[Mailman-Users] How to create a topic?

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Thu Jul 4 04:51:20 CEST 2013

Javad Hoseini-Nopendar writes:

 > I have created a mailing list named IranRAVI at IranRAVI.com, but I have a
 > problem. I believe a few members of the mailing list don't really like to
 > receive all the emails of the list. They don't like to take part in
 > discussions. but they only like to receive the newsletters. Now I want to
 > create a Topic or a sub-mailing list. For example:
 > IranRAVI-Newsletter at IranRAVI.com

This requirement is quite simple: just add IranRAVI at IranRAVI.com as a
subscriber to IranRAVI-Newsletter at IranRAVI.com.  Tell users to
subscribe to only one of the two lists, or they will receive duplicates.

 > This way, when I send an email to IranRAVI-Newsletter at IranRAVI.com, the
 > subscribers of this list will only receive the newsletter, but can't reply
 > to group. They can only reply to the sender.

You cannot do exactly what you say with Mailman.  The "Reply-To"
function is part of the mail client the subscriber uses, and Mailman
cannot prevent them from sending mail to any address they like.

 > At the same time, the subscribers of IranRAVI at IranRAVI.com will
 > also receive this email. The subscribers of IranRAVI at IranRAVI.com
 > should be able to take part in the discussions by replying to the
 > group.

What you can do is

- Set IranRAVI-Newsletter to refuse member posts.
- Set IranRAVI-Newsletter to accept posts from you (and other
  authorized posters' addresses, if any).
- Set IranRAVI-Newsletter to DISCARD (not REJECT!) posts from anyone
- Set IranRAVI-Newsletter's reply-to to the appropriate address (which
  can be the same as the authorized posting address, but doesn't need
  to be).

All of the above is perfectly safe, since the Newsletter is intended
to be read-only, and its subscribers want that.  Then

- Set IranRAVI's reply-to to the list, OR

This can create problems depending on the nature of the list.  If a
subscriber decides to send a nasty message to another one, *both*
reply to list and reply to author send to the *list*.  This almost
forces them to hold their fight in public, which you probably don't

- Set IranRAVI's reply-to to remove existing reply-to, OR

This can also create problems if any of your users are sophisticated
enough to use Reply-To themselves, but you need to remove the Reply-To
set by IranRAVI-Newsletter (which is sending posts to IranRAVI).

- Add a Handler to the mail processing pipeline to remove the
  IranRAVI-Newsletter Reply-To from posts to IranRAVI.

This is safe but you need to be able and willing to add code to your
Mailman installation, and add a configuration option to IranRAVI using
the command-line tool (it's not possible from the web interface).
This is also fairly safe because it will only affect IranRAVI, and
it's easy to test and fix.  If you are interested in this option, let
us know and we can explain the procedure.

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