[Mailman-Users] Message may contain administrivia

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Wed Apr 4 03:22:43 CEST 2007

dhottinger at harrisonburg.k12.va.us wrote:

>What signifys a message as being labeled administrivia?  I dont get to  
>many needing approval because of this, but I have yet to figure out  
>why they are being flagged as such.

First, you can control whether or not messages are held for this reason
with the 'administrivia' setting on the list's general options page.

(Administrivia filter) Check postings and intercept ones that seem to
be administrative requests?

If administrivia is set to Yes, then a post will be held if it looks
like something that should have been sent to the -request address.

The test is not too sophisticated. It misses many 'get me off this
list' type posts. A message is judged administrivia if the body	up to
a '-- ' signature line consists of a single word from the list of
valid email commands or if the subject or one of the first few lines
of the body begins with a valid email command word followed by the
correct number of arguments (additional white space separated words).

The following is a list of command words and the minimum and maximum
number of arguments for each.

    # admin keyword: (minimum #args, maximum #args)
    'confirm':     (1, 1),
    'help':        (0, 0),
    'info':        (0, 0),
    'lists':       (0, 0),
    'options':     (0, 0),
    'password':    (2, 2),
    'remove':      (0, 0),
    'set':         (3, 3),
    'subscribe':   (0, 3),
    'unsubscribe': (0, 1),
    'who':         (0, 0),

So if the subject of a message or one of the first few body lines has
unsubscribe as it's first word followed by 0 or 1 more words as in

 unsubscribe user at example.com
 Unsubscribe me!

it is administrivia, but not if it has

 unsubscribe me from this list.

In my experience, this catches messages from people who know what they
are doing and inadvertently send to the list instead of list-request,
but it catches few if any of the messages from clueless people who are
trying to get off the list or whatever by mailing to the list.

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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