[Mailman-Users] Getting my mailing list

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Wed Jan 4 15:20:01 CET 2006

>>>>> "William" == William F Hill, <william at rtrc.net> writes:

    William> I have asked this question in the past and still cannot
    William> find a simple, layman's way of getting my membership list
    William> downloaded.

One way: Go to the list information page using your web browser.  It
usually has a URL like




where SERVER.DOM is the name of the server and list is the name of
your list.  (My listserver is heavily customized, so it probably is
not anything like yours; maybe somebody else can fill you in on the
usual setup.)  Somewhere on that page there should be a box to log in
as the administrator, next to a button that says "Visit Subscriber
List".  The necessary address is probably printed at the bottom of the
page where it says "XXX list run by YYY at ZZZZ.COM".  Don't use the
word "at", use the at-sign to get the admin address "YYY at ZZZZ.COM".
The password should the one you use to manage your list.

The page you get will have the member roster you want.  (However, if
you have well-informed users, some may have turned off display of
their addresses.  For those users you will have to go to the
membership management page.  This page should have almost everybody,
though.)  You can copy and paste the list from there into another
browser window with the membership management page for the new
list/new server.  You may need to enter carriage returns by hand so
that there is one address per line.  The rest you pick up by hand from
the membership management page.

Another way: save the membership management pages to files, and edit
them into the format that "mass subscribe" expects.  Depending on your
skill with the editor and the features of your editor this may be
prohibitively tedious, or surprisingly easy.

    William> Also, why doesn't mailman have this feature built in?  It
    William> seems that this would be a normal thing to want to do
    William> from time to time for backup purposes.

Mailman was written by and for people who run mailing list servers.
They have direct access to the files, so no problem in getting those

It was quite unexpected that Mailman would be so successful in
simplifying administrative tasks that mass-market Internet providers
would be using it to allow just about anybody to run their own lists.
That history, combined with the fact that most list administrators
either do have access or don't need a copy of the list, has meant that
a straightforward way to do this task hasn't been implemented yet.

As for backup, in most cases the server host provides regular on-line
and offsite back up; a backup by the list admin should not be

School of Systems and Information Engineering http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.

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