[Mailman-Users] Mail going to list archives but not to list!

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Sat Sep 23 06:07:15 CEST 2006

Elizabeth Schwartz wrote:
>My theory: my **original** problem was a large HTML message gunking up the
>out box.

I'm not sure about this part. What's in Mailman's 'smtp' log?

>Having cleaned that out, it sounds like  I then proceeded to trash
>an afternoon's worth of messages by trying to flush the queue incorrectly.

I'm afraid so.

>Can someone point me to a detailed explanation of the path a message takes
>from the time it is first forwarded to mailman, to the time when it is sent
>out to the MTA for delivery? Some time elapses there, and I'd like to
>understand in detail what's going on.

There shouldn't be much delay in Mailman. There may be delay in the
incoming MTA and in the SMTP handoff to the outgoing MTA (here again,
Mailman's 'smtp' log will show how much) and in the outgoing MTA
itself, but processing through Mailman is fairly quick.

Here's a rough sketch of what happens.

The incoming MTA receives a post for list and pipes it to the wrapper
with the command "| path/to/mail/mailman post list".

The wrapper invokes the scripts/post script which queues the message in
the qfiles/in queue for list.

IncomingRunner picks up the queue entry and processes it through the
pipeline of handler modules. The pipeline is normally the one defined
as GLOBAL_PIPELINE in Defaults.py. The handler modules do various
things to the message and can cause it to be rejected, discarded or
held for approval, but assuming that it is a valid post which will be
processed all the way through, after various other handlers are
called, the message is passed through
   ToDigest - which appends it to the lists digest.mbox and triggers a
              digest if the size threshold is reached.
   ToArchive - which queues a copy in qfiles/archive where it is picked
               up by ArchRunner and archived
   ToUsenet - which, if mail to news gatewaying is done for the list,
              queues a copy in qfiles/news for NewsRunner
a couple of housekeeping handlers and finally
   ToOutgoing - which queues the message in qfiles/out
and then IncomingRunner is done with this message.

OutgoingRunner picks up the entry from qfiles/out, and passes it to the
delivery module, normally SMTPDirect, to deliver it to the MTA for the
recipients (the list of which was built earlier by the CalcRecips
handler which is part of the IncomingRunner pipeline).

Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net>       The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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