[sf-lug] maillist admin work

jim stockford jim at well.com
Tue May 16 20:10:43 PDT 2006

Thank you.
    My idea is to share the password and a lecture
about good manners and careful admin'ing (v.
brief cause of the manners part). Also, fewer
cooks in the broth makes better broth.

On May 16, 2006, at 7:45 PM, Rick Moen wrote:

> [Cc'd back to the list, because I think it's of general interest.
> Hope you don't mind.]
> Quoting jim stockford (jim at well.com):
>> I'll graduate to rereading Rick's email
>> and try to relieve him of a little work.
>> The interface is a pretty straightforward
>> set of tools available via web browser.
> Yeah.  The Mailman admin _model_ is just a bit retarded.
> On http://linuxmafia.com/mailman/admin/sf-lug (page visible to Jim
> and me; to others only if Jim gives them the listadmin password),
> near the top, there are two rosters into which you can put e-mail
> addresses:
> o  "The list administrator email addresses. Multiple administrator
>     addresses, each on separate line is okay."
> o  "The list moderator email addresses. Multiple moderator addresses,
>    each on separate line is okay."
> What's supposed to be difference between the two (listadmins and
> moderators)?  Let me quote the help screen:
>   There are two ownership roles associated with each mailing list. The
>   list administrators are the people who have ultimate control over all
>   parameters of this mailing list. They are able to change any list
>   configuration variable available through these administration web
>   pages.
>   The list moderators have more limited permissions; they are not able
>   to change any list configuration variable, but they are allowed to
>   tend to pending administration requests, including approving or
>   rejecting held subscription requests, and disposing of held postings.
>   Of course, the list administrators can also tend to pending requests.
> One of the reasons I say the model's a bit retarded is that membership
> in _either_ group means you receive nagmail whenever a posting or
> join request is held for listadmin approval, saying "Yo.  You need to
> come to URL [foo] and settle an issue needing your attention."  (In
> Jim's configuration, joining and leaving the group is strictly
> self-service, so listadmins' vetting of same is _not_ required.
> I'm guessing that listadmins will nonetheless get notices of
> subscribers' comings and goings, while moderators don't.
> One of FDR's VPs, John Nance Gardner of Texas, once observed to the
> press that the Vice-Presidency, in his opinion, "isn't worth a warm
> bucket of spit" (though "spit" is a more-polite, bowdlerised substitute
> for what he _really_ said).  I hold the new-ish Mailman "moderator" 
> role
> in about equally high regard:  You get the ability to get bugged
> repeatedly about held postings (which turn out to be mostly spam --
> discard these, please, don't reject them!), but can't actually fix
> fsck-all in the mailing list configuration.
> Bloody freakin' useless, in my experience.  It's all I currently have 
> to
> work with, in keeping the SVLUG mailing lists healthy, which means 
> there
> are large numbers of things running badly that I have no power to fix.
> The _other_, larger reason why I say the model's a bit retarded is that
> substantive access to administrative control is _not_ granted by having
> your e-mail address added to either of those boxes.  It has nothing to
> do with those:  It's granted by giving you the list's listadmin 
> password.
> There's thus no such thing as a built-in roster of listadmins.
> Substantively, the listadmins are everyone you've told the password to,
> and everyone _they_ told the password to, etc.  The two rosters are
> merely the people who get _nagmail_ about needed administrative action.
> You can thus easily have the completely fux0red situation where
> someone's e-mail address has been added to one of those rosters -- so
> that he/she gets the nagmail -- but has _not_ been separately given the
> listadmin or moderator password, and thus cannot _act_ on those
> requests.
> This is actually the situation I'm in concerning two of the SVLUG
> mailing lists:  I get daily nagmail demanding that I attend to held
> postings, but can't comply because I was never given the necessary
> passwords.  (I've called this to the president and VP's attention;
> they've done nothing for many, many months about it.)
> Anyhow, Jim, I've noticed that you added your address to _both_ of the
> rosters.  As I hope is now clearer, putting your address into the 
> second
> one was redundant, and you probably want to remove that.
> Also, Jim and (potentially) Lx Rudis:  Have fun with the mailing list
> configuration.  I merely suggest that, before you're tempted to touch
> the "Reply-To: header munging" sections, talk to me offlist, first.

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