[development] Re: [consulting] the Ultimate forum based Malinglist Manager

Chris Johnson chris at tinpixel.com
Fri Dec 30 22:27:24 UTC 2005

Gerhard Killesreiter wrote:

> Allie Micka wrote:
>> So that's easy! you save yourself a ton of headaches when you stop  
>> trying to shoehorn Drupal into being a mailing list manager, using a  
>> real MLM to do your heavy lifting.
> Why would you want to use a MLM at all? All it does (cum grano salis) is 
> to tell you which addresses belong to which list.

Because your second statement is false.  An MLM does a LOT more than tell you 
which addresses belong to the list.  Real MLM software (e.g. ezmlm and 
mailman) handles: auto subscribe and unsubscribe, bounces for permanent errors 
(address no longer exists), bounces for temporary errors (MTA overloaded, DNS 
lookup failed, others), mass mailing to large lists which non-MLM software 
simply chokes on or overwhelms the MTA, verification of posting addresses, 
archiving, etc.

Does every mailing list need all those features?  No, small lists often do 
not.  Big lists virtually *require* a real MLM to function at all.  Where is 
the line between big and small?  It varies.

>> So, these are the functions we would build as MLM-specific in a  
>> pluggable way:
>>   - subscribe/unsubscribe functions
>>   - post to the archive from the list server
>>   - auto-create lists
>> And these would be on the Drupal side:
>>   - database/forum structure
>>   - display and access control
>>   - subscribe/unsubscribe interfaces
> This short list already has too much duplication for my taste.
> I'd like to discuss possible shortfalls on my idea to replace the MLM 
> with a script that directly accesses Drupal's database to get 
> subscribers and mail content to feed it to the MTA (and also does the 
> reverse for incomign mail).
> Cheers,
>    Gerhard

I think there is room for 2 solutions here.  One is a non-MLM software 
dependent, PHP to MTA only solution which works for small, simple lists.  The 
other is a pluggable MLM solution like Allie proposes, for large lists.


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