[Mailman-Users] Vs Listserv

Warhurst, SI (Spencer) S.I.Warhurst at rl.ac.uk
Thu Mar 25 15:47:23 CET 2004


I'm new to Mailman (currently run several Listserv servers) and haven't yet
got my linux box up and running to test Mailman out on, however I am
interested to get a few general impressions on the software first. If anyone
here has experience with Listserv, how do you think Mailman compares to it?

Off the top of my head, I'm thinking along the lines of issues like:

- Listserv being compiled, including it's cgi web interface, whereas Mailman
uses an interpretted language which presumably has an impact on performance.
Of course, Listserv may be more bloated than Mailman, so that could be an

- How does a Mailman system handle say 5,000 mailing lists, big lists with
5,000+ subscribers or archive searches over say 100Mb of message files? One
thing with Listserv is that it is single threaded which means that a big
archive search for example can hold other processes up significantly. You
can have multiple instances of it's web interface but if they need to
interact with the main Listserv executable when it's busy they have to wait.
I presume you can have multiple Python processes, which would effectively
make Mailman multi-threaded?

- How well does it manage to block out of office messages. eg: some OoO
systems send responses back to the Reply-To: address, which can be a pain if
it's the list address and on Listserv you have to set up a content-filter -
is there a content filter in Mailman to capture such things?

- Can list owners get any list-based statistics, like how many people join,
leave or post to the list in a given period, or are logs easily parsable and
comprehensive enough for a site admin to do this?

- How easy is it to "tap in" to Mailman's authentication system? For
example, if you wanted to add your own feature like a file area/upload
mechanism, but you want to make sure only subscribers with a valid login can
get to it, can you easily check Mailman's working files or are passwords



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