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Mailman 2.2

This is where I am collecting the feature list and other artifacts for Mailman 2.2, which should be a modest, but well-deserved update for Mailman 2.1. It won't be as ambitious as Mailman 3.0, which is both good and bad, but I hope that it will help us get Mailman 2.2 out in a reasonable amount of time.

So far, none of these should be taken as commitments (unless marked with a Done (smile) ); manyare resurrected from the old wiki page), but currently this is the best place to collect the wish list. If you have specific requests, add them as comments to this page and I'll move them up into the main page as they get accepted for Mailman 2.2.

Mailman 2.2 development is well under way. It is not yet ready for prime time, but if you want to help develop, debug, or test the current code base, please read Testing Mailman 2.2. Contributors are welcome and encouraged! Anyone can check out and use the current development source branches.

To Do List

Here are things we need to do before MM2.2 can be released.

  • Defend against runaway .bak file restore loops in the Switchboard.

(Potential) feature set

Compatibility and code cleaning

  • Python 2.4 or newer will be required.
  • Remove all unnecessary _future_ statements
  • Remove True/False hackery

Web U/I

A primary focus of MM2.2 will be an updated web UI. A prototype was done as part of the 2005 Google Summer of Code project. We intend to modernize the UI to use current web best practices and allow for much easier customization and integration with existing sites.


  • Switch to a new templating system that lets us share templates across languages, but extract messages for the catalog.


Note that what we can accomplish here will be based on the availability of an Archiving Champion.

  • Reconsider using a 3rd-party archiver, or
  • Update Pipermail's web UI to match the technology, look, and feel of the main UI update.


These are things we're not going to do in Mailman 2.2

  • Unified user database.
  • None
  1. May 17, 2006

    In the Spam Defense section

    • Integrate with SpamAssassin (spamd)
  2. May 25, 2006

    Just for the record, I'm still interested in helping with the web ui redesign, and I may be able to get some bona-fide human factors people from the local university to help give it a serious work-over.

  3. Jun 28, 2006

    Can we go ahead and incorporate Richard Barrett's patches for integrating ht:dig, or do something comparable?  It's a pain for him to have to continue to maintain these patches and update them for every new version of Mailman that is released, yet these are probably one of the most popular patches in the system.  IMO, it does a dis-service to the community to not provide these features out-of-the-box -- people shouldn't have to patch our code in order to get major functionality like this.

  4. Jun 29, 2006

    I'd like to suggest that, since we have the code for sending out monthly mailings, instead of trashing it, we alter it, so that mailing list owners can have the option of having a monthly mailer--reminders of list rules, how to unsubscribe/propose new members, stuff like that.

    This is what YahooGroups/eGroups/etc have been doing since their beginnings, and yes, I understand that Mailman isn't YG/eG/etc, however... This has to be the biggest feature, IMHO, that I've missed in Mailman. Just a box, in the General page, so the owner can put in the text that gets mailed out. Make it a "Do you want a monthly mailing?" option or something--but I think this functionality could win over a lot more people to Mailman's charms.

    Anywho.. that's my idea--What do you think?


  5. Jul 03, 2006

    Brad, I would definitely like to see something like Richard's ht:dig work integrated in 2.2. It's definitely time we had basic search capabilities in the archives. I think this is something we should coordinate with Ethan (our SoC student) who is working on the archive web pages.

  6. Jul 03, 2006

    Glenn, you make an interesting point and I don't think this would be too hard to do. However, the current password reminder stuff really isn't suited to be adapted this way, and it's better off gone. I'll keep this in mind though because I do think it would be a fairly easy feature to add.

  7. Jul 04, 2006

    Barry, that's great! (smile) Thanks!

  8. Aug 12, 2006

    For the archive handling stuff, we've got a couple of issues that I think need to be addressed, certainly for 2.2 if not earlier.

    First off, I think there's a problem where the date information is corrected, if you use ARCHIVER_CLOBBER_DATE_POLICY=1. In particular, I believe that this is being corrected as part of the archive process, and if you were to manually re-generate the archives any previous messages that came in with bogus dates would now get "re-corrected" to be the local date/time of the manual archive generation, and not the date/time of message reception. We need to move this code up the chain, so that it will correct messages as they come in, before they get written to the archive, and before they get sent out to the recipients.

    Secondly, I think that the code should be modified to look for the most recent "Received:" header, and to use that as a first fallback point to correcting an incorrect "Date:" header on the message. This header should have been put on the message by the local MTA on the Mailman server, so it should be mostly the same as using a localtime system call, except that you avoid any additional delays that may have been caused by the message sitting in a queue, etc.... This also helps resolve the above issue where the message needs to be corrected on input, as opposed to being corrected on insertion into the archive.

    See FAQ 3.63, if you're interested.

  9. Oct 17, 2006

    I'm working on some utilities to integrate the Namazu search engine with Mailman, along the lines of Tom Morrison's very nice instruction posted at <>.  The integration on the Namazu side is pretty straightforward and I've already written a piece that customizes Namazu templates on a per-list basis with information from Mailman's MailList module.  See nmzproc at <>. 

    There's only one thing holding up the train on the Mailman end, and that's the fact that the only list name substitution token available in archtoc.html and archtocnombox.html is %(listname)s, which is replaced with the lists real_name, including any capitalization which the list admin may chose to use in the "pretty" name for the list.  The Mailman templates need to be modified to generate a small search form, as per Tom Morrison's instructions, and the action attribute of the form needs to be a full path to a directory containing Namazu components, e.g. action="/mailman/%(listname)s/namazu.cgi".  If Namazu is set up for a list, and the list admin decides he wants to change the real_name for the list to display all in caps, the link to Namazu will break.

    One line of code would fix this:

    This would give us a %(internal)s name for the list in the TOC index.html file which would be lower case and independent of administrative changes to the displayed list name.

    I can do this easily for myself, but I'd like to put together and release a set of tools to integrate Namazu with Mailman.  Telling people to use alternate Mailman templates, or giving them a patch for existing templates, is one thing.  Telling them to patch the Mailman Archiver code is rather more radical, and if this small change could get the blessing of the Mailman
    developers going forward it would make my work on the Namazu integration stuff a lot easier.

  10. Nov 04, 2006


    This may exist elsewhere and I've just missed how to do it but... I want to have a stock customized rejection notice for messages that are explicitly rejected by a moderator. Something more than "This message was deemed inappropriate by the moderators." (or whatever the one-liner is now).

    For example, a list recently set up to reconcile differences between "warring factions" in a community is likely to generate heated debate at its politest times.  We expect the community to cross the line and want to have a stock response when hitting the "reject" button for such messages.  I had assumed that's what the rejection notice box was for, but apparently that is only for messages automatically rejected. 

  11. Nov 06, 2006


    I have a big client in the Netherlands using Mailman. The question that we have is whether or not the Mailman templates (subscribe to newsletter/Forum) can be changed with different template/design.
    excuse me as I am not technical; just inquiring if it is possible and if so; what kind of person can do this job and how fast.

    Thank you for your answers in advance.


  12. Nov 21, 2006

    OK - I don't know how much of this has already been requested, just having signed up, but here's a couple of things I'd like to see:

    A "Yahoo" (sorry for swearing) type admin page for approving messages and members. By that I mean columns that show if you wish to Approve/Discard/Reject/Defer all messages and members in one fell swoop instead of having to individually click each entry. Also the ability to ban the address from subscribing and to always carry out the same action for mails from that address.

    Message numbering facility in an archive search.

     Date & Time on messages in archive search.

    A stats facility to show how many messages have been posted by subscribed members since joining.

     A variable to be added that would allow me to see who the mail was actually sent to. Useful in times of spam being reported. To be only added as an option though, as I understand that this *can* be done via a configuration amendment, but I don't have command line access.

    Hope that's not too much to be asking for.



  13. Nov 27, 2006

    About that unified user database.

    It would be most useful to see a table with a line for each email address and a column for each mailing list. Each cell would contain an 'enabled' checkbox, if they're on the list.

    Beyond that, a database with a line per user and a list of their email addresses would be a wonderful enhancement.

    We have 5 lists and only 20 people, and even with that small operation, it's a nightmare keeping track.


  14. Nov 27, 2006

    The membership list would be nicer if it were more like this:

    Look what happens when you click edit.


  15. Dec 06, 2006

    Couple of other things:

    1)  The ability to be able to delete individual messages from the archive and,

     2) The cursor to be already positioned in the password box when the admin page is accessed (very frustrating!)



  16. Dec 07, 2006

    When I set up Namazu as described by Tom Morrison and Lindsay Haisley I needed a set-gid
    CGI wrapper like `private` or `rmlist`.
    This is because I added user authentication to Lindsay's Python script that is a wrapper
    on top of `namazu.cgi` and it has to access `config.pck` of private lists.

    I just patched an existing CGI wrapper in binary (I did not want to recompile the whole stuff):

    perl -p -e 's/rmlist/search/g' rmlist > search

    Then I renamed Lindsay's modified `nmz_wrapper.cgi` to ``. It works great.

    I just suggest to add a CGI wrapper called `search` to the code base that could be a general
    hook for any third party search engine.

  17. Feb 26, 2007

    I do not think integration with Spambayesis the right way for a good spam defense. Instead we need a good spamassassin interface. A huge, increasing, number of server run spamassassin as spam filter. IMHO spamassassin integration is a priority.

  18. Jun 03, 2007

    Suggestion from some of my users: having individual admin passwords so when an admin leaves, his/her access can be revoked without requiring all other admins to memorize a new password.

  19. Jun 04, 2007

    The proper place for anti-spam integration is the MTA, not Mailman. If you want to improve what Mailman can do as a response to what the anti-spam software has done to the incoming messages, that's great – but that's not the same thing as integrating or providing hooks for an anti-spam solution.

    That said, it may also be useful for Mailman to provide hooks to integrate various anti-spam solutions. The standard Pythonic anti-spam solution would be SpamBayes, but I think we should definitely do what we can to support others as well.

  20. Jun 30, 2007

    It'd be nice if there was a way to send multiple "confirm <hash>" commands in a single email. I use a script to reject and (on occasion) accept messages to the lists I moderate; from within my email client I tag all the messages I wish to reject, and then use a macro to invoke my script once on all of those messages. Unfortunately, if I have 200 spam messages over 4 lists to reject (roughly my daily moderation load, or perhaps higher), my script has to send 200 "confirm" messages rather than 4 messages, one per list being moderated.


  21. Oct 14, 2007

    For those using virtual hosting, I suggest integrating Hans Ulrich Niedermann's vhost Branch into 2.2. (Thanks for already adding it to 3.0.)

    David Buntin

  22. May 09, 2008

    Make pipermail (urls at least) ISO 8601 compliant?