[Mailman-Users] [mm] Deleting messages from archive....

Charles Gregory cgregory at hwcn.org
Sat May 16 17:33:24 CEST 2009

On Fri, 15 May 2009, Ralf Hildebrandt wrote:
>> >Has anyone ever developed a point-n-click tool to delete
>> >a message from an archive, preferably by just eliminating the 
>> >From/To/Subject and body, but leaving the links intact, with
>> >a placeholder message that says "message content removed", etc?
> It would totally rule. Especially on python.org, where people regret
> posting their full name because "employers tend to google them", and
> then come running to us, asking "Please remove my name".

Not withstanding your opinion of people who do this (which I cannot 
entirely disagree with - grin) you have brough to mind a number of 
scenarios where it might be beneficial to be able to quickly edit a
message, rather than delete it completely. For instance, someone posts a 
message with someone else's (unapproved) web link. The link needs to be 
removed, but the rest of the posting can stay as it is....

As I think about this more deeply, I realize there are serious programming 
considerations. For example, the mesage subject appears in the pages that 
'index' the archive, as well as in the 'previous' and 'next' links of 
neighboring messages, sometimes not even in the same week/directory....
I think if we permit editing of the subject it will have to, by default, 
change ALL references to that subject in all messages, just to keep things 
simple.... Presumably the only time a subject would be changed would be if 
it is offensive/abusive, so you would *want* to change alll of them. If 
some moron posts messages under the wrong subject, that is life on the 
list. We're not fixing that..... LOL

Of course, there are some ethical issues to visit. Any editor should be 
certain to insert a disclaimer in the message body which says "THIS 
that original authors do not feel they've been misrepresented, etc, etc.

I can presume that if someone is comfortable with regenerating their 
archive from the mbox at ANY time, they wouldn't mind editing it for 
occasions like these. So I'm going to presume that this utility that is 
forming in my mind is for people who have already decided that they will 
*never* regenerate their archives from mboxes. Numbering and links will 
always be preserved.... So we need only be concerned with a utility that 
will updates the html and txt archives...

- Charles

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