[Mailman-Users] Digest indexes

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Tue Dec 16 19:25:01 CET 2014

On 12/16/2014 08:56 AM, Jay Ashworth wrote:
> --- Original Message -----
>> From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen at xemacs.org>
>> Andrew Hodgson writes:
>>> I run a high volume list (around 80 messages per day), and we have
>>> complaints from digest users that the digests are difficult to work
>>> with. One requested feature is could the digests be in HTML
>>> format, and a link be presented in the table of contents to go to
>>> each message. Can this be done in Mailman by working with the
>>> digest templates?
>> No, it cannot be done without coding.


>> And it would not be easy. HTML does not provide a "mail message"
>> element, so although it would be trivial to create the table of
>> contents, there is no good way to indicate what is at the other end of
>> those links.

> I believe that what Andrew is really looking for is just something
> that could put in anchor links to the beginning of each message's 
> test as the message is HTMLified.  I agree that it would require code,
> but I don't think that code would need to have semantic knowledge of
> mail messages; it only needs to know where the edge of each message
> is.

It is not possible to do this at all for the plain text format digest
since by definition, that contains no HTML.

For the MIME format digest, I think Stephen is correct. The MIME digest
currently has the following structure

        (the boilerplate)
        (the digest_header if any)
         (the TOC)
            (the first message)
            (the next message)
        (the digest_footer if any)

One would have to create the TOC as text/html rather than text/plain and
add links to the various message parts. These can't be anchor tags. Do
do that would require HTMLifying the entire digest. They could probably
be RFC2393 mid: references though. That might not be too difficult to
do, although various popular web mail clients, e.g. gmail, currently
don't make it possible to open an individual digest message as a
separate message, so how they would deal with such a digest is unknown.

I might experiment with this at some point, but I am not optimistic that
a format can be created that would work with all the freemail clients.

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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