[Mailman-Users] Question about Mailman hosting service.

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Wed Feb 19 13:47:21 CET 2014

Joe writes:

 > Since I am not an IT specialist I have to ask myself, why would he
 > feel so strongly about this ?

Just because.  What more reason does anyone need?

I personally strongly disliked cPanel for a long time because they and
their customers (the host services, not the users) dumped some of
their support on us.  Inadvertantly, I'm sure, but I don't cut vendors
who don't publish derivative source much slack.  (Just a disclaimer
of personal bias, you needn't sympathize with me.  Anyway, more
recently they have been trying to work out how to be better citizens
in the Mailman community. :-)

 > What problems should I expect to encounter ?

Something that you need to think about, at least long enough to read
the whole point:

1.  Mailman sometimes gets wedged (at least, it has done so in the
    past, I'm not promising it will ever happen again, much less
    happen to you :-).  When it does, often somebody needs to access
    the message queues directly, which you can't do without shell
    access (and probably shouldn't be able to do on a shared
    installation because you could trash somebody else's mail).  This
    could indeed happen to you.  Suppose it does -- I'll bet Brian's
    company will get it resolved withing hours in 99% of the rare
    cases when it does happen.  (Ask him for actual details, I have no
    relation to or even real knowledge of his company -- I just like
    him because he's friendly and occasionally answers question here
    even if they don't seem like a way to attract a customer. :-)

    Would something that happens on the average once in ten years to a
    given list, that takes 24 hours or less to resolve, put your
    organization out of business?  If yes, cPanel is out, otherwise,
    why not?

I suspect your IT specialist buddy is a bit OCD about these things,
and a one-hour delay would be enough to get him spelling in all caps. ;-)

As a non-specialist, the following probably do *not* apply to you, but
for completeness:

2.  In high-volume situations, many admins prefer to use withlist, a
    command line script, for mass moderation.  No shell access, no can
    do.  This also can happen to you, if your list attracts specific
    attention from a bad guy.

3.  If you have many lists, and need to make a configuration change
    to each of those lists, again withlist is your friend.

4.  Certain customizations to the website require changing Mailman
    code because the page in question is fully-software generated (no
    template at all).

5.  Custom Handlers can be added to the post processing pipeline, but
    only if you have access to the code.  I have two special-purpose
    Handlers that I use for my own lists, and a third, used to
    integrate SpamAssassin with Mailman, is quite popular.  (This is
    not the preferred way to use SpamAssassin, but it works for a lot
    of Mailman site admins.)

There may be others I can't recall offhand, but they're similar.  I
think you can see that these are probably not major concerns for you.
For most non-technical users cPanel is a good way to go.

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list