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Richard Pieri wrote:
> Hypermail...

The default appearance is as bad as pipermail, and this FAQ on altering
the font:

suggests it has a pretty antiquated presentation layer and lacks templating.

And integrating a search engine is left as an exercise for the

> and MHonArc...

Default appearance much the same and again no integrated search engine,
but there are examples of it having been customized to look decent:

particularly, which we already use. They've clearly
skinned it and according to:

integrated PyLucene search engine.

The FAQ doesn't indicate whether the mail-archive developers have shared
the source to their modifications, but they seem connected to the open
source community, and may be willing to share their skinning technique,
if not their code.

A better approach, if they'd go for it, would be getting to enhance their platform to permit some list-specific
skinning. Much like we used to be able to do with the Nabble archives.
Less code for BLU to maintain.

Actually, rather than creating a whole infrastructure for creating and
modifying a custom skin at, they could instead offer a
front-end view that is designed to be embedded. Then we could embed it
on our site, and dress up the appearance with CSS.

This seems to be the approach Nabble now takes:

They're offering up an embeddable forum, photo gallery, blog, and
mailing list archive.

I'm not sure how well I'd rely on them for some of those other services.
Their mailing list archives proved to be a bit unreliable as they
morphed their design and infrastructure and tried to figure out what
sort of functionality they were going to provide. I've largely ignored
them the past several years. Maybe things have settled down.

Our current archives there have moved to:

It may be worth trying their embedding option as the least effort way of
achieving our goal.

Their system used to support rating posts, but looks like you can only
mark a post as favorite now. offers up a different sort of integration possibility.
They provide the algorithm they use to calculate an archive post's URL,
so you can add this code to your mailing list manager and have the
"permalink" for archived message appear in the footer of the distributed

Aside from having a well visible canonical location for each post, this
opens up some other possibilities. If it points back to an archive site
you control, it then makes it much easier to allow users to rate a
message by adding some buttons to the archive site.

Nabble might offer something similar.


Tom Metro
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA
"Enterprise solutions through open source."
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