>1. Firstly, I've dodged your question "Do we need to automatically detect
>very low traffic lists? How?" !  The generation of monthly indexes is
>simply triggered in my scheme by the presence of a file "monthly" in vault
>directory for a specific list.

That sounds extremely reasonable. Good idea.

>2. If this file is found, pick is called in mailme with -after and -before
>to only run as far as mail messages in the same month, and they're all
>dumped in a subdirectory of archive/$MAILLIST with the format
>"YYYY-month-MM" instead of at the top level.  MHonarc then works in that
>directory for each mailme run.  Note: this relies in "pick" not knowing
>some months have less than 31 days!  Thank goodness - just saves some

I don't quite follow. Let's say there are a bunch of messages for
'sinister' in the inbox. So if it's current August 1999, we use pick
to select just those messages from August 1999.  But what happens if there
are messages from July 1999 in the inbox? Do they stay there forever?
Or do we have to loop this process over each month from the dawn of
time? What am I missing here?

>3. mailme also creates a page at the original level, archive/$MAILLIST
>called "maillist.html", duplicating the MHonarc-generated file previously.
>This serves two purposes: (a) acts as the index page to each month for
>every list that's chosen to be monthly; and (b) acts as the starting point
>for htdig, because your setup expects a file "maillist.html" to be there
>for indexing.  This is the neatest way I could think to do it, and I'm
>hoping everything else falls in neatly with a minor change or two to the
>htdig conf file - I haven't looked at it properly yet.

I'd prefer something that keeps the following properties:

maillist.html --> most recent date index
index.html    --> most recent thread index
???????.html  --> monthly index (either 'monthly.html' 'meta.html' or
                  some other new name.)

This allows consistancy for folks from the outside who link to lists
at mail-archive.  Even if htdig starts at maillist.html, it should
have no problem finding the monthly index, as long as there are links
to follow. Symlinks would probably be useful here.

>Also note the maillist.html must only reference
>YYYY-month-MM/maillist.html's and not index.html's or the htdig
>indexing will duplicate (I think).

>Htdig should just index all "msg" files as before, but include those in
>subdirectories, obviously.  I can look at this further if you'd rather I
>did, I'll just need to do a little htdig reading.

htdig is reasonably smart. Even if you have 10 links to a given URL
for htdig to follow, htdig will only index that URL once. It will
happily follow links. I don't anticipate any problems, or even
configuration changes.

>mailme does a "ln -s maillist.html index.html" for monthly lists at
>this level in mailme

Maybe not? Currently, 'index.html' is the name of the threaded index,
and 'maillist.html' is the name of the date index. The command above
will probably attempt (and fail because of the lack of the -f) to
clobber the thread index. This is probably not what you are aiming

>You'll want to create templates, conf/heading-monthly.html and
>trailer-monthly.html which will get added to this monthly index file: I
>just haven't bothered as you'll want to create your own house style - it'll
>run as is without and show you a very basic file anyhow.

Sounds good...

>Finally mailme adds a search box to this maillist.html with the ability to
>search each month via htsearch's option "restrict" - I've sketch it out
>with some poor html for now (which I haven't checked) but you get the

Ok, assuming you're talking about the monthly index. I also have not
looked into the htdig 'restrict' option but it sounds quite reasonable.

>1. Minor (hopefully) changes to digger so that the conf file it produces
>causes htdig to follow all links from archive/$MAILLIST/maillist.html and
>indexes msg* files in subdirectories too.

As stated previously, I think we get this for free.

>2. (Optional) decide on a trigger for "touch monthly".

Manual will be fine for time being.

>3. (Optional) write a conf/header-monthly.html and conf/trailer-monthly.html
>and include in mailme.

This is cosmetic - we can have some very simple placeholders until the
underlying machinery is proven.

Overall, these suggestions look great, and I look forward to reading
your code. By the way, in the future you may consider using 'diff
-uNr' between original files and modified files; it makes it very easy
to read the changes. It's also ok submitting changes the way you have,
because the source is so small. You (and others) are welcome to send diffs
over the list or through personal email.

Also, just in case you are interested in software license issues,
patches have to be sumbitted under the BSD license or equivalent,
which basically means you get a big thank you in the FAQ, and I can
use the patch without restriction. As an aside, I may someday try to
widely disseminate the mail-archive code if it ever gets generic
enough that it won't cause a support nightmare for me, and that would
probably be under the GPL. However, since the code base is so specific
to mail-archive right now, that's pretty much a non-issue.

So aside from the comments above, I noticed you didn't mention rcfile
modifications. Don't we need a mini-rcfile that cascades over
the default for lists with monthly indexes to add links to the
monthly index?


PS I'll go nuke sinister now.

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