[Mailman-Users] Looking for professional help

Ivan Van Laningham ivanlan at pauahtun.org
Fri May 18 06:56:35 CEST 2007

Hi All--

Brad Knowles wrote:
> I can't say for sure, but I'm not aware of the Plesk folks making any 
> material changes to the Mailman code.  However. like most binary 
> packagers I would assume that they store things according to the way 
> that makes sense to them and not necessarily in the way that you would 
> get if you were to install our code directly.

Once you figure out the way things are laid out--and it's not well 
documented--it makes sense.  Paths are long, but that makes creating 
lists for multiple virtual servers a snap.

> So far as I know, the biggest issue with most Plesk/Mailman 
> installations is the *ancient* versions of Python, Mailman, and other 
> packages that they install.  I mean, like Mailman 2.0.x.

They seem to have improved things.  I get my dedicated server from 
Godaddy, and it came with the latest version of Plesk, 8.1.0.  Mailman 
2.1.8, and Python 2.4.3.

> So, if you want to run a more recent version of Mailman, you'll have a 
> rough time installing a more recent version of Python that does not 
> interfere with the existing installation (the older version is also 
> required for some other things inside of Plesk), plus the newer version 
> of Mailman with specific references to the newer & non-standard 
> installation of Python, etc....
> You can do it if you know what you're doing, and you're able to follow 
> all the compatibility dependencies manually, but that's going to take a 
> lot of work and jury-rigging.  Of course, all of that will mean that you 
> now have a non-standard installation of Plesk, and you probably won't be 
> able to get any support from them, or your ISP, and so on.

I already don't get any support from Godaddy.  They have some FAQs and I 
can call or email, but their answers are, "Wait until our mail server is 
back up to speed," or "We don't make you use that software, so we don't 
support it."

That said, the webtools they provide and the automated services they 
offer do work, often with very little prodding.

 > Moreover,
> upgrading to a newer version of Plesk would un-do all that hard work 
> which you would then have to re-do again manually, assuming it were 
> actually possible to upgrade Plesk in that kind of environment.

I've already customized the snot out of my Mailman installation.  I back 
everything up twice.  If I had to install from scratch, I don't see any 
reason I couldn't get going in a day.

> It's more of a major operational hassle/support nightmare than anything 
> else.

My suspicion is that any changes they've made are in the area of 
creating lists.  I haven't had a chance to investigate how that's done 
and how Plesk ties into it, but I plan to.  (After I get the 
certificates straightened out, and after I get rid of the 5,000 empty 
emails with no subject in the archives of one of my lists.)

Ivan Van Laningham
God N Locomotive Works
Army Signal Corps:  Cu Chi, Class of '70
Author:  Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours

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