[Mailman-Users] List-creation Owner E-mail Address

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Tue Sep 22 01:18:52 CEST 2009

Barry Finkel wrote:
>     3) When is the list-creation e-mail sent to the one owner e-mail
>        address?  It appears to be done in the "newlist" code, but
>        at that time, I have not yet run the "config_list" command
>        that resets the parameters.  When I ran my test, was I lucky
>        that by the time that the list-creation mail had been sent
>        to Postfix, the "config_list" command had finished re-populating
>        the owner field?

bin/newlist "sent" the mail to the specified owner address before it
returned. Here's what happens in detail:

1) bin/newlist creates the mail with LIST-owner at ... as the recipient
and queues it in the virgin queue. This is it's last act before

2) VirginRunner picks up the queue entry processes it and puts it in
the out queue.

3) OutgoingRunner picks up the entry from the out queue and delivers it
to the MTA with RCPT TO LIST-owner at ...

4) The MTA pipes the message to the wrapper which calls the
scripts/owner script to queue the message "toowner" in the in queue.

5) IncomingRunner picks up the entry from the in queue, locks the list,
builds the recipient list from the list's owner attribute, queues the
message in the out queue and unlocks the list.

6) OutgoingRunner picks up the message and delivers it to the MTA with
RCPT TO commands for the recipient list built in step 5.

So if your config_list runs and gets the list lock before
IncomingRunner gets it at step 5, the mail goes to your config_list
owners. Otherwise it will be sent to LIST-owner and we are back to
step 4.

This is a loop. Loops of normal list posts are detected because Mailman
adds an X-BeenThere: header to outgoing posts and detects it in an
incoming post to detect a loop. In this case, we don't detect loops of
the -owner email. There is no protection against this loop and it
continues until sooner or later config_list or something changes the
owner attribute to break the loop.

I'm not actually clear if the initial owner you set with newlist was
that list's -owner address, but if it was, you might be able to tell
from your mail logs if the mail looped more than once. I actually
think it probably didn't, because the expected delays in the runners
waking up at steps 2, 3 and 5 total over 1 second, and the shell
script should get to the next line way before that.

On the other hand, if this config_list is not going to run immediately,
I think there may be nothing to break the loop which is a problem.

Also, I think I need to do something to detect and break this loop.

>I know that there has been talk in the past weeks about list-creation
>templates.  I would like to be able to specify multiple e-mail
>addresses at the list-creation prompt so that all of the list owners
>would get the mail.  I do not want to rely on specifying one list owner
>and then insuring that he or she forwards a copy to the other

The list creation templates are a Mailman 3 feature. At this point,
it's up to Barry W. to speak to that.

One thing you might consider is using the --quiet newlist option when
you create the list and then have your script send a notice to
LIST-owner after config_list runs.

Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net>        The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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