[Mailman-Users] Hijacking threads and netiquette (was: e: Obscure addresses problem)

David Dyer-Bennet dd-b at dd-b.net
Tue Sep 5 21:23:42 CEST 2006

On 9/5/06, Brad Knowles <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org> wrote:
> At 1:14 PM -0500 2006-09-05, David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
> >>  Did you search for "reauthentication"?  Or "saving my changes"?
> >
> >  No; I searched for "password" and "firefox", I believe.  Obviously
> >  there were a number of entries mentioning passwords, but none about
> >  saving them.
> Correct, there are a number of entries that mention "password", which
> is why this isn't the best search term.  Nevertheless, I have gone
> ahead and modified the subject lines of the two most relevant FAQ
> entries to also include the term "password".

While I agree it's not a wonderful search term by virtue of being
relevant to a lot of different FAQs, it's the one people will be
looking for in this case; the problem is that their browser doesn't
offer to remember their password.

> >  If there *is* such a FAQ; you haven't yet exhibited one that has
> >  anything to do with the issue I'm raising.
> You apparently did not take the hint that I gave you previously.  You
> really should search for the term "reauthentication", which will come
> back with one and only one FAQ entry, which I believe is relevant to
> your query.  You should also search for the phrase "saving my
> changes", which will come back with one and only one FAQ entry (which
> is different from the other one), which might also be relevant.

Could you *please* drop your condescending tone about 10 decibels?  I
*did* search for "reauthentication", it's how I got to FAQ 4.65, which
I mention below.


I have said this before, several times.  I'm getting tired of not
being listened to.

Also FAW 4.45 is not relevant to my problem.  They're about a
different set of symptoms entirely.

My problem, as I have said from the beginning, is that browsers
(specifically Firefox, though I note the same problem reported against
Safari in feature request 966157) do not recognize the password field
on the mailing list administrator login page as a password field, and
hence do not offer to save it for me, and hence make it much, much
harder to deal with mailing list administration than it needs to be.

> >  I don't see where "saving my changes" would come in; definitely not
> >  something I'd search for when the issue is that browsers aren't
> >  recognizing a password field.
> Try reading the two FAQ entries in question.  If you can come up with
> some suggested improvements to the wording, please go ahead and do
> so.  After all, this is a community supported document, and all the
> information you need for making changes to any of the FAQ entries is
> already present on the page.

I HAVE read the FAQ entries in question.  I don't want to change those
two, becaues they're not relevant to this issue (and presumably *are*
relevant to the issues they are addressing, so I shouldn't hijack

> >>  >  Why doesn't Firefox (or other browsers, I think I've seen the same
> >>  >  behavior in Opera) offer me the chance to remember the Administrative
> >>  >  password for my site?
> >>
> >>  I'm not yet convinced that there is anything here that is not
> >>  answered in the FAQs.
> >
> >  I'm not convinced there's anything about this in the FAQ.
> That's possible.  If this really is a browser-specific issue with
> Firefox, then it would be the very first time I've ever heard of this
> kind of thing, and I frequently use Firefox myself.

It's probably not specific to Firefox.  I reported it against Firefox
because that's where I've actually seen it happen.  I seem to remember
seeing it in Opera as well.  And as I mentioned above, another user
has reported it in Safari.

> >  4.65 is not about the issue I'm raising; that's about cookie issues,
> >  whereas my case is that the password field isn't recognized in the
> >  first place.
> Maybe I'm wrong, but you should at least look at the other FAQ entry as well.
> If I am wrong, then this is the very first time I've ever heard of
> such problems with Firefox, and will require a new FAQ entry.
> While this wouldn't be the first application-specific FAQ entry, it
> would be the first one that is specific to Firefox, and I believe it
> would also be the first one that is specific to a particular web
> browser -- all other application-specific FAQ entries I know of have
> to do with other types of programs, and web browsers appear to have
> acted more or less the same with regards to these kinds of things.

I wrote what would have been 3.67, only to then be told that it wasn't
actually open to anybody to post after all; so to keep that work from
going to waste I post it here, and propose it be included (or improved
and then included):

Summary: Some browsers do not recognize the password on the list
administrator authentication page

Firefox and Safari, and quite possibly other browsers, do not
recognize the password entry field on the administrator list
authentication web page as a password field, and hence do not offer to
remember it for you.

The password field is named "adminpw" in the form rather than
"password", and the browsers may also be set up to look for a pair of
"username" and "password" rather than a bare password field.

No workaround is known for this problem.  At least one of Mailman and
the browsers will have to change for this behavior to change.

You should of course be very careful how and where you store your
passwords; if you store them on a computer connected to the net (in
the browser or otherwise) you should *at least* make sure they're well
encrypted (using, in Firefox, the "master password" feature).

Feature request 966157  (from 2004) was filed to get this fixed, but
as of 2006-09-05 nothing appears to have been done about it yet.


I'm sure it could be refined and improved, but there's a starting point.

> "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

I'm reading Franklin's autobiography right now (thanks Gutenberg!),
and right about that date, though he doesn't choose to repeat that
phrase in the autobio.  It's one of my favorites, though.
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:dd-b at dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
RKBA: <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
Pics: <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>

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