[Mailman-Users] archive_private locks up admin interface?

Daniel Griscom griscom at suitable.com
Tue Nov 22 19:28:05 CET 2011

I'm using Mailman 2.1.14 on my congregation's website, hosted by 
site5.com. We use it for a couple of dozen mailing lists, and haven't 
had many troubles.

Problem 1: someone noticed that all the list archives were publicly 
viewable, and even Googleable, which is a Bad Thing. So, I went into 
the Mailman admin interface to turn off the archives.

In the Archiving Options page, I found the "archive_private" setting. 
The description was a bit vague, but it seemed to be what I wanted, 
and currently was set to "public". So, I set it to "private", and 

Problem 2: boom! The Admin interface crashed, saying

>Bug in Mailman version 2.1.14
>We're sorry, we hit a bug!
>Please inform the webmaster for this site of this problem. Printing 
>of traceback and other system information has been explicitly 
>inhibited, but the webmaster can find this information in the 
>Mailman error logs.

Problem 3: the Mailman admin interface for this list seems to be 
permanently borked. When I go back to the admin page, I'm invited to 
log in, but when I do it crashes again with the above message. 
Restarting Firefox (8.0.1 on OS X 10.5.8), deleting cookies, using a 
completely different browser: nothing helps.

Small good news 1: the list is still processing email. Small good 
news 2: the other lists' admin interfaces on this machine aren't 
borked, just the two I tried setting archive_private to "private" on. 
(I broke the second one so I could test whether emails were being 

So, I need help on two items:

1) How do I un-bork those two mailing lists, without losing all of 
the list settings (especially the list of members)?

One note: since this is a shared server, my account is nailed down 
pretty tightly, and I'm pretty sure I don't even have access to the 
main mailman directories. So, I'll probably need to pass instructions 
on to the hosting company's tech support.

2) How can I keep the public from seeing these archives? In truth we 
don't need them even privately, so either making them private or 
getting rid of them completely would be fine by me.

Of course, if the answer is "set archive_private to private", then I 
need help on a third item:

3) How can I debug Mailmain's problem with the archive_private setting?

Many thanks,

Daniel T. Griscom             griscom at suitable.com
Suitable Systems              http://www.suitable.com/
1 Centre Street, Suite 204    (781) 665-0053
Wakefield, MA  01880-2400

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