[Mailman-Users] Efficient handling of cross-posting

Barry Warsaw barry at list.org
Tue Jan 29 00:40:17 CET 2008

Hash: SHA1

On Jan 28, 2008, at 5:16 PM, Mark Sapiro wrote:

> The concept to be implemented in Mailman 3.0 is a separate user
> database which has an entry per person with perhaps multiple email
> addresses and various roles such as member of list1, owner of list2
> and moderator of list3

Without too deep in the technical weeds, this exists in Mailman 3.0  
right now: there are users, addresses, and members.  An address is  
just an email address, which can have state like "validated" and can  
be associated with a user.  A user is a person to Mailman, with a  
name, possibly preferences, and multiple associated addresses.  A  
member is a user who is associated with a mailing list under a  
particular role (or multiple roles), such as "subscribed list member",  
"administrator", or "moderator", with a particular address.

There's an intermediate concept not directly represented at the  
database layer called a "roster" which is just a set of members.  So  
when Mailman delivers a message to a mailing list for example, it asks  
for the roster of all enabled subscribed member addresses, and it send  
the message to them.

What this means is that in Mailman 3.0, there is knowledge of  
subscriptions across mailing lists, so that we could do better cross- 
posting, though this isn't implemented yet.  For example, you could  
say that the 'musicians' mailing list roster is composed of the  
rosters for the 'guitar-players' mailing list and the 'bass-players'  
mailing list, plus a bunch of directly subscribed multi- 
instrumentalists.  Mailman figures all that out when it decides who  
the recipients of the message are.

> <snip>
>> AFAIU, the message will appear in the search results multiple times  
>> -- once
>> per mailing list. That is not justified -- the results should  
>> contain no
>> repetitions...
> For as many people who feel as you do, I'll wager that there are many
> more who feel it is absolutely wrong to not archive a post to lista in
> lista's archive just because it also was possibly archived in listb's
> archive.

How the message is accessible is up to the archiver used, and  
archivers will be (more easily) pluggable in Mailman 3.  Pipermail  
will probably not be made any smarter unless a volunteer comes forward  
to make it so, but it would be easier to plug in MHonArc or even mail- 
archive.com/gmane support.  It's then up to the specific archiver  
whether it will reduce duplicates by comparing Message-Ids.  I'm not  
aware of a free archiver (or free archiving service) that does this  

- -Barry

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