[Mailman-Users] Approve subscription requests via mail

Barry Warsaw barry at python.org
Sat Nov 18 14:57:23 CET 2006

Hash: SHA1

On Nov 18, 2006, at 7:48 AM, Georg Sauthoff wrote:

> At the page http://www.gnu.org/software/mailman/docs.html  the authors
> invite users to just mail to mailman-users@ ('Email Us' - left side,
> like every left side ) and only 'suggest' to subscribe ('We suggest  
> you
> subscribe to the list first' - right side, 2nd paragraph).

I agree that this is not the most user friendly arrangement, and that  
we should have a way for non-subscribers to "get help".  That "get  
help" address should be advertised as the "email us" link.

Of course, that address will be a spam magnet, which is why the list  
admins (justifiably) insist that if that help address is mailman- 
users, the latter must be subscription protected.

One alternative would be to do something like what the Python  
community does.  They have a "help" address that anybody can email,  
but for which subscriptions are controlled.  The volunteer helpers  
understand they'll get spammed but still they accept this because it  
benefits novice Python users.  Subscriptions are controlled so that  
the list doesn't become just a general discussion list (competing  
against python-list) and so that the participants are known Python  

Would this work for us?  The Python community is much larger than the  
Mailman community, so has a larger pool of volunteers to draw from.   
A competing concern is that our Mailman experts like Mark, Brad, and  
everyone else here on mailman-users wouldn't get burned out and just  
leave mailman-help (or worse, leave mailman-users too!).

So I don't know what the right answer is, and I must defer to the  
folks on this list.  If you have suggestions, please discuss!  For  
me, this isn't just limited to a desire to help Mailman users; it  
seems to me an acknowledgment that Mailman is missing a fundamental  
communication pattern.

- -Barry

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