[Mailman-Users] Html headers & footers, unsubscribe

Adrian Bye adrian at tasdevil.com
Tue Feb 15 16:50:02 CET 2005

Hi guys,

I have had patches made for two issues:

1.  HTML headers & footers handling

2.  1 click list unsubscribe

You can get our patches here:


Or also here:


Installation instructions are found in readme.txt

What we did:

1.  Reasonably good handling of HTML headers & footers

The issue we wanted to address is this one:


I wanted to be able to put html headers and footers into messages.  I did not
like the current mailman style of adding an attachment.  I knew this must be
possible to do because yahoo groups is doing it.  So we spent a LOT of time
testing how yahoo groups adds footers to mails.  We tested multipart messages
with varying numbers of attachments, badly formed html and a bunch of other
stuff.  We have documented our testing process in mime.txt.  

Our implementation is about 95% perfect, and works identical to yahoo groups,
which is sending millions of emails/day.  It will correctly handle badly formed
html, and various mimetypes.  Sometimes, depending on the colors of a message,
it will not be possible to view the headers & footers.  Otherwise it works
really well.

2.  1-click unsubscribe with the URL under 60 characters.

I've been involved in some discussions on this topic on the developers list.
The current unsubscribe process was not clear to me, and I wanted it to be very
easy for my users.  I also wanted the URLs to be short, so they would never get
broken by various mail clients.  

We made some small changes to encode the users email address and listnames to
the footer, along with the user password.  When a user wishes to unsubscribe,
they click on the link, it passes this information to mailman, and a
confirmation page is then shown.  The user can choose to unsubscribe by clicking
on the "yes, I want to unsubscribe" button.

I work with users who are less advanced than your average AOL customer, so both
of these points were extremely important to solve.  While many do feel its
important to continue requiring passwords for mailman accounts, I would strongly
advocate that those passwords become hidden just for access to archives.  

I'd like to see mailman become capable of handling millions of messages/day, and
it is only when simple unsubscribe functionality is incorporated that the
resources will start to appear to make that possible.

Yes, this may represent some change, but I believe it can be done in a way which
leaves everyone happy.

Anyways, those are our modifications.  If you have code questions, all coding
was done by Bushmanov Efim, who can be reached at binworkers at dcemail.com.  He is
available for more work of this kind if you need it, and I would highly
recommend him as a great programmer.  For other questions drop me a line.



More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list