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Using a Mailman mailing list

  1. What is Mailman?
  2. How do I administer my Mailman list?
  3. What sort of features does the List Administrator have?
  4. What sort of features do List Members have when using their web interface?
  5. What can be done with the General Information web interface?
  6. Has Magma Communications done anything to ensure the privacy of my mailing list?
  7. Is it possible to attach a database to Mailman?
  8. How is mail posted to the list? Are there any restrictions?
  9. How do I determine if I want a Moderated or Unmoderated list?
  10. How do I determine access to joining the list?
  11. How do I add members?
  12. How do I save changes?
  13. What am I not allowed to change?
  1. What is Mailman?

    Mailman is software to help manage electronic mail discussion lists, much like Majordomo or Smartmail. Mailman gives each mailing list a unique web page and allows users to subscribe, unsubscribe, and change their account options over the web. Even the list manager can administer his or her list entirely via the web. Mailman has most of the features that people want in a mailing list management system, including built-in archiving, spam filters, bounce detection, digest delivery, and so on. For more information on Mailman visit http://www.list.org.

  2. How do I administer my Mailman lists?

    Mailman allows for administration of lists via a web interface for administrators and both a web and e-mail interface for users.

    General information can be found about the list at: http://lists.domain.com/mailman/listinfo/listname

    The List Administrator's interface can be found at: http://lists.domain.com/mailman/admin/listname

    The List Member's can be found at: http://lists.domain.com/mailman/options/listname/user's_e-mail_address

    As mentioned earlier, members have an e-mail based interface as well. Members can receive information about various commands that can be used by the e-mail interface by sending an e-mail to listname-request@lists.domain.com with the word "help" (with out quotation marks) in the subject or body of the message.

  3. What sort of features does the List Administrator have?

    http://lists.domain.com/mailman/admin/listname The features included with the List Administrator's interface include Configuration and Administrative activities.

    These include:

    Configuration Categories

    General Options - This section contains fundamental list characteristics, including descriptive info and basic behaviors.

    Membership Management - Allows for administration of members including a mass subscribe member section.

    Regular-member (non-digest) Options - Contains policies concerning immediately delivered list traffic.

    Digest-member Options - Batched-delivery digest characteristics are address in this section.

    Bounce Options - Policies regarding systematic processing of bounce messages, to help automate recognition and handling of defunct addresses are dealt with.

    Archival Options - This section deals with archiving messages.

    Mail-News and News-Mail Gateways - Interaction with Mail-to-News and News-to-Mail gateway services is handled.

    Auto-Responder - Auto-responder settings are handled here.

    Other Administrative Activities

    Tend to pending administrative requests - An "Inbox' for e-mails requiring attention of the List Administrator. (Ex: subscription requests requiring List Administrator approval).

    Go to the general list information page - Access to the general information page.

    Edit the HTML for the public list pages - Allows List Administrators to edit the HTML code of any of their interface pages N.B. Great care should be used when editing any HTML as they may have serious results on the functionality of the web interfaces.

    Go to list archives - Provides List Administrators access to archives of the mailing list.

    Logout - Exit the List Administrator web interface.

  4. What sort of features do List Members have when using their web interface?

    http://lists.domain.com/mailman/options/listname/user's_e-mail_address

    The web interface allows List Members to administer their subscription status, password, and other options. List Members can unsubscribe, view their subscription to other lists, regenerate or change their password as well as administer how they receive mail from the mailing list (ex: receive mail in digest mode or receive an acknowledgement with mail is sent to the list)

  5. What can be done with the General Information web interface?

    Visitors to the General Information web interface can visit the archives, attempt to post a message to your lists or attempt to subscribe as well.

  6. Has Magma Communications done anything to ensure the privacy of my mailing list?

    In response to privacy issues voiced by customers Magma Communications has enabled several privacy settings by default. These include:
    • The list is advertised to the public when you go to the "ListInfo" URL (i.e. http://lists.domain.com/mailman/listinfo/ ), but the list of subscribers is private.
    • Only the "List Manager" can view the subscription list.
    • All subscription requests require approval by the list administrator (via the "Tend to Pending Administrative Requests" option on the admin interface)
    • The list is "moderated" by default, which means that anyone trying to post to listname@lists.domain.com will have to have their message approved (via the "Tend to Pending Administrative Requests" option on the admin interface) by the list owner before it is sent out to the list.
    • Posting privileges to the list are restricted to subscribers only.
    • Outgoing messages will have the email address of the poster in the From field of the email.

    All of these defaults can be changed via the List Administration interface for each mailing list (i.e. http://lists.domain.com/mailman/admin/listname).

    List Managers will have to review the settings of the list to ensure that any security or privacy issues are addressed. Visiting the List Administration interface at http://lists.domain.com/mailman/admin/listname can do this.

  7. Is it possible to attach a database to Mailman?

    Mailman does not use an external database. It uses a proprietary format to store e-mail addresses only.

  8. How is mail posted to the list? Are there any restrictions?

    Any e-mail client (ex: Netscape Mail, Outlook Express, etc) can be used to send mail to the Mailman mailing list - listname@lists.domain.com. In regards to restrictions, as long as it can be sent through an e-mail program, it can be sent through Mailman.

  9. How do I set my list to be a Moderated or Unmoderated list?

    Moderated
    In the list administrator's web interface under "Privacy Options" - "General Posting Filters" - Select "Yes" to "Must posts be approved by an administrator" and "Yes" to "Restrict posting privileges to list members"

    Unmoderated
    In the list administrator's web interface under "Privacy Options" - "General Posting Filters" - Select "No" to "Must posts be approved by an administrator" and "Yes" to "Restrict posting privileges to list members"

  10. How do I set a subscription policy for my list?

    Open List
    In the list administrator's web interface under "Privacy Options" - "General Posting Filters" - Select "No" to "Restrict posting privilege to list members? (member_posting_only)" and do not enter any e-mail address in the field "Addresses of members accepted for posting to this list without implicit approval requirement".

    Approved
    Part A - In the list administrator's web interface under "Privacy Options" - "General Posting Filters" - Select "Yes" to "Restrict posting privilege to list members (member_posting_only)". This allows only list members and anyone whose e-mail addresses are added to the field titled "Addresses of members accepted for posting to this list without implicit approval requirement" to post to the list.

    Part B - As a security feature Mailman confirms user subscription. In the list administrator's web interface under "Privacy Options" - "What steps are required for subscription" - select either:
    • Confirm - sends an e-mail to the e-mail address subscribing to the list verifying that they do wish to join the list
    • Require Approval - subscriber's e-mail sent to "Tend to pending administrative requests" to be processes by the List Administrator
    • Confirm+Approval - both steps above are done


    Closed
    In the list administrator's web interface under "Privacy Options" - "General Posting Filters" - Select "Yes" to "Restrict posting privilege to list members? (member_posting_only)". This allows only list members and anyone whose e-mail addresses are added to the field titled "Addresses of members accepted for posting to this list without implicit approval requirement" to post to the list.

  11. How do I add members?

    In the list administrator's web interface under "Membership Management" there is a section titled "Mass Subscribe Members". This is where members are added and as long as there is one e-mail address per line, members can be added to Mailman. By default, Mailman will send your welcome message to each address you add here. Be sure to uncheck this option if you do not wish the list members to receive this.

  12. How do I save changes?

    Anytime a setting is changed in the list administrator's interface, the change is made permanent by selecting the "Submit Your Changes" button at the bottom of every screen.

    **NOTE** There is a manual from the Mailman website called GNU Mailman List Management Guide v 2.0, please be advised that this is a reference manual only. Magma has changed some features in this manual to suit our client's needs better and to fit in better with the Magma Network. You can find this documentation at: http://www.aurora.edu/~ckolar/mailman/mailman-administration-v2.html

  13. What am I not allowed to change?

    The following sections under the following Headers should not be changed under any circumstances. If they are altered, it is likely your entire list will be lost, and you will need to have another created at the associated cost.