Mailing list usability wishlist
Here's my quick wishlist for mailing list manager (MLM) software. So far MailMan does most of the key features:
- Web-based administration
- Built-in archiving by default
- Confirmed signups, with a confirmation HTTP link in the mail
- List-Id and List-Archive headers
- List moderation by email and through the web
List moderation messages must contain the full headers and body of the message in question. This allows spam filters to be run on the message, and automatic spam-filtering of moderation requests. (MailMan and ezmlm do this.)
Spam filtering at the server end of moderated requests, to get rid of spam in the moderation queue would be nice -- but given the above, not a requirement.
Here's the new stuff.
Currently, mail messages as delivered to recipients, and their archival, are completely decoupled. I propose greater coupling, so that a mapping can be made from an email received to its archived form.
Before delivery or archival, the MLM should assign the ID string to be used as the archive permalink for that message in the archive.
It can then insert that in a header in the outgoing message, e.g.
This way, recipients can find a message (for linking from a web page, for example) quickly, without having to find the archive and visually search for that message.
Next item -- RSS feeds of the latest N messages in the archive.
And finally -- a great (possibly optional?) view for the archiver would be a GMail-style "conversation view".
Comments / "Trackback"
Jim Winstead notes that the mysql mailing lists do the archive-permalink thing, and they're ezmlm-based. interesting!
Mailing list archives should have some way of easily getting to a message by Message ID, so something like http://firstname.lastname@example.org would work. (And this could be made backwards-compatible with existing message archives.) — Aidan Kehoe