FAQ
Good morning/Afternoon/evening,

I've been looking for a possible solution now for a few days, checked
the docs, archives, search engines, etc. No clue.

We maintain several large mail lists for a client, excess of 40k
subscribers, all opt-in - verified - signed in blood addresses. We use
verp to purge the list of mis behaving subscribers. People who use the
AOL spam button to unsubscribe and their ilk. No issues there, all is
working fine.

The client is asking for the ability to manage list messages in a new
way. We are unable to do so using our current software, ezmlm. Here is
the scoop. The client has twenty mail lists, and subscribers can sign up
for any number of lists. The client wants to be able to send a common
message to some lists without sending duplicate messages if a subscriber
is on more then one list. The key is some lists must be excluded from
receiving the message. Think distributors vs retailers vs wholesales vs
consumers.

This brought us to looking at Mailman topics.

As we understand it you can have topics, and subscribers will only
receive messages directed at the topics they subscribe to. This means a
subscriber could subscribe to [members], [stores], and [retailers], if
we send a message to [stores] they will receive it. If we send a message
to all topics, subscribers will receive only one message. This is what
we want.

However, if we send a message only to [stores] and to [members],
subscribers will receive two copies. This is not what we want. In order
to have a subscriber receive only one copy of the message, the message
must go to ALL topics, [stores], [members], [retailers], [malls],
[gas_stations], [gas_stations_with_inside_bathrooms],
[gas_stations_with_outside_bathrooms_in_north_dakota], etc. Not what we
want.

Is this correct? Can we send a message to only three of twenty topics
and subscribers who are only subscribed to one of the seventeen excluded
topics will receive no message, and subscribers subscribed to two of the
three included topics will receive only one message?

It is not clear to us from the docs or from any information we have been
able to find. Thanks,

DAve
--
Three years now I've asked Google why they don't have a
logo change for Memorial Day. Why do they choose to do logos
for other non-international holidays, but nothing for
Veterans?

Maybe they forgot who made that choice possible.

Search Discussions

  • Brad Knowles at Aug 8, 2007 at 2:20 am

    On 8/7/07, DAve wrote:

    The client is asking for the ability to manage list messages in a new
    way. We are unable to do so using our current software, ezmlm. Here is
    the scoop. The client has twenty mail lists, and subscribers can sign up
    for any number of lists. The client wants to be able to send a common
    message to some lists without sending duplicate messages if a subscriber
    is on more then one list.
    Mailman is able to eliminate some duplicate messages, depending on
    the exact nature of the situation. In particular, if the headers
    show that a certain address is a named recipient in the "To:" or
    "Cc:" headers but is also a subscriber to the list, then the
    additional list copy can be avoided.

    However, one list has no idea what the other lists are doing, or what
    traffic may have already been sent through there. So, if the same
    message is posted to multiple lists and the same person is subscribed
    to multiple lists, then they'd still get multiple copies. I don't
    see any obvious way around that problem.
    As we understand it you can have topics, and subscribers will only
    receive messages directed at the topics they subscribe to. This means a
    subscriber could subscribe to [members], [stores], and [retailers], if
    we send a message to [stores] they will receive it. If we send a message
    to all topics, subscribers will receive only one message. This is what
    we want.
    As far as it goes, that sounds correct.
    However, if we send a message only to [stores] and to [members],
    subscribers will receive two copies. This is not what we want.
    If there's just one list, with multiple topics, then a recipient on
    that list should only get one copy of the message, even if they're
    subscribed to multiple topics.

    At least, that's the way I understand it.
    It is not clear to us from the docs or from any information we have been
    able to find. Thanks,
    If I haven't been able to clarify this issue for you, please let me know.

    --
    Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>, Consultant & Author
    LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>
    Slides from Invited Talks: <http://tinyurl.com/tj6q4>

    09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
  • DAve at Aug 8, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    Brad Knowles wrote:
    On 8/7/07, DAve wrote:

    The client is asking for the ability to manage list messages in a new
    way. We are unable to do so using our current software, ezmlm. Here is
    the scoop. The client has twenty mail lists, and subscribers can sign up
    for any number of lists. The client wants to be able to send a common
    message to some lists without sending duplicate messages if a subscriber
    is on more then one list.
    Mailman is able to eliminate some duplicate messages, depending on the
    exact nature of the situation. In particular, if the headers show that
    a certain address is a named recipient in the "To:" or "Cc:" headers but
    is also a subscriber to the list, then the additional list copy can be
    avoided.

    However, one list has no idea what the other lists are doing, or what
    traffic may have already been sent through there. So, if the same
    message is posted to multiple lists and the same person is subscribed to
    multiple lists, then they'd still get multiple copies. I don't see any
    obvious way around that problem.
    Agreed
    As we understand it you can have topics, and subscribers will only
    receive messages directed at the topics they subscribe to. This means a
    subscriber could subscribe to [members], [stores], and [retailers], if
    we send a message to [stores] they will receive it. If we send a message
    to all topics, subscribers will receive only one message. This is what
    we want.
    As far as it goes, that sounds correct.
    However, if we send a message only to [stores] and to [members],
    subscribers will receive two copies. This is not what we want.
    If there's just one list, with multiple topics, then a recipient on that
    list should only get one copy of the message, even if they're subscribed
    to multiple topics.

    At least, that's the way I understand it.
    So in the idea of an announcement only list, we should be able to have
    the list owner post a message to multiple topics, correct? I did not see
    where cross posting a message to multiple topics within a single list
    was possible. Do you know if it is?
    It is not clear to us from the docs or from any information we have been
    able to find. Thanks,
    If I haven't been able to clarify this issue for you, please let me know.
    Thank you very much.

    DAve


    --
    Three years now I've asked Google why they don't have a
    logo change for Memorial Day. Why do they choose to do logos
    for other non-international holidays, but nothing for
    Veterans?

    Maybe they forgot who made that choice possible.
  • Brad Knowles at Aug 9, 2007 at 2:36 am

    On 8/8/07, DAve wrote:

    So in the idea of an announcement only list, we should be able to have
    the list owner post a message to multiple topics, correct? I did not see
    where cross posting a message to multiple topics within a single list
    was possible. Do you know if it is?
    I would think so, yes. But you should probably wait for an answer
    from someone who knows better how that part of the code actually
    works, like maybe Mark Sapiro or Tokio.

    --
    Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>, Consultant & Author
    LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>
    Slides from Invited Talks: <http://tinyurl.com/tj6q4>

    09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
  • DAve at Aug 17, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Brad Knowles wrote:
    On 8/8/07, DAve wrote:

    So in the idea of an announcement only list, we should be able to have
    the list owner post a message to multiple topics, correct? I did not see
    where cross posting a message to multiple topics within a single list
    was possible. Do you know if it is?
    I would think so, yes. But you should probably wait for an answer from
    someone who knows better how that part of the code actually works, like
    maybe Mark Sapiro or Tokio.
    Doesn't look like that answer is coming, I must be treading new ground.
    Is anyone interested in the answer if I setup a test install and try it?

    DAve

    --
    Three years now I've asked Google why they don't have a
    logo change for Memorial Day. Why do they choose to do logos
    for other non-international holidays, but nothing for
    Veterans?

    Maybe they forgot who made that choice possible.
  • Brad Knowles at Aug 18, 2007 at 5:32 am

    On 8/17/07, DAve wrote:

    Doesn't look like that answer is coming, I must be treading new ground.
    Is anyone interested in the answer if I setup a test install and try it?
    Heck, even if no one else is interested in seeing how this test goes,
    then you can certainly sign me up. I've always wondered how the
    "topics" stuff worked, and I've never had the chance to do much work
    with them....

    --
    Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>, Consultant & Author
    LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>
    Slides from Invited Talks: <http://tinyurl.com/tj6q4>

    09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
  • DAve at Aug 20, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Brad Knowles wrote:
    On 8/17/07, DAve wrote:

    Doesn't look like that answer is coming, I must be treading new ground.
    Is anyone interested in the answer if I setup a test install and try it?
    Heck, even if no one else is interested in seeing how this test goes,
    then you can certainly sign me up. I've always wondered how the
    "topics" stuff worked, and I've never had the chance to do much work
    with them....
    Mark Sapiro answered my query very well, see his message. If you have
    any questions let me know. We played with it quite a bit Friday and it
    is still configured so I can goof around with it if needed.

    DAve

    --
    Three years now I've asked Google why they don't have a
    logo change for Memorial Day. Why do they choose to do logos
    for other non-international holidays, but nothing for
    Veterans?

    Maybe they forgot who made that choice possible.
  • Mark Sapiro at Aug 19, 2007 at 2:29 am

    DAve wrote:
    Brad Knowles wrote:
    On 8/8/07, DAve wrote:

    So in the idea of an announcement only list, we should be able to have
    the list owner post a message to multiple topics, correct? I did not see
    where cross posting a message to multiple topics within a single list
    was possible. Do you know if it is?
    I would think so, yes. But you should probably wait for an answer from
    someone who knows better how that part of the code actually works, like
    maybe Mark Sapiro or Tokio.
    Doesn't look like that answer is coming, I must be treading new ground.
    Is anyone interested in the answer if I setup a test install and try it?

    Sometimes people are out of electronic contact for weeks at a time :)

    Topics are defined for a list.

    Each member may subscribe to zero or more of the defined topics, and may
    additionally choose to receive messages which don't match any topic. If
    the member subscribes to zero topics, she receives all list messages. If
    the member subscribes to one or more topics, she receives (one copy) of
    all messages matching any of the subscribed topics, and if opted, those
    messages which match no topic.

    Each topic definition includes a regexp which is matched against the
    Subject: header, the Keywords: header if any, and any initial body lines
    that look like Subject: or Keywords: headers up to the first non-header
    like body line or topics_bodylines_limit, whichever comes first.

    As we understand it you can have topics, and subscribers will only
    receive messages directed at the topics they subscribe to.

    Plus messages which match no topic if they choose. But, since this is an
    announce list, you should be able to guarantee that all messages will
    match one or more topics.

    This means a
    subscriber could subscribe to [members], [stores], and [retailers], if
    we send a message to [stores] they will receive it. If we send a message
    to all topics, subscribers will receive only one message. This is what
    we want.

    I don't understand what you mean by "all topics".

    However, if we send a message only to [stores] and to [members],
    subscribers will receive two copies.

    No. Those members subscribed to either [stores] or to [members] or to
    both will each receive exactly one copy of the message.

    This is not what we want. In order
    to have a subscriber receive only one copy of the message, the message
    must go to ALL topics, [stores], [members], [retailers], [malls],
    [gas_stations], [gas_stations_with_inside_bathrooms],
    [gas_stations_with_outside_bathrooms_in_north_dakota], etc. Not what we
    want.

    The above is not correct. Each list member will receive either zero or
    one message depending on whether or not the message matches at least one
    subscribed topic.

    - --
    Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net> The highway is for gamblers,
    San Francisco Bay Area, California better use your sense - B. Dylan
  • DAve at Aug 20, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Mark Sapiro wrote:
    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    DAve wrote:
    Brad Knowles wrote:
    On 8/8/07, DAve wrote:

    So in the idea of an announcement only list, we should be able to have
    the list owner post a message to multiple topics, correct? I did not see
    where cross posting a message to multiple topics within a single list
    was possible. Do you know if it is?
    I would think so, yes. But you should probably wait for an answer from
    someone who knows better how that part of the code actually works, like
    maybe Mark Sapiro or Tokio.
    Doesn't look like that answer is coming, I must be treading new ground.
    Is anyone interested in the answer if I setup a test install and try it?

    Sometimes people are out of electronic contact for weeks at a time :)
    Hey I wasn't complaining! I figured I would just go try it myself so I
    did. It works exactly as you describe below which is what we want.

    Now we just have to figure out how to manage the addresses and user
    preferences for it looks like it could go 100k subscribers. Currently we
    use ezmlm and we manage all subscriptions via a management interface and
    SQL which syncs the subscriber list with the client's AS400. We will
    check out the xmlrpc patch as well.

    We are reading the FAQ on high volume lists and searching the archives now.

    Thanks,

    DAve
    Topics are defined for a list.

    Each member may subscribe to zero or more of the defined topics, and may
    additionally choose to receive messages which don't match any topic. If
    the member subscribes to zero topics, she receives all list messages. If
    the member subscribes to one or more topics, she receives (one copy) of
    all messages matching any of the subscribed topics, and if opted, those
    messages which match no topic.

    Each topic definition includes a regexp which is matched against the
    Subject: header, the Keywords: header if any, and any initial body lines
    that look like Subject: or Keywords: headers up to the first non-header
    like body line or topics_bodylines_limit, whichever comes first.

    As we understand it you can have topics, and subscribers will only
    receive messages directed at the topics they subscribe to.

    Plus messages which match no topic if they choose. But, since this is an
    announce list, you should be able to guarantee that all messages will
    match one or more topics.

    This means a
    subscriber could subscribe to [members], [stores], and [retailers], if
    we send a message to [stores] they will receive it. If we send a message
    to all topics, subscribers will receive only one message. This is what
    we want.

    I don't understand what you mean by "all topics".

    However, if we send a message only to [stores] and to [members],
    subscribers will receive two copies.

    No. Those members subscribed to either [stores] or to [members] or to
    both will each receive exactly one copy of the message.

    This is not what we want. In order
    to have a subscriber receive only one copy of the message, the message
    must go to ALL topics, [stores], [members], [retailers], [malls],
    [gas_stations], [gas_stations_with_inside_bathrooms],
    [gas_stations_with_outside_bathrooms_in_north_dakota], etc. Not what we
    want.

    The above is not correct. Each list member will receive either zero or
    one message depending on whether or not the message matches at least one
    subscribed topic.

    - --
    Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net> The highway is for gamblers,
    San Francisco Bay Area, California better use your sense - B. Dylan

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    =WVdO
    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

    --
    Three years now I've asked Google why they don't have a
    logo change for Memorial Day. Why do they choose to do logos
    for other non-international holidays, but nothing for
    Veterans?

    Maybe they forgot who made that choice possible.

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postedAug 7, '07 at 3:19p
activeAug 20, '07 at 3:07p
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DAve: 5 posts Brad Knowles: 3 posts Mark Sapiro: 1 post

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