[Mailman-Users] Newbie requesting basic how-to

Jon Roland jon.roland at the-spa.com
Wed Sep 22 08:09:37 CEST 2004

Mark Sapiro wrote:
> As far as running the a web server is concerned, You don't have to, but
> that's the GUI list administration and user interface. No web server
> -> no GUI for even these functions.

I've figured that out, and I can certainly see why it makes sense when the list 
administrator is not directly on the machine that hosts mailman, but it seems 
like it would be useful to have an alternative of running a python GUI that does 
the same thing without having to run the web server when the use for it is so 
limited. Just a suggested item for the to-do list.

>>But how does one launch that list admin GUI?
> Through the web interface. It's a bunch of Python scripts that
> interface with the web server through CGI.

But what is the URL for that? In the /etc/httpd/conf.d/mailman.conf file it says:

# Uncomment the following line, replacing www.example.com with your server's
# name, to redirect queries to /mailman to the listinfo page (recommended).

# RedirectMatch ^/mailman[/]*$ http://www.example.com/mailman/listinfo

Is the last line supposed to be

RedirectMatch ^/mailman[/]*$ http://localhost.localdomain/mailman/listinfo


RedirectMatch ^/mailman[/]*$ http://localhost.localdomain/var/mailman/listinfo

or what?

In the README file it says:

    - Visit the url:


Is that last line supposed to be


since the installation directory is /var/mailman?

> Lists have names e.g. mailman-users or whatever, but they aren't
> accounts. You would post to listname at localhost.localdomain and it
> would be up to your MTA (via aliases or in the case of Exim, other
> means) to pass this to Mailman.

It is not clear how to set up the MTA. sendmail is running by default, so I 
might as well use that, but it is not obvious how to make mailman work with it. 
Is there some more newbie-friendly how-to for it, such as buried somewhere in 
the email archive? I have been searching and not found anything so far.

> Yours is a highly unusual use of Mailman. Most installations would want
> full time service and full time web access.

So may mine eventually. But I want to take small steps to that, proceeding as I 
learn and my needs grow. Right now the first step is just to be able to send 
press releases to several hundred news organizations. Later, I want to be able 
to do mailmerge things, like sending subscription renewal notices or bills with 
the amounts due from each recipient, who would be individually addressed in the 
body by "Dear <membername>: You owe us $<nn.nn>." Does Mailman support mailmerge?

I reiterate my original suggestion: that the developers offer beginning users a 
much easier way to set up mailman, a python GUI that configures all files, 
launches and tests the web server (if needed at all), launches the mailman 
daemon, enables one to set up the site, including setting up any cron jobs, and 
interfaces to the MTA, and then allows one to create and administer lists. That 
doesn't seem unreasonable. I suspect it would go a long way to advancing the 
cause of free open source and Linux.

When I was younger and less pressed financially, I could luxuriate in 
programming for the sheer fun of it. I still have the urge and the ability to do 
that, but now feel I'm in a race to get as much done as possible before the 
final shutdown, and can no longer afford the time. Age might be leisurely for 
some, but for me it is frenetic. Being the head of the Constitution Society, and 
having so many desperate people coming to me with tales of injustice, is 
pressure I feel intensely.

-- Jon

Starflight Corporation    7793 Burnet Road #37, Austin, TX 78757
512/374-9585 www.the-spa.com/jon.roland/  jon.roland at the-spa.com
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