[Mailman-Users] Will Mailman do what I want?

Brad Knowles brad at stop.mail-abuse.org
Mon Oct 3 22:05:11 CEST 2005

At 4:16 PM +0100 2005-10-03, David Teall wrote:

>  * The ability to utilise our on-line database, which includes a User
>  Name, Password and email address for every member, as the basis for
>  membership of the List rather than a separate inbuilt database.

	You haven't given us much details here.  A great deal depends on 
your particular database.

	In theory, there are unsupported third-party patches to allow 
Mailman to use various back-end database "member adapters", but that 
is beyond the scope of this mailing list or this message.  You will 
need to find member adapters which may be suitable to your 
requirements, and all further questions regarding those should be 
directed towards their developers.

>  * The ability to configure the List so that clicking on 'Reply'
>  addresses the reply back to the list *and* to the author of the message.

	There's absolutely no way you can guarantee this.  Sure, you can 
set headers that tell clients to do whatever you want, but that 
doesn't mean that the client will actually do what you ask.

	It is possible to modify the "Reply-to:" header, but this is 
almost always a really bad idea.  See the Mailman FAQ Wizard for more.

>  * A web page where members can read current messages and archives.

	Mailman does include a web archive function, but does not provide 
a web message board feature.  You can read messages on the web, but 
that's it.

	There are unsupported third-party patches to integrate Mailman 
into web message boards, but you will need to contact their 
respective authors for more information.

>  * The ability to customise which messages members can opt to receive to
>  include the following options:
>  * No Messages I will read all messages on the web.
>  * Level 1 Delivery 'Special Messages' only i.e. messages from the List
>  Manager(s)
>  * Level 2 Delivery 'Special Messages' plus new questions from othermembers.
>  * Level 3 Delivery All messages.

	No.  Mailman does provide a "topic" function, and all messages 
posted to the list which match the topic would be sent to the person 
who subscribed to that topic.  Mailman also provides the ability to 
remain subscribed to the list but not receive any messages, as might 
be typical if you were to go on vacation for a while.

>  I should be most grateful if someone could let me know which of these
>  features Mailman provides as it stands and which it might be
>  possible to provide by suitable mods.

	Pretty much all the answers to your questions should be found on 
the Mailman web site at <http://www.list.org/>.  In particular, you 
should start by looking at <http://www.list.org/features.html>.

Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

     -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
     Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

   SAGE member since 1995.  See <http://www.sage.org/> for more info.

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