I'm all for someone taking ownership of this long-neglected component -- 
thank you for doing so!

Barry Warsaw wrote:
> Maybe a way to think about this is that the canonical url is based on  
> the message-id, but then there's some way to distill even this down  
> to a tinyurl or simple integer that would be stable in the face of  
> full archive regenerations.

The resistance to basing this on message-id has always been that there's 
no guarantee of uniqueness...
...but I believe each list has some sort of counter for how many 
messages it's seen, so we could add another header with that number, and 
use as a unique id the two concatenated together...
(That way the archiver can know from the content of the header exactly 
how to generate the same unique id as mailman, which would allow for the 
url-in-the-footer to happen w/o first hitting the archiver.)

Just throwing out ideas,
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