[Mailman-Users] Does mailman 2.1.18 support hebrew language ?

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Sat Jan 10 02:42:57 CET 2015

On 01/09/2015 09:41 AM, Xie, Wei wrote:
> 1) In the member option page
> _http://WEBSERVER/mailman/options/LISTNAME/<this_ user>, there is one
> setting "Get MIME or Plain Text Digests?", current setting is "Plain Text";
>      In same page, the setting " What language do you prefer?" is
> "English(USA)" but there is a drop-down list including language "Hebrew";

OK. Note that this user could set her preferred language to Hebrew, but
that wont help solve this issue.

> 2) In the list admin Language options page, the setting "default
> language for this list" is set to "English(USA)", the setting "Languages
> supported by this list" is set to "English (USA)" and "Hebrew";


>      In same page, the setting " When receiving digests, which format is
> default?" is "Plain", but I see the note "(Edit mime is default digest)";

I think that would be on the Digest options page, not the Language
options page.  The name of the list attribute (setting) is
'mime_is_default_digest' It has two possible values, False indicating
Plain is the default and True indicating MIME is the default.

Every setting in the web UI has a link associated with it which is
either "Details for setting_name" (a link to additional info) or if
there is no additional info, "Edit setting_name" which just links to a
page containing only that setting.

I.E. 'mime_is_default_digest' is the name of the setting, not the actual

> 3) In file Defaults.py, I see the following setting about English (USA).
> But in mm_cfg.py, there is no customized setting about English (USA).
> add_language('en',    _('English (USA)'),       'us-ascii',    'ltr')

Yes, and if you wanted to change that default you could put, e.g.

add_language('en',    'English (USA)',       'utf-8',    'ltr')

in mm_cfg.py (never change Defa>
>ults.py). For technical reasons, if you override this setting in
mm_cfg.py, you should not include the i18n _() function around the
language name. Also, the language direction 'ltr' -> left to right is
the default and can be omitted which Is why it would be sufficient to put

add_language('en', 'English (USA)', 'utf-8')

in mm_cfg.py to change Mailman's character set for 'en'.  Note also that
this only works because the English templates and messages are in ASCII
which is a proper subset of utf-8.

> Third, the below is my questions about three choices.
>  1. If users subscribe to the MIME format digest, each message will be
>     in a separate message/rfc822 MIME part and will retain its original
>     encoding.
> Questions – do you mean this customer can change setting "Get MIME or
> Plain Text Digests?" to “MIME” in above member options page I mention? 
> No need to change other customer settings?


>                         Can the setting ensure this customer is able to
> read English and Hebrew in same message

I have no idea what the user can read, but with this setting and no
change to the list's preferred_language, the digest masthead and TOC
will still be in English, and each message in the digest will be in its
own message/rfc822 part in the original language and character set in
which it was posted, just like the messages delivered to non-digest members.

Note however that some MUAs (mail clients) are not good at understanding
MIME format digests so the user experience will vary depending on their
choice of MUA. The only way for a user to know if she will like the MIME
format is to try it.

>  2. If you set the list's preferred_language to Hebrew on the list admin
>     Language options page, the plain text digest will be utf-8 encoded
>     and the Hebrew characters won't be replaced, but then the web UI and
>     other things like the digest boiler plate and TOC will be in Hebrew.
> Questions – if we make above change, other digest users in this list
> will see Hebrew, right? The list owners must not agree to this change.
> Also, do you think we should change the setting the " When receiving
> digests, which format is default?" from "Plain" to “MIME”.

Yes, I think for this list in particular, 'mime_is_default_digest'
should be set to MIME.

If you change the list's preferred language to Hebrew, the list's admin
and admindb interfaces will be in Hebrew, the digest manifest and TOC
will be in Hebrew, Mailman's notices to the admins/moderators will be in
Hebrew, but Mailman notices (not digests) to users will be in the user's
preferred language as set on the options page.

The individual messages in the digest will be in whatever language they
were originally posted, but the character set of the plain format digest
will be utf-8 so that Hebrew letters won't be changed to '?'

>  3. You can set Mailman's character set for English to utf-8 by putting
> add_language('en', 'English (USA)', 'utf-8')
> in mm_cfg.py (and restarting Mailman). The downside of this is the
> bodies of Mailman generated messages including plain digests will be
> base64 encoded and will not be readable by non-MIME aware MUAs. This is
> not much of an issue these days as such MUAs are rare.
> If the settings in above member option page can fix this customer’s
> problem, we will be cautious to make the change to impact our mailing lists.

Set the users to receive MIME digests and set MIME as the default
format. There is now a script at
<http://www.msapiro.net/scripts/set_mime.py> that will do that.

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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