[Mailman-Users] Automating Mailman Archive Maintenance

C Nulk CNulk at scu.edu
Mon May 23 18:44:05 CEST 2011

Thank you very much, Mark.  I appreciate the information and help.

I have written a small php app which uses the imap libraries to open and
process the mbox files.  Given a time frame, the app will mark for
deletion or remove any messages older than the time frame.  Now to write
a script to call bin/arch for each of the lists I process with my php
app.  I think I will still shutdown mailman when I run the php app since
I don't have any way to check on any locks.  Afterwards, I can restart
Mailman, then call the script to rebuild the archives.

The combination of the two apps/scripts will allow us to automate
removing old archives.  Run once a month for marking old messages, then
once a year to remove marked messages.  We can then keep a running 2 - 3
year archive going.

Thanks again,

On 5/20/2011 8:44 PM, Mark Sapiro wrote:
> C Nulk wrote:
>> I am in the process of trying to automate our Mailman Archive
>> maintenance before it gets unruly.  I looked in the FAQ and wiki for
>> information and found some about rebuilding the archives (which will be
>> handy) but nothing about automating it.
>> The assumptions I am working under:
>> 1. the html files for the archives are located in <some
>> prefix>/<listname>  (to be called DIR-A)
>> 2. the directory the mbox file to rebuild the archive html files are in
>> <some prefix>/<listname>.mbox  (to be called DIR-B)
>> 3. our automated process will process the mbox files in DIR-B and delete
>> completely or mark for deletion any messages older than a given timeframe.
>> Now, the questions:
>> 1. If I run bin/arch --wipe <listname> to rebuild the archives for
>> <listname>, do I have to delete the files in DIR-A first or will
>> bin/arch do it?
> You do not have to delete any DIR-A files. That's what the --wipe
> option does.
>> 2. When a message is added to the mbox file in DIR-B, is it appended to
>> the file or does it get added through some interface?
> It is appended.
>> 3. When a message is added to the mbox file in DIR-B, are any existing
>> messages that are marked for deletion removed or is the message just
>> added to the mbox file?
> It is just appended by a file open and append operation. The process
> does not in any way emulate an MDA or any IMAP or other mail access
> type process.
>> 4. When bin/arch is run and builds the html files, does it ignore
>> messages marked for deletion or does it add the message to the html
>> files no matter how it is marked?
> It totally ignores any message status type headers.
>> 5. Should Mailman be shutdown prior to running my automated process,
>> which includes running bin/arch, or can I leave Mailman running?
> It's OK for Mailman to be running. There are archive locks that will
> prevent concurrent updates.
>> 6. In our installation, the public archives directory for each list is a
>> link to the private archives directory for each list, is that the
>> standard or should I be prepared to see some archives in the public area
>> and other in the private depending on the particular list's setting?
> All archive data is in archives/private/. archives/public/ contains
> only symlinks.
>> 7. Is there any other gotcha I should watch out for when using an
>> automated process?
> I don't think so.
> --
> 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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