next up previous
Next: Internationalization Issues Up: GNU Mailman, Internationalized Previous: Introduction

What is GNU Mailman?

``GNU Mailman'' (informally referred to as just ``Mailman''), is a system for managing electronic mailing lists. It is implemented primarily in Python, an object-oriented, very high-level, open source programming language. Mailing lists are administered by a list owner, and users can interact with the list - including subscribing and unsubscribing - through the web and through email. Site administrators can also interact with Mailman via a suite of command line scripts, or even via the interactive Python prompt. Mailman is the official mailing list manager of the GNU project and is available under terms of the GNU General Public License [GPL].

Mailman strives for standards compliance, and as such is interoperable with a wide range of web servers and browsers, and mail servers and clients. Of the web servers, it requires the ability to execute CGI scripts, and of mail servers it requires the ability to filter messages through programs. Apache is probably the most widely used web server for Mailman, and any of the Big 4 mail servers (Sendmail, Postfix, Qmail, and Exim) will work just fine. The HTML that Mailman outputs is extremely pedestrian so just about any web browser should work with it, as long as it supports cookies. Mailman should work with any MIME-compliant mail reader. Mailman works on any Unix-like operating system, such as GNU/Linux.

Mailman supports a wide range of features, such as:

Mailman also provides each list with its own home page (called a ``listinfo'' page) which can be customized through the web. Mailing lists can be automatically created and deleted through the web (with proper support from the mail server). Mailman also provides web-based approval of moderated messages and subscriptions. There are a host of other smaller new features in Mailman 2.1 which won't be described in this paper.


next up previous
Next: Internationalization Issues Up: GNU Mailman, Internationalized Previous: Introduction
Barry Warsaw 2003-04-08