[Mailman-Users] New Mailman Administrator Questions

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Fri Feb 25 18:59:09 CET 2005

Mike Lyne wrote:
>The questions I have are as follows:-
>I need to be able to verify a Membership Number for applicants for the
>3 Members only Lists before approving their addition to the appropriate
>List - Mailman allows an (optional) Name to be submitted through the web
>interface for joining but that is not enough.  We currently gather
>Names, Membership Number, and email addresses through a Webmail form and
>then add them (after verification) by email to the appropriate List
>through Majordomo.

In Mailman, you can set the list so subscription requires admin
approval so people can't just subscribe themselves. Then the list
admin can subscribe people directly using the info from the Webmail

>First of all, I will need to transfer several hundred email addresses
>from Majordomo to Mailman for a couple of the Mailing Lists.
>Question 1 - Is there a way to add large numbers of email addresses as
>List members to Mailman easily and quickly in one, or a few, simple

Yes, there is a mass subscribe feature. I have done this with a list of
several hundred. You can't directly set message vs. digest, but you
can set the new list's default for new members to digest and mass
subscribe the digest members, and then set list's default for new
members to messages and mass subscribe the messages members.

>Question 2 - Can email addresses be added singly (as Members of the
>List, not using the nonmember options in the List Administration area)
>to the Mailman List by an Administrator by email as per majordomo?

Not by e-mail.

This may not be relevant to you, but you can do a lot by posting with
wget. See
and perhaps other posts in that thread or found by

>Question 3 - Could a Membership Number Field be added to the Mailman
>Web Sign up form?  If so, would it show up in the List Admin or
>Moderator Approval system if subscribe_policy is set to approval?

This would require some hacking to accept the data from the form and 
save it to the request db and pass it through to the notifications and
admindb page.

>Last of all, we already have a "Members Only" section of our website
>which needs the Members to "log in" using username and password so this
>automatically validates their Membership and their right to be there.
>Question 4 - Can the Web Interface for signing up for the various Lists
>be customised so that a Members Only Mailing List sign-up web page is
>only accessible in a Members Only directory/area of the website yet the
>Public List is in a (different) Public directory/area of the Website?

You can make your own forms that post to Mailman's Cgi and/or Gui
modules and do most anything. The problem is if you want to go beyond
the public user level interface, you need to include the list admin
password in the post data. If this is a direct post, the password will
be visible in the page source.

You could work around this by posting to your own cgi and having some
code there that adds the required validation and reposts to Mailman.

>Thanks in advance for any help - it will be much appreciated - I
>haven't got access to a set-up copy of Mailman yet that I can play with
>the Admin functions so am learning by studying the manuals.
>Mike Lyne
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Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net>       The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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