[Mailman-Users] Revisit to moderator aliases

Bill Catambay andale at excaliburworld.com
Wed Nov 18 02:32:04 CET 2009

Hi Steve, et al,

Awhile back I asked some questions about managing my Mailman list 
such that it worked like it did back on Autoshare (an old Mac OS 9 
listserver).  I received some good advice, and have made some great 
progress in attaining most of my goals.  There were still some 
unresolved issues, but I took a break to let others on the list 
tackle their problems, and also to let myself digest (no pun 
intended) the situation for awhile.

To recap, I have a mailing list of about 300 members.  The reply-to 
is currently customized to go to one of my personal email addresses 
(versus the mailmon default address of <foo-list at lists.sonic.net>). 
When I receive the posts, I determine whether the post is appropriate 
for the list, and if needed, edit out extraneous text (such as 
excessive quoted material and/or excessive signature lines) as well 
as profanity or classified information that doesn't belong on the 
list.  I then use Eudora's "redirect" function (keeps headers in 
tact) to redirect the moderated post to foo-list at lists.sonic.net.

The two outstanding issues are:

1. After I do the redirect to foo-list at lists.sonic.net, the 
listserver still sends the moderation email back to me, requiring me 
to approve of the post (despite the fact that the envelope sender is 
from the list owner/moderator).  When the list traffic is slow, this 
isn't a big issue, but when topics get hot, this becomes a major 
headache (receive, read, modify, send, receive again, approve).

2. Replies to digest still automatically go to 
foo-list at lists.sonic.net instead of to the customized reply-to 
address (and there does not appear to be any way to change that). 
This becomes a mess because now I have a mix of non-moderated posts 
and moderated posts in the same place, so I have to be careful about 
which ones I approve.

I'm looking for a solution that would resolve both these issues.  I 
imagine a solution where I set the reply-to address to 
foo-list at lists.sonic.net, but somehow get the list to send those 
posts to me intact unmodified (versus getting the Mailman generated 
moderator emails with all the extraneous stuff and extra headers). 
Then I perform any necessary modifications, and redirect to the list, 
with the original heads intact, but have the list recognize the 
envelope sender and therefore post to the list (rather than bounce 
back to the moderator).

I don't know if the first part of this solution is possible. 
However, I believe I've already received information that tells me 
that the 2nd part is not possible because Mailman does not have a 
"check the envelope sender first" option.  Experimentation has shown 
me that if I send a post to the list, and the FROM sender is not a 
member, but the envelope sender the moderator (aka, me), it passes it 
through to the list.  However, if the FROM sender is a member (but 
mod flag turned on), then Mailman holds the post for moderator 
approval regardless of what the envelope sender is.

The FROM sender will always be a member of the list, and I want to 
keep the FROM sender intact; hence, unless I'm the member posting, it 
will always be held for moderation.

In one of the earlier replies, Steve suggested the following aliases:

foo-list:           moderator at example.com
foo-list-moderated: | mailman post foo-list

This suggestion sounds a bit like the first part of my "dream" 
solution above, where I let people post to the list address (instead 
of the customized reply-to address).  The alias would then route the 
post directly to me rather than to Mailman.  Putting aside, for now, 
how I get this alias set up, I'm still stuck on how I would then get 
the email posted to the mailing list (since if I send it to the list 
address, it will just come back to me again).  Perhaps that is where 
the foo-list-moderated alias comes into play?

Taking a stab at it, I should ask my ISP to do the following:

1. Set an alias for foo-list at lists.sonic.net to go to 
moderator at example.com (my email).
2. Set an alias for foo-list-moderated at lists.sonic.net to go to "| 
mailman post foo-list".

Then my steps for moderating the list would be:

Receive email at moderator at example.com (originally posted to 
foo-list at lists.sonic.net), perform edits as necessary, then redirect 
the post to foo-list-moderated at lists.sonic.net (6 steps down to 3 

I did a test email to foo-list-moderated at lists.sonic.net, and it was 
returned as "no such user", so I'm guessing that I'm actually 
creating a new email alias as part of this solution.

Does it sound like I understand the suggestion correctly?  And if so, 
is it the solution that you think I am after?

I just want to make sure I'm on the right track before I start poking 
my ISP for help.



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