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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Saturday August 13, 2005
09:41 AM

Mail Archives

[ #26265 ]

I spent this morning further hacking on the mailing list archive software (which I'm also using on the Photogeeks list archive).

The first component of this is an XML generator for ezmlm-idx indexes. It uses SAX, and it was kinda nice to get into XML a bit again, although I don't want to spend too long there :-)

After the index generator I have a whole bunch of XSLT files to re-thread the mailing list. This is quite nice, because XSLT is natively tree-based. The only complex bit comes when displaying orphaned threads in the month-view, but thanks to the guys on #axkit-dahut and Michael Kay's XSLT book I soon sorted that out.

All in all I think it looks fairly good. And a hell of a lot better than ezmlm-cgi.

Feel free to take it for a spin:

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  • Are you familiar with

    For example, perl6-compiler archives [].
  • I have two complaints with most mailinglist archives:

    • Lacking i18n.

      I send mail as UTF-8, because I like to be able to use better typography than straight quotes and such, I like being able to use real bullet points, I like being able to mix Greek and Latin characters freely, etc.

      But most archivers either simply assume my mail is Latin1, or just obliviously deliver their pages as Latin1 without ever bothering to transcode/escape their input properly. The result is that on the web, my mails appear full

    • This does full i18n and it does it right even when the mailer gets it wrong. This isn't easy, but it's not rocket science either. Of course using AxKit and XML helps with this as it tends to make sure you get encoding just right or it falls flat.

      Regarding Message-Id display, I could add that quite easily by tweaking the stylesheet.
      • Great to know that you care. :-) You are exactly right, doing things correctly isn’t trivial but no rocket science either – just takes care and some effort. I only recently saw another list archive get encodings right for the first time, and then another, so I’m hopeful for this class of application.

        I get discouraged sometimes by how many really, really basic things (i18n being just one of them) still don’t work right in so much software. We’re building castles on sand, it oc

  • my RSS reader just puked up this old entry, and I read it, thinking it was a new one ;)

    Have you seen Nabble? They have gone for the GMail-style UI, which I think is *perfect* for thread-oriented mailing lists. []

    I'd love to see a mailing list archiver that used that UI style ;)