[Mailman-Users] List information templates - offer of help

Lindsay Haisley fmouse-mailman at fmp.com
Tue Jan 19 23:28:00 CET 2010

I just did a bit of work on the English listinfo.html template for one
of my lists (Mailman 2.1.12).  It's been a while since I worked on one
of these, but I note that the HTML is a terrible mess, and years out of
date with current standards and best practice for HTML composition.
This may work in most browsers, but make editing the document a PITA.

* Indentation, which is supposed to aid with tag matching for human
editors, is rather inconsistent (to put it mildly ;-)

* Modern HTML documents should have a <!DOCTYPE> declaration, which
isn't present.

* The <ul> tag is used to generate a section indent.  Modern HTML uses a

* The case of tags and attribute names is inconsistent and difficult to
follow.  Modern usage, consistent with XHTML, requires all tags and
attributes to be lower case.  Even for HTML 4.01 transitional, it would
be a good idea to make the case of tags match throughout the document.

* Form tags are crossed with table tags.  This is, I believe, out of
spec, and "results may vary".

* There are a number of other HTML usage irregularities which should be
corrected, such as the deprecated use of the <p> tag without a matching
</p> end tag.

Would it be helpful if I were to work on cleaning up and modernizing
this document and submit it to the Mailman devs?  I do HTML composition
and authorship professionally and do this kind of thing every day or so.
Or perhaps a reworking of the document is already in the pipeline ....

I could only do the English version, since this is the only language I

Additionally, it seems that mailing lists have come into common use by
and for people with little computer experience, and especially for
distribution lists, choices such as those associated with subscriber
lists and digests are irrelevant and potentially off-putting to these
folks, and it should be possible to present a list info form with only a
description of the list, plus the options of subscribing, unsubscribing
and contacting the list owner.  For perhaps 90% of the lists out there,
I'd guess that these are all that are needed.

One more note.  I note that replacement tokens in this document are
delimited with angle brackets, much as are HTML tags.  Would it not be
better to use some other delimiter such as curly-braces or square
brackets, as do other HTML templating systems?

Lindsay Haisley       | "Never expect the people who caused a problem
FMP Computer Services |  to solve it." - Albert Einstein
512-259-1190          |        
http://www.fmp.com    |

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