Mailing list moderator team

Members of the Moderator Team have a very helpful but tedious task: manual moderation of email/spam to the GNOME mailing lists.

Basically, when one of the mailing lists receives a post that is not from one of it's subscribers, it is held in the 'moderator queue'. The mailman system will email the list moderator(s) each day until the queue is cleared (by either allowing the message through to the list or discarding it).

The difficulty is that developers are usually the people requesting the lists initally, and are also therefore the first (or only) list moderator. These people are also generally too busy hacking to worry about moderating their mailing list, which is the reason for this team. Developers can delegate the task of list moderation to others, and focus on what they do best.

The moderator team consists of a few volunteers that are happy to spend a few minutes each day checking the various moderator queues. Most queues should only contain a handful of messages.

If you would like to volunteer on this team, please contact ''.


It is highly recommended that moderators use a tool called listadmin to handle this work. It is a command-line Perl utility specifically written for tasks such as this.

Listadmin is available in most major distributions. The most tested version of listadmin known to be compatible with the mailman installation is version 2.40-4 available from Debian Squeeze. If you don't have access to a Debian machine, try applying a patch outlined here.

Listadmin uses a .ini file syntax for configuration, and is very straightforward. Moderators on this team should install and configure listadmin for each list having been delegated to this team for moderation. Below is an example configuration file:


default discard
log ~/.listadmin.log

password s3cr3t!

password p@ssw0rd!

Once you have listadmin configured, simply run the listadmin command once per day and you should find only a few items. If you run listadmin each day, this task will never get ahead of you!

If there are any questionable posts, open the content of the message using the Full or view Body shortcut keys first and look at it in more detail to decide whether the content is appropriate for the list. If it is not, you may Discard the post.

For any lists that require approval to subscribe, don't approve or reject the requests. Let the list owners decide on those. If there are any pending subscriptions that go on for more than a week, ping the list owner to give them a reminder.

For some of the moderated lists, there may be special rules or the list owners may have additional notes or requests for the team. They should be listed below:

Special Instructions


Messages to this list should be in some way related to GNOME. If announcing a software release generally we want to see what it is and where to get it. Replies to announcements, unless they are correcting a mistake in the announcement (wrong url etc..) should be rejected. The announce-list is for announcing stuff, not discussing it.


Messages to this list should be in some way related to GNOME, and more particularly, should be of general interest to GNOME (or GTK+) developers.


This will tend to get lots of bug-related e-mail caught in the queue. Let it all through, as it gets forwarded on to the right place.


Any non spam mails are allowed through. At this time this includes even angry flames from kernel developer or absolute Gnome beginners. This policy may be subject to change at a later date.


NOTE: This is a wiki, list owners, so if your list has special rules, let our moderators know here.

ModeratorTeam (last edited 2010-10-24 16:07:52 by ChristerEdwards)