[Mailman-Users] Edit to FAQ 3.11 How do I create anewsletter/announcement/one-way list?

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Sun Jun 3 23:37:53 CEST 2007

John Bell wrote:
>The post assumes that you have access to the command line.

I have updated the FAQ to indicate that beginning with Mailman 2.1.6,
you can edit the subscribeack.txt (welcome message) template via the
admin web interface.

Also, the stuff in the FAQ about config_list is not a requirement. It
is just an alternative to using the admin web interface.

>I'm website 
>owner, and my host has set up the mailman feature, but I can only access the 
>HTML admin pages to configure my mailing list. I don't have access to the 
>source code or command line features. Like others, I want a one-way 
>notification system - only I send messages to folks who want to join my 
>mailing list to get news, etc, about my site.

I looked through the FAQ and the only thing (other than the optional
config_list stuff) mentioned there that requires more than access to
the web admin interface is the part about adding
OWNERS_CAN_ENABLE_PERSONALIZATION = 1 to mm_cfg.py which is only
necessary if you want to personalize the list to include a
personalized link to the user's options page in the msg_footer.

>I found a workaround to both HTML and emails, but it's a but sneaky. So here 
>is information for whom it may concern, and if appropriate perhaps someone 
>could update the FAQ page. If I've done something completely unnessary and 
>there's a simpler way to do this please also let me know.
>The following is a guide to setting up a newsletter type mailing list 
>bypassing all HTML and emails from mailman to subscribers when they 
>subscribe and unsubscribe. The only requirement is that you are able to 
>create your own CGI scripts. I did this is perl and I assume this is also 
>possible with other languages.
>First I went through all the options to ensure that a subscribing person 
>would not get any email when they subscribed or unsubscribed, or due to 
>other events. This is how I set it up (for the version I have, 2.1.9):
>All the following I set to no in general options:
> -Send password reminders
>- Send monthly password reminders
>- Send welcome message to newly subscribed members
>- Send goodbye message to members when they are unsubscribed
>- Send mail to poster when their posting is held for approval
>All the following is set to yes in general options:
>- Should the list moderators get immediate notice of new requests, as well 
>as daily notices about collected ones
>- Should administrator get notices of subscribes and unsubscribes
>- Emergency moderation of all list traffic [probably not necessary but I'm 
>Under Privacy Options, subscription rules,
>- What steps are required for subscription = Require approval
>- Is the list moderator's approval required for unsubscription requests?  = 
>These last two seemed to stop all emails when subscribing or unsubscribing - 
>you as the moderator will get them all. However as you're also the only one 
>sending out emails to the list this doesn't matter. Before sending anything, 
>process all the requests, then send the message.
>The second step is to hide all the mailman HTML. I did this by creating my 
>own perl script. On my own HTML page I have a simple form as follows 
>(stripping all the formatting):
><form action="/cgi-bin/subscribe.cgi" method="POST">
><input type="text" size="25" name="email">
><input type="radio" name="status" value="subscribe" checked>
><input type="radio" name="status" value="unsubscribe">
><input type="submit" value=" Submit ">
>I.e. two parameters - email and status.
>The perl script 'subscribe.cgi' then does the following:
>If the user wants to subscribe I execute these lines:
> use LWP::Simple; [place at the top of the file]
> $link = "http://[my URL]/mailman/subscribe/[my mailman 
> $webpage = get($link);
>And to unsubscribe:
>  $link = "http://[my URL]/mailman/options/[my mailman 
>  $webpage = get($link);
>In other words, the script gets the page - executing the command, and 
>instead of displaying the reulting HTML it gets captured by the variable 
>$webpage which I can parse to display as I want, or ignore completely and do 
>my own thing.
>Comments welcome!

What you describe presumably works for you, and what you've done to
achieve your goal of eliminating (un)subscribe email seems fine, but
it seems to me that this goal is distinct from the goal of a
one-way/announce only list. Thus, it seems that this might be more
appropriate in a separate FAQ.

Finally, go to
to see why it's not a good idea to hijack existing threads for new

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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