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GNU Mailman - Multiple Prefixes

Posted on 2006-10-19
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi there,

I have inherited a GNU Mailman installation which I am trying to clean up and make more efficient to my list users. Currently, I am having a problem with multiple Subject Prefixes that doesn't seem to make sense why it's doing it. Here's the rundown:

These are mailing lists:

Part Timers - Adds a prefix of [Part Timers]
Full Timers - Adds a prefix of [Full Timers]
Office Staff - Adds a prefix of [Office Staff]
Janitors - Adds a prefix of [Janitors]

Finally, I have another mailing list called Employees, which adds a prefix of [Employees]
The Employees list contains the emails addresses of all 4 of the above mailing lists.

When I send an email to Employees, the subject ends up looking like this:

[Office Staff][Employees] Staff Meeting Today in Conference Room

I'd like it to look like this:

[Employees] Staff Meeting Today in Conference Room

Logically if you look at how it's misbehaving and adding multiple Prefixes, you would think it would look like this:

[Office Staff][Part Timers][Full Timers][Janitors][Employees] Staff Meeting Today in Conference Room


Any ideas on what I can do to fix it?


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Question by:decker12
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PsiCop earned 500 total points
ID: 17830144
Don't populate Employees with the addresses of the other 4 lists. Use the actual employee E-Mail addresses. Mailman is not "misbehaving", it is working precisely as designed. You're simply not using it as it was designed to be used. That's hardly Mailman's fault.

It only pre-pends on additional Subject prefix because each recipient is only on one of the four smaller lists.

What's happening is you're sending to Employees, and the message gets the [Employees] Subject prefix. Then the message is sent out to the 4 sub-lists, individually. Each sub-list pre-pends its own Subject prefix and then sends to the actual recipients.

I really don't see what Mailman is doing wrong. Looks more like you inherited a mess.
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by:decker12
ID: 17836220
Ahh, I think I see what you mean. I'm part of the "Office Staff" email list, but I'm not part of "Part Timers" or "Janitors". That's why my emails look like this:

[Office Staff][Employees] Subject Here

Now that makes sense! I thought it was arbitrarily appending [Office Staff] to everyone's emails, even the Janitors or Part Timers.

But the question is, and this is just for aesthetic purposes in the end, but it sounds to me like I can't have it both ways. The reason I populated the Employees list with the 4 sub lists instead of just the individual email addresses is because when we have staff changes, I would have to change it in both areas. I mean, if we hire a new part timer, I would have to go into the Part Time list, add him there, and then go into the Employees list, and add him there as well.

Thanks for clearing it up, now its starting to become clearer..
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