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1.26. Is Mailman a perfect drop-in replacement for Yahoo!Groups or Google Groups? Do you integrate with web forum, webmail, wiki, or content management products (e.g., Joomla!)?

Introduction

No. Mailman does not provide its own integrated mail server with webmail component, nor does it have a files section or a calendar function. It does not have a built-in search function for the archives, but this can easily be added (see How do I make the archives searchable).

Mailman does have some support for HTML and MIME formatted messages (including stripping MIME bodypart types and converting HTML to plain text), but due to differences in the way various MUAs support HTML and MIME, there are some issues that Mailman cannot overcome (see 4.39 Mailman is munging HTML & MIME-formatted messages before they are sent out? (problems with Mailman 2.1.x footers), How do I turn off HTML messages-attachments?, and 4.13 How do I prevent MIME attachments-HTML-Viruses being sent to lists).

Web Board Discussion Systems

If you want a web board discussion system, there are many alternatives that exist.

One option would be the Joomla! Content Management System component developed for and used at the "Backup Central" site run by W. Curtis Preston (more information at http://www.backupcentral.com/content/view/30/47/ and http://www.backupcentral.com/content/view/108/47/), with custom Joomla! development assistance from Scott Harris.

The complete system incorporates PHPBB (web board), Joomla! (content management system), Mailman (mailing list & USENET news), and a wiki. See also Mailman FAQs 3.53 and 6.11 at Additional web administration tools; and Mailman and CPanel, respectively.

The latest version of the Joomla! component integrating Mailman, etc... can be found at http://www.backupcentral.com/content/view/108/47/.

Another candidate appears to be PHPBB. Although not supported or endorsed by Mailman, PHPBB can be integrated with Mailman using the 3rd-party tool M2f http://www.mail2forum.com. It can be configured so that every message in a particular forum is sent to a particular mailing list, and vice versa. Subject lines of emails are used as the topic title in PHPBB.

And another option would be to use a program like FUD Forum (see http://www.fudforum.org), but of course this is not an official part of Mailman. Of course, there are other web board discussion systems, such as Simple Machines Forum (see http://www.simplemachines.org), and Mambo Simpleboard (see http://tsmf.jigsnet.com/), but the degree to which they can be integrated with Mailman is not known.

For users willing to spend some money, you may be interested in JiveSoftware, which includes its own Mailman gateway and archive import solution (see http://www.jivesoftware.com/).

If you're interested in these sorts of things, please feel free to check them out and report back to the mailman-users mailing list.

Mail Server with Webmail Component

Likewise, if you want to build your own mail server with webmail component, and then give all of your mailing list subscribers accounts on that machine, it would be easy enough to incorporate Mailman into that scheme.

Conclusion

Fundamentally, Mailman is a mailing list management system, and includes some limited web interface features which can be used to manage Mailman, view the archives, etc.... But Mailman does not try to solve all possible problems, and depends on you to provide or otherwise arrange for the additional servers and services that you require.

See Also

If you want to read up on all the other times this topic has come up on the mailman-users mailing list, check out this google search. In case this line is wrapped inappropriately by your browser, you can also visit http://tinyurl.com/5486s which will expand to the same URL.

Last changed on Sat Apr 19 03:54:39 2008 by Brad Knowles
Converted from the Mailman FAQ Wizard

This is one of many Frequently Asked Questions.

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