[ZDP] Does the ZDP need it's own Mailing List archive for quoting messages ? ?

Maik Roeder roeder@berg.net
Sat, 01 Apr 2000 19:53:13 +0200

Hi !

I have taken some time to write this proposal for a mailing list tracker
which we could use for the ZDP project. I would like to hear from
you whether we really need such a program, and if so what you think 
it should be like.


Does the ZDP need it's own Mailing List archive for quoting messages  ?

It would be nice to have a Mailing list tracker on the ZDP site, where 
all messages, which are sent to all of the Zope mailing lists are kept.
The messages could then be used for searching on specific topics, and
could also be directly reused when new pieces of documentation are written.

Reusing pieces of documentation right now means to track the mailing lists,
using your own mail reader, or going to one of the online Mailing list
trackers like egroups, and then cutting and pasting the message into
your documentation.

Just taking over content is not nice without giving credit to the original
author. It is also not very user-friendly because much of the discussion,
which has been surrounding the posting in the original discussion thread
is simply lost. The original thread can be very useful for ZDP visitors,
who may want to have a look at it when they see it quoted.

Right now, giving a pointer to the original post is hard, because you can
not be sure whether the site you are pointing to always keeps the URL, or for
what is worse, even disappears. We need to be sure that a quoted message 
along with it's thread still exists in the future.

We don't have enough space on the ZDP site to keep the whole Zope mailing
lists, and so we are planning to digest the incoming mails only for a certain
period of time. Afterwards, the mails will be deleted if they haven't
appeared in a thread that has been quoted. 

We don't have the ressources to update the Mailing List Tracker everytime
a mail is sent to a mailing list. So, to quote a mail, we need to manually
upload all mails which have been written to that list since the last update.
We also need to update threads to which new mails have been posted in the 

We also lack a tool for uploading messages to the Zope site. We could 
extend the Mailbag product by Tres Seaver which uses the Python 'rfc822'
and 'mailbox' modules to parse messages and mailboxes. 

Lately, Tres Seaver has rewritten Mailbag, refactoring the logic into Python
classes. The corresponding ZClasses for the presentation layer still
have to be rewritten, but can possibly be taken over from the previous
Mailbag version.

To get the mail into Zope, a program needs to be written that calls Mailbag
via ZClient when a mail arrives. Another type of program could be useful
for importing existing Mailboxes into Zope. 

For delivery, an MDA like procmail could spawn a program out of a .forward
file and ask it to upload the mail to a Zope folder according to a
predefined set of recipies.

There exists a Python program called getmail which takes mail from a POP3
server and delivers it into a mailbox. The delivery part of this program
uses a getmailrc which could be used instead of the procmail recipies.

Once the mail is in a local installation on a ZDP members own Zope server, it
is easy to export the email and upload it to the ZDP site. From there, the
ZDP members can quote the message easily by directly pointing to the URL.

This way, we may not get a complete mail archive, but at least we can always
be sure that the quoted mails and their surrounding thread exist. 



Maik Röder

Open Source is "about being able to work together with people you've
never  met, on projects that  are in  a constant state  of flux,  on 
a time schedule  that would  cause a  hummingbird's  head to  spin."
Paul Ferris, http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/opinions/1593/1/