[Mailman-Users] "IOError reading list extension" Message

Barry Finkel b19141 at anl.gov
Fri Apr 25 18:33:07 CEST 2008

Barry Finkel wrote:

>>I am running a home-built Mailman 2.1.9 Ubuntu package with the latest
>>security patch.  I see messages in the error log like this one:
>>     Apr 25 08:00:05 2008 (27326) IOError reading list extension:
>>       [Errno 20] Not a directory:
>>       '/var/lib/mailman/lists/append_description.newdescription/extend.py'
>>I do not see any
>>     extend.py
>>in the directory in which I build Mailman.

And Mark Sapiro replied:

>Is 'append_description.newdescription' the name of a list?
>This error occurs when Mailman attempts to read (actually execute) the
>optional extend.py module for a list during the instantiation of that
>list, and it gets an error exception other than 'doesn't exist'.

The three files in the /var/lib/mailman/lists directory


were created when I was testing a script to add "{category}" to the
description field of each Mailman list.  I am not sure how they
got there, as my script was running from my home directory.
I have deleted them.  Since these three files are not Mailman lists,
which Mailman process that was treating them as list names is
not important.

We find the Mailman "home" page (i.e., listinfo) not user-friendly, as
it lists all of the advertised lists in alphabetical order.  We have
about 80 advertised lists.  We want the lists sorted by category, so I
wrote a script to append "{category}" to each list description.  I have
defined eighteeen different "{category}" strings, and we are working
on generating a new listinfo page with the lists sorted by category.
The plan is to

     1) Make "listinfo.original" point to the Mailman-generated page.

     2) Have the new "listinfo" page use the "listinfo.original" page
        to extract the advertised list names and descriptions.
        A new list of lists page will be displayed using the category
        strings at the send of each list's "description" field and an
        external file that describes the various category strings.

Barry S. Finkel
Computing and Information Systems Division
Argonne National Laboratory          Phone:    +1 (630) 252-7277
9700 South Cass Avenue               Facsimile:+1 (630) 252-4601
Building 222, Room D209              Internet: BSFinkel at anl.gov
Argonne, IL   60439-4828             IBMMAIL:  I1004994

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