[Mailman-Users] {Disarmed} Re: importing archived Maildir email lists into Mailman lists archives

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Wed Sep 2 22:13:52 CEST 2015

On 09/02/2015 12:27 PM, [IDIS Technical Secretariat] Ricardo Rodríguez
> Still, I've a doubt about the syntax of Mailman commands. I do need to do...
> [root at idis2 r.users.mbox]# cleanarch <r.users.all.mbox> r.users.all.clean.mbox
> While <> are not required in command arch...
> [root at idis2 r.users.mbox]# arch --wipe r.users r.users.mbox
> If I don't use <> to enclose the input file name in cleanarch, I get the
> help page!

You are not 'enclosing' the input file name in cleanarch with <>.
cleanarch reads the input mailbox from stdin and writes the output mbox
to stdout. You are actually saying '<r.users.all.mbox' which redirects
stdin from the terminal to the file r.users.all.mbox and '>
r.users.all.clean.mbox' which redirects stdout from the terminal to the
file r.users.all.clean.mbox.

Note that you didn't need to do this as the
<http://www.arctic.org/~dean/scripts/ezmlm2mbox> script already writes a
'clean' mbox.

On the other hand if you give a second argument to bin/arch, it assumes
that is the mbox. It doesn't read stdin in any case and writes various
progress info to stdout.

> Usage of both commands as per their help pages are close to similar...
> Usage: cleanarch [options] < inputfile > outputfile

This means use shell redirection to read the input from inputfile and
write the output to outputfile.

> Usage: /usr/lib/mailman/bin/arch [options] <listname> [<mbox>]

Here the notation <listname> means that is a variable to be replaced
with the actual list name and [<mbox>] means that <mbox> is a variable
to be replaced with the actual mbox, but the [] mean it's optional - if
not provided it is computed as

> Also, arch alone shows its help page

because arch without at least a <listname> argument is invalid

> whereas cleanarch alone do
> "nothing".

Actually cleanarch alone is valid and both reads its input from and
writes its output to the terminal. That's why if you type just
'cleanarch', it doesn't return immediately to a command prompt but waits
for input from the terminal.


mark at msapiro:~$ /var/MM/21/bin/cleanarch
 - it's waiting for input- I type
>From someone
 - it responds
>From someone
 - to stdout, and
Unix-From line changed: 1
>From someone
 - to stderr. then I type ^D (control-D - end of file) and it responds
0 messages found
 - and exits.

> Those usage lines and command behaviour aren't to consistent,
> are they? Could this behaviour be caused by my local configuration?

No. They are caused by two different programs written by at least two
different people. So yes, they aren't exactly consistent, but if you
understand the different commands and the shell redirection, it may make
more sense.

True, cleanarch could have been written to require an input file
argument instead of using stdin, but using stdin and stdout makes it
easy to insert it into a pipeline of commands as in for example

ezmlm2mbox [-d] ezmlm_dir | cleanarch | arch --wipe <listname> -

except for the fact that arch doesn't read its stdin even if the
conventional '-' is used as the mbox file name.

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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