[Mailman-Users] Frequent use of clone_member

Ivan Fetch ifetch at du.edu
Tue Nov 2 02:31:26 CET 2010

HI Stephen,

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen J. Turnbull [mailto:stephen at xemacs.org] 
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2010 10:13 PM
To: Ivan Fetch
Cc: mailman-users at python.org
Subject: [Mailman-Users] Frequent use of clone_member

Ivan Fetch writes:

 > One possibility we're exploring, is to change a student's mailing
 > list subscriptions, when they change their forwarding address. We
 > would iterate through these address changes and run clone_member,
 > like:
 > Clone_member --remove --admin  old at our.domain new at outside.domain

I can't really comment on the burden on the host, but ISTM that this
would be a substantial burden on the students.  They would have to
remember which account is their real account to make any changes, or
to post.  This might be non-trivial for students with multiple

Students are changing their forward, and we would be trying to "help" them keep mailing list subscriptions pointed to that new forwarding address. We have some mailing lists which are maintained by professors - although students know they are subscribed to the course mailing list, they haven't tended to manage those subscriptions.

We are leaning more toward tracking when a forwarding address changes, and sending a helpful email about mailing list memberships which may need to be changed - but not actually changing anything.

How about having the forwarding address setup update
accept_these_nonmembers, instead?

IF we start filling accept_these_nonmembers, this separate source of addresses will need to be cleaned out - this is likely a larger overhead / bucket of hurt, than we want to create.

Also, what are you going to do about the old forwarding address?  It
seems likely that in many cases students will want to do things like
receive on their cellphone account but sometimes post from their home
ISP, etc.  Then they change back, creating a real muddle.  OTOH,
allowing dead or dormant accounts to post is a potential issue.

This is one of the reasons we have begun thinking about sending an informative email, instead of changing addresses. As soon as we start taking it apon ourselves to helpfully change addresses, we will break things for subscribers who have other addresses (which happen to be an old forward) subscribed for a reason.

We will still need to do mas-address changes for faculty and staff, who will be moving to MS Exchange - in some cases, they choose to begin using a different form of their email address. I would still be curious to hear from anyone who has input on running clone_member to change 200-300 addresses, as part of a nightly cron job.



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