Mailman 3

Audience level:
March 10th 4:55 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


Mailman 3 has been in development for several years. This is an evolution of the ever popular mailing list management system that runs thousands of mailing lists around the world. This talk describes how the code has been modernized and how the architectural deficiencies of Mailman 2 have been addressed using REST and other technologies. This is a spinoff from the AOSA chapter on Mailman 3.


GNU Mailman has been around since the early 1990's. The current major version 2.1 is used at thousands of sites around the world, to host countless number of mailing lists, both public and private. Newsletter/announce style lists as well as discussion lists, and everything in between are hosted on Mailman systems. If you participate in open source, you almost certainly use Mailman whether you know it or not. You might even occasionally curse some of Mailman's mis-features such as password reminders, or multiple domain hosting limitations. Or you might have struggled with integrating Mailman into your own larger web site design.

Mailman 3 is an initiative to address the biggest of the old architectural faults by bringing the code base into modern Python best practices, integrating a SQL database backend, and providing an administrative REST interface to the system for controlling it and making it easier to integrate into third party systems. This talk will outline some of these changes, always with an emphasis on the larger applicability of the solutions employed, and their lessons for the general Python programming public.