[Mailman-Users] Automated announcements

Mike Brudenell pmb1 at york.ac.uk
Thu May 4 09:46:46 CEST 2006

Greetings -

--On 3 May 2006 13:33:52 -0400 "Christopher X. Candreva" 
<chris at westnet.com> wrote:

> No, but you don't need it to. It's a separate problem.  Mailman's job is
> simply to distribute mail sent to it to all members. What you are looking
> for is something that will generate a dated e-mail at a given time to
> "some  address" .  That "some address" happens to be a mailing list is
> irrelavant.
> That's the beauty of breakign problems into little pieces, and solving
> each  piece.
> Really, all you want is some little script to generate an e-mail with a
> dated link and send it to the mailing list address.  A few lines of shell
> or  perl can do it.

I agree in principle with what Chris says, but the fact is that a lot of 
people own mailing lists who, nowadays, have little experience of 
command-line tools, scripts, or even access to machines to run such on.

For example we recently moved from running our lists service using an old 
MLM package to GNU Mailman.  One of the things some of our users are 
missing is the ability to set up a repeating post to remind people of 
etiquette on the list and point them to the FAQ.  Previously they could do 
this within the web-based list administrator pages of the old MLM; now they 
can't.  In order to do so they would need to:

    *  Discover we provide a UNIX mainframe available to them
    *  Learn how to register for and login to this
    *  Learn how to use UNIX command line
    *  Learn how to use a different text editor
    *  Learn a scripting language
    *  Learn about cron and how to submit jobs to it

The fact is that a lot of people nowadays use Windows as their main, if not 
only, interface; finding out all the above is alien and against their 
experience, which is to have nice windowing interfaces to facilities.

So I would agree from a technical point of view about dividing up the 
problem ... but from a practical point of view, looking at today's 
userbase, I would say that a need for additional facilities within 
Mailman's web-based administration interface is growing.  After all, that 
same web-based interface was itself developed in response to enhances user 
expectation and demand.

Mike B-)

The Computing Service, University of York, Heslington, York Yo10 5DD, UK
Tel:+44-1904-433811  FAX:+44-1904-433740

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