[Mailman-Users] a few questions about the NNTP gateway

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Tue Aug 7 07:35:36 CEST 2007

On 8/7/07, Manlio Perillo wrote:

>  Mailman runs on a Debian Sarge server, so this can be a problem without
>  an upgrade to Etch (but security problems are not a problem, with Debian).

You could always install Mailman from source on that system, or you 
may be able to find a pre-built package that is based on the latest 

This is one of the typical problems when using programs from 
pre-built packages, because you're totally dependant on the 
person/group/entity that creates the packages.

And I'm not at all convinced that "security problems are not a 
problem, with Debian" or any other OS, for that matter.  Especially 
not with an old binary package that is based on old code that is 
known to have security flaws.

I help run the Mailman server and the mail servers for python.org, 
and we use Debian Linux for the OS.  But we don't use any binary 
pre-packaged software, at least not for the critical bits like 

>>  Not so far as I know, but it shouldn't be hard to add.  However, one
>>  problem you'll have is that many news servers will reject your articles,
>>  if you use an address obfuscation scheme that they don't support.
>  Not sure.
>  As an example I always use an obsured email address on usenet, without
>  problems.
>  But, indeed, I see that on comp.lang.python many people use their real
>  email address.

In part, that's because we provide the news gateway function for this 
newsgroup via the mail servers at python.org -- using the same 
Mailman server and the same mail servers that are used to host this 
mailing list.  Mailman is a Python project, after all.  ;)

And certainly, addresses that come in from USENET in an obscured 
fashion will most likely have their messages thrown away by most 
modern mail servers, even if the Mailman server accepts them and 
processes them as normal.

So, when you run that gateway, you pretty much always want to use 
real addresses and not make any attempt to obfuscate addresses 
crossing one way or the other.

>>  I think what happens is that the subject header will get treated as a
>>  normal subject, and may have additional things tacked onto the front of
>>  the subject line, whereas normally Mailman would have recognized the
>>  "Re:" portion and potentially tacked those things on between the "Re:"
>>  string(s) and the rest of the subject.
>  It would be nice if mailman can apply a filter to the subject, and to
>  fix it.

There's a limit to what Mailman can do to fix the subject line, at 
least in terms of out-of-the-box code.

If you're a Python programmer, it shouldn't be hard for you to add 
your own module to the system to handle these things, and to hook 
that into the appropriate place in the flow of messages through the 
system.  In that case, we'd ask you to contribute your changes back 
to the project via the Mailman patch page on SourceForge, so that 
others may benefit from your experience.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>, Consultant & Author
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>
Slides from Invited Talks: <http://tinyurl.com/tj6q4>

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