[Mailman-Users] Removing archived spam

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Sat Nov 11 20:10:20 EST 2017

On 11/11/2017 03:58 PM, Hal via Mailman-Users wrote:
> On 12/11/17 00:19, Mark Sapiro wrote:

>> Whatever is done, needs to be done by someone with write access to that
>> directory.
> Would adding me as a member to the Mailman group be the "safest" option?
> Safest meaning that the web-server owner not having to risk me messing
> up the whole server or something, while still letting me do cleanup work
> (or anything else related to the list configuration etc)?

It would allow you to do what you need (and to "mess up" Mailman ;)
without giving you root or sudo.

>> That depends. The easiest way to do it completely and correctly is to
>> edit the LISTNAME.mbox/LISTNAME.mbox file and replace the spam bodies
>> with "spam removed" or some such text and similarly for the Subject:
>> headers, but leave the edited messages there so messages aren't
>> renumbered when you do the next step.
> Excellent suggestion!
> Does this apply even if say October only contains one posting, which is
> spam? Would that mess up the next month's postings (if any)?

The issue is that every message in the archive has a URL. Those URLs
contain a sequence number. If you delete messages from the .mbox and
rebuild, the sequence numbers and hence the URLs of the subsequent
messages change. If someone has a link to one of those messages, it no
longer points to the correct one.

If you don't care about this, you can delete messages from the .mbox,
but if you want the URLs to be stable, you can't.

> I read about the Mailman 3 development and I'm wondering if chances are
> that it'll ever become a matter of "point & click" to maintain such a
> mailing list, or will there always be the need to "deep dive" with UNIX
> commands and other complexities?

We're working on it. The MM 3 core engine is controlled by a RESTful
HTTP API. The GNU Mailman project also includes web applications for
list management (Postorius) and archiving (HyperKitty), but these are
not required. You can build your own and others may be contributed in
the future.

The current state of Postorius is many list settings are still not
exposed there. Enough is to make lists that work, but things are missing
that currently would need to be set by command line tools.

HyperKitty is quite functional. It's message and thread URLs are stable
and predictable, and you can delete archived messages via the web UI.

We wiil eventually get to a point where everything can be managed via a
web UI.

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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