[Mailman-Users] Diagnosing command failures

Gary Merrill ghmerrill at chathamdesign.com
Mon Jan 19 17:30:44 CET 2015


The suggestions you make about typographical/character issues are precisely
the ones I have made to him -- in part because he has made such errors
previously in other contexts.  But unless Mailman provides me with some kind
of record or error log, I have no way of verifying what password he's used
and indeed what email address he's used to send the command from.

I honestly don't have a clear picture of exactly what he's attempted at this
point.  For example, has he attempted to do this via the email command or
via the web interface?  He uses "tech jargon" loosely and confusingly (as
many people do) and has said things like "I managed to get through and typed
my assigned password."  But what does this MEAN?  In response to a request
for clarification, he has said that " 'Get through' simply means
'connected'. "  An odd thing to say if the command is being sent via email,
but for a large group of people, "connected", "logged on", "accessed",
"emailed", etc. are used synonymously.  So you see what I'm dealing with in
any attempt to diagnose the problem with him remotely and indirectly.

There's no reason that an arbitrary member should not be able to retrieve
the membership list.  And this DOES work for me (using any of several
accounts that have no special privileges).  I know it works for at least
some others as well.

Second, this is a mailing list for a (loosely run) community band, this user
is the president of the band and needs access to the mailing list.
Implementing a Mailman list had as its primary goals addressing the problems
involved in this user's maintaining his own private copy of his own list --
which was always fraught with error and often out of date.  So having him be
able to EASILY get the list is pretty important.  It has taken over six
months to get him to switch from his own private list to using the Mailman
managed list.  The rest of the band is ecstatic about the Mailman list,
since they're now confident that it's always accurate and up to date, and
that they won't miss any messages.

But again, the big GENERAL question here is whether Mailman provides any way
of diagnosing such command failures.


Gary H. Merrill
Chatham Design Consultants
+1 919.271.7259

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Heller [mailto:heller at deepsoft.com]
> Sent: Monday, January 19, 2015 11:10 AM
> To: ghmerrill at chathamdesign.com
> Cc: Mailman Users; Robert Heller
> Subject: Re: [Mailman-Users] Diagnosing command failures
> At Mon, 19 Jan 2015 10:10:32 -0500 ghmerrill at chathamdesign.com wrote:
> >
> > Is there any technique to diagnose precisely why/how a particular
> > (email) command to a list has failed?
> >
> >
> >
> > I have a user (a SINGLE user, so far as I know) who cannot get the
> > list of members by using the 'who <password>' command.  He
> > successfully gets his password with the 'password' command, but the
> command fails.
> >
> >
> >
> > This user is VERY difficult to work with since he is elderly, sloppy
> > in how he does things, and is often confused by instructions or
> > requests for information.  He successfully uses the list for
> > communications.  I'm very confident that he is either using the wrong
> > password (we in fact determined that at one point - which took a lot
> > of effort) or is typing in his password incorrectly.  But short of
> > physically sitting down with him at this point, I don't know what else
to do.
> It sounds like issues relating to upper/lower case letters and confusing
zero and oh (0
> vs o/O) and one and el (1 vs l).
> Question:  is there some *specific* reason he wants/needs the list of
> Most of the time, random list members have no need for a member listing.
> >
> >
> >
> > Mailman must have a failure/error log of some sort for each list, does
> > it not?  How can I see exactly why this user's command is failing?
> > The information in the failure messages to the user (when I can get
> > him to forward these) is uninformative.
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________
> >
> >
> >
> > Gary H. Merrill
> >
> > Chatham Design Consultants
> >
> > +1 919.271.7259
> >
> >
> >
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> >
> --
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