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TWiki-based Majordomo Subscriptions

It occurred to me that it would be very interesting to integrate majordomo aliases with Twiki.

Although seeing them in Twiki would be useful, I am mostly interested in editting them since then we have an audit trail available for changes to lists and the requirement for having owners goes away a bit since rules can be communicated for a list and people can add/delete themselves as per the rules for that list.

The reason this cam up is because I am considering creating a number of major lists for each TL. I have assigned 'shortnames' to technology portfolios and technology lines as follows:

Technology Portfolio TL Portfolio or TL Shortname
IDE   ide
IDE Core TL ide-core
IDE Editor TL ide-edit
IDE Project TL ide-proj
HW interface   hwif
etc...

So I was thinking we could have aliase setup for tl-<port>-<tl>-team for the TL team and tl-<port>-<tl> for people interested in that TL.

This works best if people add/delete themselves using Twiki which is more 'open' and in theory a better interface than an email drone, no? This would be a lot of aliases to create and manage via email but the tasks seems more managable using Twiki for some reason.

Thoughts?

-- TWikiGuest at WindRiver - 06 May 2003

This is an interesting idea; maintaining Majordomo aliases in TWiki would be more userfriendly then the e-mail interface. It could leverage existing TWiki groups for access control. How about this:

  • TWikiGroups topics in the Main web can be used for TWikiAccessControl and/or Majordomo list
    • List members are defined as:
      * Set GROUP = Main.PeterThoeny, Main.TWikiGuest
    • An closed list has this setting:
      * Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = %TOPIC%
    • An list controlled by admins has this setting:
      * Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = Main.FooAdminGroup
    • An open list where anyone can subscribe has no ALLOWTOPICCHANGE setting
  • A %MAJORDOMO{ info="foo" intro="Welcome to bar" owner="FooAdminGroup" }% variable in a group topic does three things:
    • It signales that the group is a Majordomo list
    • It defines required meta data for the list
    • It displays the info for the list
  • An implicit (configurable?) rule maps a group name to a Majordomo list name, e.g. TlIdeGroup -> tl-ide,   TlIdeTeamGroup -> tl-ide-team,   TlIdeEditorGroup -> tl-ide-editor,   TlIdeEditorTeamGroup -> tl-ide-editor-team.

On the implementation side, a MajordomoListManagerPlugin would do the house keeping. A Majordomo list is updated when a user saves a group topic (based on the topic save callback beforeSaveHandler()). The Majordomo e-mail interface could be changed to reply with a "please visit URL for subscriptions".

Another approach would be a "roll your own" solution, e.g. the Plugin would manage the lists without Majordomo. But this is not as simple as it sounds, e.g. taking care of mail bounces, mail loops etc.

Opinions?

-- PeterThoeny - 06 May 2003

Most of the major email list packages (Majordomo, Mailman, etc) already have a web interface, either built-in or as an add-on. It might be interesting to do this, but it would be much quicker just to install and link to the web interface, which takes care of many things and will be updated when the package is update. It would be possible to provide a TWiki-style interface on top of this, using a script triggered on save that parses the TWiki topic and does the appropriate things, either directly on Majordomo files or via a web interface (using CPAN:LWP perhaps).

Google:twiki+mailman has some more discussion - having seen the sophistication of the Mailman code, some sort of middle ground would be useful. I like the idea of using TWiki groups, but there is more per-subscription metadata needed normally - e.g. is the subscription using digests, no mail, etc. It might actually be easier to do simple sendmail-style lists, i.e. generating an aliases file from a TWiki topic, though you would then not have all the Majordomo features of course.

Integrating email lists and TWiki would be useful but I'm not sure this is the most beneficial place to start. Might be more interesting to enable auto-archiving on TWiki of email list discussions perhaps, or to enable comments on certain pages to go to email lists automatically.

-- RichardDonkin - 07 May 2003

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Topic revision: r2 - 2003-05-07 - RichardDonkin
 
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