[Mailman-Users] How do I default to HTML, not plain text emails?

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Tue May 15 02:22:17 CEST 2012

On 5/14/2012 11:36 AM, David wrote:
> There is an old discussion in this list's archives on this topic at
> http://mail.python.org/pipermail/mailman-users/2005-April/044342.html.
> Unfortunately, it didn't help me.
> The problem, as I understand it, is that when you change the digest
> setting, it also affects the non-digest setting.

That is not correct. The ONLY thing affected by the plain/MIME setting
is the format of the user's digest.

> The archived thread
> didn't resolve or clarify this for me. We are experiencing this
> problem now.
> Our problem:
> Set the following option to "plain". Note that this is a digest
> option, not a non-digest option.
>     When receiving digests, which format is default?  Plain
>     (Edit mime_is_default_digest)
> Then set the following option to "regular":
>     Which delivery mode is the default for new users?  Regular
>     (Edit digest_is_default)
> Now add a new member to the list.
> What happens is that the new member is set to non-digest and plain
> text defaults.

Yes, but the 'plain' setting, while displayed, does not affect this user
in any way as it only affects digests.

> If you now change "mime_is_default_digest" to MIME and add a new
> member, the new member is set to non-digest and rich text defaults.

There's another misunderstanding. MIME does not mean "rich text" or
HTML. It only means that MIME format digests are sent as MIME
Content-Type: multipart/digest with each digested message contained in
it's own message/rfc822 sub-part, whereas 'plain' format digests are
'flattened in to a single text/plain message with those parts that can't
be rendered as plain text removed and stored aside, a process called

> So the digest option is changing the default settings for non-digest
> new members. This is both confusing and limiting.

It is a digest option that affects only digest subscribers, but every
subscriber has the bit that controls that option, whether or not it is
relevant to their subscription at this time. I'm sorry you find this

Have you looked at the list member manual at

> We want digest emails sent out in "plain" format by default. But we
> want the non-digest option with rich text to be the default for all
> new users. There doesn't seem to be a way to achieve this. Hopefully,
> there is a setting I'm overlooking.

Every non-digest subscriber receives the same message which is the
message as sent by the poster with possible addition of msg_header
and/or msg_footer and possible content removed by content filtering if
enabled. The plain/MIME setting does not affect this.

Mailman does not in any way 'convert' a plain text message to HTML or
rich text. If you want HTML messages to be delivered to list members,
you have to a) post HTML or multipart/alternative with an HTML part, and
b) make sure content filtering passes everything you want. I think my
off list exchange with Terry Earley got your content filtering settings
to the point where they were passing what you wanted.

Then, depending on their MUAs, MIME digest subscribers may also see the
same "rich text" messages as all non-digest subscribers.

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

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list