Email server update - migration from Mailman 2

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at
Sun Nov 27 12:58:46 GMT 2022

Ben Cooksley wrote:
> The most likely candidate for this is naturally Mailman 3 (an instance of
> which can be found at

This already shows one of the issues: The archive links contain unescaped e-
mail addresses which get mangled by third-party mail filters such as the 
Gmane one, breaking the links.

> It appears to be a substantial improvement in all regards over Mailman 2,
> and therefore I intend to upgrade to that at this stage.

Unfortunately, there are several usability issues with the Mailman 3 
interface, known as HyperKitty. Fedora (the GNU/Linux distribution) was one 
of the first projects to switch to it (and it was originally developed by a 
Fedora developer), so I have run into a bunch of them. There was 
unfortunately little to no interest in fixing them when I reported them.

The worst was that indentation in the mails was completely lost. Though 
looking at the Python 3.12.0 alpha 2 announcement:
(hoping the link will not get mangled), at least this seems to have been 
fixed. The indentation still looks wrong though because the mails are 
displayed using a proportional font rather than a fixed-sized one as in 
Pipermail (the Mailman 2 archive interface).

Time stamps use strange formats. The front page shows me time stamps of the 
form "Di Nov 15, 2:02 nachm.", which is not a valid way to format times in 
German. (We do not use 12-hour times in Austria.) I did bring that to the 
attention of the (at the time) main HyperKitty developer when this was 
deployed in Fedora, but it does not seem to have been addressed. Somebody 
filed a bug asking for the time format to be configurable, also mentioning 
this issue:
and it has been open mostly untouched for a year and a half. Also, a 
to always show the date next to the time was simply turned down:
which is IMHO also a usability regression compared to Pipermail.

And finally, HyperKitty is largely unusable without JavaScript. If you turn 
off JavaScript, significant portions of the interface just do not work, 
whereas Pipermail was completely free from client-side code. This is a 
regression in browser compatibility and in accessibility. HyperKitty also 
uses cookies, Pipermail does not.

> - Mailman 3 uses a completely different URL format, so existing list
> archive links will likely be broken. It may be possible to retain static
> copies of the existing Pipermail archives to mitigate the impact of this
> but they won't be updated any further following the upgrade.

Broken links sound like a showstopper to me. Either keeping the static 
up or somehow setting up a redirect mapping (I believe it has been done at 
least once by some project, but it does not seem to be currently deployed 
Fedora at least, they are using what I assume to be a static copy of the 
archives) is IMHO required.

        Kevin Kofler

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