Adrian Pepper's Guide to Mailman List Listinfo Maintenance

  • (rendered for 'sample' list)

Authenticate as adminstrator for a list, and then view this page as https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/twiki/view/CF/MailManManagementGuideListinfo?mmlist=LISTNAME but replace the word LISTNAME with the actual name of your list. (Perhaps you have already done that...)

For further hints, including for off-campus, see preface of https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/twiki/view/CF/MailManManagementGuide.

Preface

How https://lists.uwaterloo.ca/mailman/listinfo/list-name-parameter looks can sometimes be important to users of the list. But for some reason, it often gets overlooked and left at its default,

Over the years, the initial author of this TWiki page developed a few templates and guiding principles for that maintenance and subsequently attempted to list them here.

Essential Information

Guiding principles

  • Never put information specific to a list direcly in the html page
  • Avoid giving readers information they do not need
  • Avoid giving readers information you do not want them to know
    • Many mailman lists are for broadcast, and concepts such as subscription and unsubcription are not relevant in those cases

Details (with Templates)

Notice how initially the name 'list-name-parameter' (or 'sample') does not appear literally in the text in the textbox. Instead it is referred to via "macro" MM-List-Name. Similarly, no details specific to the list, such as its description/purpose appear there either (instead macro MM-List-Description).

A goal when modifying https://lists.uwaterloo.ca/mailman/edithtml/list-name-parameter/listinfo.html is to keep it that way.

Prerequisites

The following should be defined as indicated (though emptiness is handled)

And possibly change alphabetic case of ...

(all actually appear as choices on https://lists.uwaterloo.ca/mailman/admin/list-name-parameter/general and that is actually a better place to change them)

In particular, info can be almost arbitrarily long and complex, using HTML codes for effect, etc. That is how you should "personalize" the page so it applies only to one list. ( description is the brief summary to put in one line; info should actually be longer and be rendered as several paragraphs).

Aside
Perhaps it is not obvious, but, in fact, simply setting and validating the above three values will result in a mostly useful and readable listinfo page. If info is accurate, the page should be accurate, but it will be a bit long and offer the reader options you likely don't really want them to be bothered with. Further trimming the HTML at https://lists.uwaterloo.ca/mailman/edithtml/list-name-parameter/listinfo.html can undo that, resulting in a more easily comprehended page.

Templates

Over the years, the original author had created a number of templates, which meet the preceding goals, but alter the appearance of listinfo (via https://lists.uwaterloo.ca/mailman/edithtml/list-name-parameter/listinfo.html ) from its original length, complexity, and yet irrelevance, into something more terse, which can actually be easily replicated to other lists of similar type without alteration.

The choices were named, in private files

  1. leaf-very-terse.html
  2. leaf-with-owner.html
  3. leaf-with-form.html
  4. umbrella-with-roster.html

Records were kept of which School lists were set with which listinfo pages.

Caveat
While an intention is that the templates following can be simply pasted into https://lists.uwaterloo.ca/mailman/edithtml/list-name-parameter/listinfo.html to replace the text box contents, in fact there would be merit in doing functional analysis and minimizing the differences between the default you are given and a functional equivalent. You might also want to retain revision control records for the changes you make (that cannot be done directly on the mailman web pages).

I list the templates, and almost fell into the trap of listing examples of actual lists using each, but if I did that, those examples would be published to the entire potential viewership of https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/twiki .


leaf-very-terse.html

This choice is excellent for listinfo we hardly ever expect any members to read. It informs readers of the purpose of the lists, but divulges no hints about subscription or unsubscription-- description and info should indicate the purpose of this list, and therefore possibly the reason for the membership of members who read the page.

Which renders approximately as follows:

list-name-parameter -- in this case a sample list

 

About list-name-parameter

list-name-parameter functions here as a sample list.

We use it here just to demonstrate the layout of the information page when the leaf-very-terse template is used. Lots of text can be included here, in multple paragraphs, using HTML formatting.

Using list-name-parameter
To post a message to all the list members, send email to list-name-parameter@lists.uwaterloo.ca.


list-name-parameter list run by list-name-parameter-owner at lists.uwaterloo.ca
list-name-parameter administrative interface (requires authorization)
Overview of all lists.uwaterloo.ca mailing lists

Delivered by Mailman
version 2.1.30rc1
Python Powered GNU's Not Unix


leaf-with-owner.html

This choice augments the previous with an indication that the a suggestion that readers who think their membership should be added or removed can send email to the list owner.

This renders approximately as follows:

list-name-parameter -- in this case a sample list

 

About list-name-parameter

list-name-parameter functions here as a sample list.

We use it here just to demonstrate the layout of the information page when the leaf-with-owner template is used. Lots of text can be included here, in multple paragraphs, using HTML formatting.

Using list-name-parameter
To post a message to all the list members, send email to list-name-parameter@lists.uwaterloo.ca.

 

Membership of list-name-parameter

Membership is maintained automatically, but if you really think you have been accidentally omitted, send email to list-name-parameter-owner@lists.uwaterloo.ca; send email there also if you are on the list, but really think you should not be.


list-name-parameter list run by list-name-parameter-owner at lists.uwaterloo.ca
list-name-parameter administrative interface (requires authorization)
Overview of all lists.uwaterloo.ca mailing lists

Delivered by Mailman
version 2.1.30rc1
Python Powered GNU's Not Unix


leaf-with-form.html

This choice augments the previous with a form for readers who think they should be subscribed, while retaining the email suggestion for users who think they should be removed.

This renders approximately as follows:

list-name-parameter -- in this case a sample list

 

About list-name-parameter

list-name-parameter functions here as a sample list.

We use it here just to demonstrate the layout of the information page when the leaf-with-form template is used. Lots of text can be included here, in multple paragraphs, using HTML formatting.

Using list-name-parameter
To post a message to all the list members, send email to list-name-parameter@lists.uwaterloo.ca.

 

Membership of list-name-parameter

Membership is maintained automatically, but if you really think you have been accidentally omitted, enter and submit your information below.

Or you can simply send email to list-name-parameter-owner@lists.uwaterloo.ca; send email there also if you are on the list, but really think you should not be.


list-name-parameter list run by list-name-parameter-owner at lists.uwaterloo.ca
list-name-parameter administrative interface (requires authorization)
Overview of all lists.uwaterloo.ca mailing lists

Delivered by Mailman
version 2.1.30rc1
Python Powered GNU's Not Unix


umbrella-with-roster.html

While the previous suggestions reduce the overall verbosity of the page, often removing some irrelevance, this variation is perhaps the most useful change.

While setting up School mailing lists, a heirarchy of lists and sublists was created. It could be the case that a user might know the name of a list, but not really be sure whether they belonged directly, or via a sublist. Similarly, it would be really inappropriate to encourage users to subscribe to an "umbrella list".

It was reasoned that the user visiting the page already knew about the list names in general, so indicating to them the membership lists ought not to be a problem, since individual personal membership was never indicated.

This choice expects that all members are sublists, and works best if the membership list is set visible to all and all the members (of necessity maintained by administrators) are set to be visible. Perhaps unfortunately, the roster cannnot be included inline directly, but the reader must select a button to view it on a different page.

This renders approximately as follows:

list-name-parameter -- in this case a sample list

 

About list-name-parameter

list-name-parameter functions here as a sample list.

We use it here just to demonstrate the layout of the information page when the umbrella-with-roster template is used. Lots of text can be included here, in multple paragraphs, using HTML formatting.

Using list-name-parameter
To post a message to all the list members, send email to list-name-parameter@lists.uwaterloo.ca.

 

Membership of list-name-parameter

Membership is maintained automatically, and should consist entirely of other lists, with no addresses for individuals.

The following will show the sublist structure.

Click here for the list of list-name-parameter subscribers:

list-name-parameter list run by list-name-parameter-owner at lists.uwaterloo.ca
list-name-parameter administrative interface (requires authorization)
Overview of all lists.uwaterloo.ca mailing lists

Delivered by Mailman
version 2.1.30rc1
Python Powered GNU's Not Unix






For reference, default as of about November 16, 2020

For reference, an approximate rendering of the default listinfo page provided by IST on about November 16, 2020.

list-name-parameter -- in this case a sample list

 

About list-name-parameter
English (USA)

list-name-parameter functions here as a sample list.

We use it here just to demonstrate the layout of the information page when the standard listinfo provided by IST was used. Lots of text can be included here, in multple paragraphs, using HTML formatting.

To see the collection of prior postings to the list, visit the list-name-parameter Archives. (The current archive is only available to the list members.)

Using list-name-parameter
To post a message to all the list members, send email to list-name-parameter@lists.uwaterloo.ca.

You can subscribe to the list, or change your existing subscription, in the sections below.

Subscribing to list-name-parameter

Subscribe to list-name-parameter by filling out the following form. This is a closed list, which means your subscription will be held for approval. You will be notified of the list moderator's decision by email. This is also a hidden list, which means that the list of members is available only to the list administrator.

    Your email address:  
    Your name (optional):  
    You may enter a privacy password below. This provides only mild security, but should prevent others from messing with your subscription. Do not use a valuable password as it will occasionally be emailed back to you in cleartext.



    If you choose not to enter a password, one will be automatically generated for you, and it will be sent to you once you've confirmed your subscription. You can always request a mail-back of your password when you edit your personal options.

    Pick a password:  
    Reenter password to confirm:  
    Which language do you prefer to display your messages? English (USA)  
    Would you like to receive list mail batched in a daily digest? No Yes
list-name-parameter Subscribers
(The subscribers list is only available to the list administrator.)

Enter your admin address and password to visit the subscribers list:

Admin address: Password:   

To unsubscribe from list-name-parameter, get a password reminder, or change your subscription options enter your subscription email address:

If you leave the field blank, you will be prompted for your email address

list-name-parameter list run by list-name-parameter-owner at lists.uwaterloo.ca
list-name-parameter administrative interface (requires authorization)
Overview of all lists.uwaterloo.ca mailing lists

Delivered by Mailman
version 2.1.30rc1
Python Powered GNU's Not Unix

Handy Mailman Pages in This CF Twiki

(rendered for sample list)


-- AdrianPepper - 2020-11-15 -- AdrianPepper - 2020-12-01

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Topic revision: r8 - 2021-01-06 - AdrianPepper
 
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