. You might be advised to look into the list archives 
> for alternative approaches to your problem see, for instance:
> http://www.mail-archive.com/mailman-users@python.org/msg19796.html

I have considered this approach (after all, my user list actually
comes from a SQL database). The only problem I have is usability of
the archives. Right now, a user has to worry about only one archive:
that of the leaf list to which s/he is subscribed. If I kick the
hierarchy, then the user will have to search various archives for
a thread.

> Your approval for the upper list posting can be implied to grant
> approval for the subsequent lower list posting but if you did not
> own both lists this might well not be the case.

What do you mean with that? Because I am asked to approve a post on
the lower list, it implies that it's been approved on the upper
list? That's not the case, as users may just as well post to a list
in the middle of the hierarchy, if they only want to reach an
organisational subset.

> A proper resolution of this problem requires an enrichment of the 
> Mailman model so that a list admin can add subscribers in the present 
> sense and can also say "subscsribe this listname that you (this Mailman 
> installation) are also supporting".

I am thinking something like a re-injection of the post without
going via the MTA. Something like a direct pipe to

  "|/var/lib/mailman/mail/mailman umbrellapost listname"

which acts like 'post' but doesn't do moderation. Of course, this
raises the problem that local shell users may now use the mailman
script to directly pipe their mail to lists, thereby circumventing
moderation. That could be solved by providing another executable
that's 0770 mailman.mailman and thus can't be used by normal users.

The real question is: does there exist a way to inject mail into
mailman in such a way that this mail passes all moderation checks?

> The passing down of the incoming message from upper to lower
> subscribed lists could then be done safely and entirely within
> Mailman, rather than via the MTA. Rules for interpretation of
> posting/moderation/other restrictions can be optimised for any
> case including the one you are concerned with. If you have a week
> or two free I am sure the Mailman developers would welcome another
> volunteer to implement the changes.

I am sure they would. I don't know when I will have time. It's not
like I am not also involved in a (large) number of other projects.

> btw: The umbrella list construct as at present is just a way of 
> inhibiting the distribution of subscriber passwords for upper lists to 
> lower lists in a subscription hierarchy.

... which I find to be the most annoying feature of mailman (the
password reminders). But yes, I know what umbrella_list does.

martin;              (greetings from the heart of the sun.)
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