Last changed 9 Dec 2011 ............... Length about 1300 words (13,000 bytes).
(Document started on 21 Jan 2006.) This is a WWW document maintained by Steve Draper, installed at You may copy it. How to refer to it.

Web site logical path: [] [~steve] [resources] [foreign] [this page] [mmalias]
See also MAC :Utilities: "MailmanDOC"

Email aliases for foreign students

By Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

This page is mainly for myself, documenting the arrangements for email aliases for foreign students temporarily studying in the psychology department. (My own more up to date DOC notes are at: MAC :Utilities: "MailmanDOC")

The aliases are all of the form ""   E.g. "".
The aliases are managed by me using Mailman software.
If you want to email to these lists, then if you are either a member (a foreign student) OR a staff member emailing from a psychology dept. account then your email should be delivered immediately. All other emails, including messages from anyone that are sent only as a side effect of other aliases e.g. "level3" will be sent to me for "moderating" i.e. letting through. This is partly to filter out spam, but also because messages meant only for home students are very distracting and disruptive for visiting students.

If you are a member of these lists (although I don't expect any visiting student to need to do this) then here are instructions on reading the email archives, subscribing, managing your password etc..

The rest of this page is technical documentation for myself on how I've set up these lists.

The lists for emailing to students visiting psychology

You can inspect who is enroled on these lists by clicking the links:

Notes on my private usage and maintainence for these lists

To send to new term 2 students: foreignL3T2, foreignL4T2 (my alias ft2)
To send to new term 1 students: foreign (others are empty lists at that time)
To send to term 1 students for term essays: foreignL3T1, foreignL4T1 (myalias ft1)

Xmas: remove L{3,4}T1 from foreignL{3,4}
In the summer: empty all 6 bottom lists. Restore L{3,4}T1 to foreignL{3,4}.

Put myself on all lists, or at least the bottom ones; don't have web archive turned on. Or should I turn it on for "foreign"? so latecomers can look up messages?

The software

The aliases are managed by Mailman software.

Where is mailman?

code: /usr/local/mailman/Mailman/
scripts: /usr/local/mailman/bin/
Mail list storage: /usr/local/mailman/lists/pal1  for
example  holds config.
web page: /home/web1/web/htdocs/mailman   but seems to be webmail "MailMan"

Main benefits of the Mailman software

I think Mailman is good for email lists because:

Drawbacks: What could be even better about Mailman

  • To be able to create a new list by copying all the properties/parameters of an existing list (except its name). There is a supposed solution, but
    /usr/local/mailman/bin/config_list -o /tmp/cfile pal1
    /usr/local/mailman/bin/config_list -i /tmp/cfile pal3

  • Have a way of changing a setting on one list and having it apply to all lists, and all still pending messages.
  • Especially handy to be able to blacklist someone at one click, and have it apply to all lists and to all still pending messages.
  • Even better processing of lines specifying new members to add:
  • If adding someone whose email is already there, allow the line to update/add the name part.

    RegExp syntax

    The RegExp syntax, like perl, is:
  • Start with ^ to tell it it's a RegExp. This also binds to start of line. If no '@' mentioned, it matches against email name up to @
  • Magic chars like * are magic; \* gives a literal asterisk; must use .* not * for "any chars".

    So "^.*" allows all addresses from the univ. (student, staff, ..), although backslashing the literal dots would be technically better. "^.*gla\.ac\.uk"

    Tips on using Mailman

    Adding people to these lists: what the documentation doesn't say, is that on the appropriate screen it takes one or more users, one per line, ignoring spurious spaces, and people whose email is already enroled on the list, in the following forms: (The second format adds names as well as emails, which is very handy for the administrator scanning lists.)

    Design and rationale for settings for Foreign tree of lists

    See my Mac: Doc for most of this. Current solution:

    Reference list of mailman lists

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