Updated 2008-03-10 4:00 PM
CalMail has moved its mailing list service from Majordomo to
Mailman. While they are both mailing list managers, Mailman is not
fully feature compatible with Majordomo. Majordomo has features that
Mailman lacks, and Mailman has features that Majordomo lacks. We
migrated as many settings as we could from Majordomo to Mailman. The
vast majority of lists should operate exactly the same as before.
Majordomo was deployed on a single, non-redundant server. The Mailman
service is highly available, operating with six servers. There are
three new backend servers processing mail, and our existing webmail
machines are handling the web "Manage Your Mailing Lists"
functionality. The new Mailman system has far more capacity than the
Majordomo system, and emails sent to lists should arrive to all
subscribers almost instantaneously. There were often delays with the
older Majordomo system.
On December 4th and 5th, we encountered some performance problems that
delayed some list traffic. These have been resolved.
The initial rollout lacked the ability for mailing list managers to
directly subscribe people and instead required that people be invited
and go through a confirmation process. The ability to directly add
subscribers has been re-instated, though mailing list managers should
invite new users whenever practical.
Our installation of Majordomo was customized to account for the
equivalency of several uclink domains. This meant that a person
subscribed to a list as <email@example.com> would be
permitted to send messages to a list that restricted postings from the
address <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Mailman did not take this domain
equivalency into account, meaning that such users were required to
post from the address with which they are subscribed. A temporary fix
for this problem is in place which should allow subscribers to post
using the addresses they used previously with Majordomo. We will
announce a timetable for fully addressing this problem soon.
Header, footer, welcome, and goodbye messages were sometimes missing a
final newline. This has been corrected so that all such messages, if
they exist for a mailing list, now end with a newline.
- The error "Incorrect padding" that may appear during some operations under "Modify Subscribers" in the web interface has been corrected.
- The error "Not well-formed" when attempting to moderate messages in the web interface has been resolved.
- Non-roman characters in the welcome message caused the message not to be sent. This has been corrected, but welcome messages with non-roman characters created while the problem persisted were not sent.
- The bug in MYML where users who manage large lists under
"Modify Subscribers" would sometimes get the error "Error: Incorrect padding"
- The bug where people would get a "not well-formed" error on the
moderation page is fixed.
- The listinfo page now puts paragraph breaks as appropriate for
carriage returns in the info field.
- The listinfo page no longer says:
To post a message to all the list members, send email to
Since it can be misleading, and can't currently be removed.
The error "KeyError: 'grid'" which users would get if they clicked
"unsubscribe" without selecting any members is corrected.
The link to "membership management screens" in "More information"
under "Default member moderation" has been corrected.
- Lists that you own are now alphabetically sorted in MYML.
- Bad confirmation URLs (especially for lists that no longer exist)
produce nicer error messages.
- Bad administration URLs (especially those erroneously linked from
the earlier "More Information" page) now produce nicer error
- Non roman characters in the Subject: of moderated messages caused the
UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte 0xb0 in position
1553: ordinal not in range(128)
This has been fixed.
- If you tried to send a digest immediately through the web interface,
it would return the error:
AttributeError: Doc instance has no attribute 'AddItem'
This has been fixed.
The subscription form on the listinfo page only presents the choice
whether or not to receive digests if the list really provides such a
The namespace deletion code did not properly handle deleting
something from the namespace that didn't exist. This caused an
error when someone tried to delete a list, but the list wasn't in
the namespace. The bug should be fixed, and the database has been
If you somehow manage to become subscribed to a list with address B
after having submitted a request to change your existing
subscription address from A to B, you will now receive a nice
message indicating you are already subscribed as B instead of an
The main "Manage Your Mailing Lists" page for logged in users now
says "You do not own any lists" and "You are not subscribed to any
lists" respectively instead of the misleading "You own the following
lists:... etc." if those things are true.
The option to set the moderation bit for all subscribers under
"Modify Subscribers" now correctly handles the case where a value
(On or Off) is not supplied.
The "Bulk Remove" and several Mailman options screens were not
previously providing confirmation messages. This has been fixed.
The member list search form under "Modify Subscribers" now searches
real names as well as email addresses.
After clicking on an individual subscriber under "Modify
Subscribers", the option to unsubscribe that member is now presented
along with the normal subscription options.
"Add Subscribers" and "Bulk Remove" now accept real names along with
The "Description" field now handles non-roman characters.
The held message view now handles non-roman characters. Previously,
users may have seen an error similar to "UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec
can't decode byte 0xae in position 3179: ordinal not in range(128)".
You may now remove all subscribers of a list by checking the "Remove all current subscribers" checkbox on the "Bulk Remove" page.
Mailman now supports accepting posts to a list from members of another
list on the system. The syntax is to put an "@" symbol before the
full name of a list in the "Accept these nonmembers" box, located under
Advanced->Sender Filters. For example adding:
indicates that you want the members of email@example.com to be
able to post to the list in question without being subject to moderation.
If you have any questions, please contact CalMail consult.