[Mailman-Users] Diagnosing command failures

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Tue Jan 20 00:09:01 CET 2015

On 01/19/2015 08:30 AM, Gary Merrill wrote:
> 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 which was always fraught with error and often out of date.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.

I suggest the easiest thing is to direct him to the list info page at a
URL like http://example.com/mailman/listinfo/LISTNAME, enter his email
address and list password in the Address: and Password: boxes near the
bottom of the page and click the 'Visit Subscriber List' button.

Unfortunately, if his address or password is incorrect, all he sees is

LISTNAME roster authentication failed.

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

If he is using the email "who" command, he should get an email response.
Have him forward both his original email and the response email to you.
Between the two, they contain everything Mailman knows about it. Mailman
is designed to help the user find the mistake in this case, not to log
everything for an admin.

You can search the web server and Mail server logs to find if he is
mailing LISTNAME-request at ... or POSTing to /mailman/roster/LISTNAME, but
you won't be able to see the actual commands or data he's submitting.

You may ultimately find that actually sitting down with him is the
easiest thing to do. I can give you patches to log everything if that's
what you want, but walking him through it may be easier assuming he can
remember for the next time.

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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