[Mailman3-dev] Suggested Features

Vince Sabio mm3 at vsabio.com
Sun Mar 14 23:54:58 EST 2004

Hi folks,

I am currently using Lyris List Manager on an Ultra I running Solaris 
8. The hosting site is pretty large -- we have about 50 mailing 
lists, with a dozen of them numbering at 1000 or more subscribers. I 
have 15 "Listmoms" who help manage the lists, including moderation 
approval/rejection of posts.

Not surprisingly, MLM features are important to us. I'm considering a 
move to Mailman on FreeBSD, but it is difficult to tell if M2 has 
certain specific features that have become part of our day-to-day 
list management in Lyris. Now, I'm not expecting anyone to design an 
MLM around the features that we're looking for ... but since you're 
soliciting input for M3, I figure it can't hurt. So, with that in 
mind, the features in question are (see below before replying to 

* "Semi-moderated" mailing lists (i.e., subscribers are moderated for 
"N" posts when they subscribe, and "graduate" to unmoderated status 
after N _approved_ posts)

* "Spot" moderation (i.e., the ability to [re-]moderate an individual 
for "N" posts, or to permanently moderate him, at the moderator's 
discretion). It is VERY IMPORTANT that moderation be persistent -- 
i.e., if someone figures out he's been permanently moderated, he 
can't unsubscribe and resubscribe and thus go back to being moderated 
for only "N" posts. (Upon unsub/resub, the implementation should set 
his moderation for the higher of the default list moderation count 
and his previous moderation setting.)

* Moderation via e-mail -- both approve/reject (important) and 
ability to set/change a user's moderation state (less important).

* Ability to create "filters" (preferably via the web UI) that can 
act based on the content of incoming messages, and return a 
customized message to the subscriber -- e.g., if a message contains 
the word "dingleberries" (insert your favorite word there), it can 
reject the post and send the poster a customized document, with a 
copy of the post, including headers, attached at the bottom (in this 
case, the "customized document" would state that, e.g., the post was 
being returned because it contained profanity).

   - A modification to this feature is the ability to send messages to 
the moderation queue based on their content. That is, a message that 
would otherwise post to the list would instead be submitted for 
moderation if its content matches a specific filter. This particular 
feature is not in our version of Lyris (I do not know if it is in 
later versions).

* Ability to strip certain headers, such as "Precedence:", 
"Priority:", and the like.

* Ability to add custom headers, both static headers (same for all 
subscribers) and mail-merged headers (e.g., "X-Message-To: 
<address>", with the subscriber's address in the header).

* Ability for subscribers set NOMAIL mode for a specific length of 
time (and/or until a specific date), at which time their previous 
delivery mode will be restored. (This is useful when going on 
vacation; no need to remember to set their delivery mode back to 

* Ability to ban certain users from subscribing to mailing lists -- 
both on a per-list basis and on a site-wide basis.

* Ability to ban certain subscribers from posting to mailing lists 
(i.e., from ever even entering the moderation queue). (This feature 
isn't terribly important, since we can pretty well handle this in 

That's a start. Now, I know that the feature list in M2 includes such 
things as "New moderation and privacy controls," "emergency 
moderation," "Majordomo-style e-mail commands," "regex-based topic 
filtering," etc., but I'm not sure if those features translate into 
the specifics that I mentioned above. Since we use these features on 
a daily (or nearly daily) basis, I wanted to be explicit about the 
feature set we're looking for. Again, I'm not expecting anyone to 
design an M3 around our requirements, but I igured it couldn't hurt 
to state them, and might stimulate some interesting discussion. :-)


* Is the Welcome message customizable? If not, it would be necessary 
for us to be able to customize it.

* Can users request a copy of the customized Welcome message via 
e-mail? (I know they can get a "help" message via e-mail.)

* The "Urgent" message feature in M2 is nice -- but can use of it be 
limited to just list owners/moderators?

* Is it possible to REQUIRE/FORCE all e-mail addresses to be 
concealed? That is, not even give the users the option?

Please feel free to ask for clarification on any of these points. 
There are probably more features that we'd be interested in, but I 
didn't want to wear out my welcome on the first message (figured I'd 
wait until the third or fourth message for that ;-).

Vince Sabio                                            mm3 at vsabio.com

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