Re: [htdig] Indexing private Mailman archives with ht://Dig?

Igor S. Livshits (
Wed, 4 Aug 1999 22:23:38 -0500

At 8:50 PM -0400 on 8/4/99, Geoff Hutchison wrote:
>On Wed, 4 Aug 1999, Igor S. Livshits wrote:
>> Since Mailman uses a proprietary authentication scheme, I cannot
>> configure ht://Dig to properly authenticate and search private
>> archives. Has anyone found a work-around?
>What do you mean "proprietary?" I assume you mean the Mailman list
>manager, covered under GPL? If so, the authentication can't be
>proprietary--the source code's available.

Yes, bad choice of words on my part. What I really meant is that the
authentication mechanism is different from the standard way of
authenticating via the web server itself. I have not looked at the
Python code to see exactly what Mailman does, but it seems something
that the Mailman CGI does separately from the web server
authentication mechanism. Indeed, looks like it sets a persistent

However, as a Mailman list member pointed out to me, there is a way
to accomplish what I want with local file indexing, bypassing the web

>What sort of authentication mechanism do they use? I know they allow
>"private" archives, but we're still talking about a web-based archive,

Yes, it is a web-based archive. While I originally though that
individual messages were parsed out of the global archive file and
displayed on the fly, a hint from the Mailman list and a bit of
further digging showed that there is a directory after all which
stores individual messages as HTML files. These are what I intend to
index as local files.

As for the authentication mechanism, Mailman definitely does not
understand the authentication attempt from htdig.

>I just checked the Mailman site at and they have
>"search engine" as a TODO item. If you can tell me what they use to
>authenticate and/or put me in contact with a developer, we can probably
>take care of that TODO item. ;-)

Yes, Mailman just went 1.0, and I am not quite sure when the next
revision is due. I do know that the TODO items are there to entice
outside help rather than a promise on upcoming features. I am sure
that they will appreciate your input.

The developer list
<> is your
best avenue to inquire, I bet.

Thanks, Igor

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Wed Aug 04 1999 - 20:24:59 PDT