switch to mailman (was: [svlug] Re: [svlug]syslogd question)

J C Lawrence claw at cp.net
Tue May 2 16:54:38 PDT 2000

On Mon, 01 May 2000 19:07:05 -0700 
Ray Olszewski <ray at comarre.com> wrote:

> It strikes me that changing the method of subscribing is going to
> be somewhat disruptive of the habits people have about mailing
> lists. I don't just mean svlug. Until the last few months, when
> someone told me about a new list, I'd assumed I could join it (if
> it is a public list) by sending the usual message to
> majordomo at someplace_or_other.com . Mailman's [listname]-requests
> may well be an improvement, but what it obviously is is different,
> and in this context, that feels like not a good thing.

A good document to read is the Mailing list management software FAQ:


Quoting from there:

Of course, some users get lost a little earlier -- they can't figure out
which address to send mail to :-).  But truly, it's not an easy decision.
There is, to date, no standard address to which users should send commands:
manually-maintained Unix lists typically use "listname" for the list, and
"listname-request" for a human being who takes care of it; automated servers
have all kept the "listname" address for the list, but use unique addresses
for the server: LISTSERV uses "LISTSERV"; Majordomo uses "majordomo";
ListProc uses "listproc"; Almanac uses "almanac"; etc.  Why should users have
to know which server you're running?  Chances are it's just a name to them
anyway.  So, there's been some move toward standardization of these
addresses, but unfortunately it seems not to be getting better: SmartList
takes its commands at "listname-request" (emulating the manual-list model),
but has no "smartlist" address; LISTSERV has created a new, generic address
at which it takes commands -- "listname-server" -- but has reserved
"listname-request" for reaching the list owner directly; Majordomo and MX
accept commands at a server address as well as "listname-request," but don't
recognize "listname-server," and so on.  A standardized addressing system
would be very useful, there's no doubt.  Everyone has their own opinion on
what the best choice would be, and I have mine, but most of all I would like
to see the MLMs' writers agree on *some* standard.  Just my opinion -- but it
certainly would help the end users.

> Do you know if anyone has thought of ... or even done ... a
> "majordomo-compatibility" add-on that processes requests sent the
> "old" way?  Or even if the internal logic of mailman would permit
> that? Something like that seems a natural analog of the practice
> of ALL Unix/Linux MTAs (all I know, anyway) including a link that
> lets them run if called as "sendmail".

I've been following Mailman and its mailing lists for a couple years
now.  While a servername at domain parser has been mentioned a couple
times, IIRC nobody there has evidenced actual interest in doing one
(or that they thought it would very valuable if it were done).

J C Lawrence                              Internet: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                            Internet: coder at kanga.nu
...Honorary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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