The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

RSS toward #noemail whilst keeping Lists under control

Yesterday, I dug through the ancient Lyris documentation and translated the rather vague instructions on how to access RSS feeds for the various UNC lists that I subscribed to — before June 1, 2011.

Previously I had either let the list swamp my inbox where the messages were often skipped, deleted, or just lost and unread. For a few lists, I created folders and filter rules — which mostly worked okay — so that the messages were clear from my inbox but once again mostly unread or read too late or over-read as I had to check the folders more than I prolly really needed too.

Time sinkage and information untimeliness were the curse of the lists.

Now I subscribe my RSS reader — I’m rediscovering BlogLines, but there are plenty of others — and the lists are handled much better. In something close to a folder in concept but better presented easily to manage and in general better presented and better (I hope) dealt with.

Yes the items in the reader as articles are email postings, but for the most part they are really articles, School announcements, and the like that happened to be turned into mail messages as if by some evil force. RSS turns them back in to articles.

Now to get Mailman/Piperman archives to use RSS in a sensible way. Previous implementations that I’ve seen on the net so far are: 1) about 5 years old or greater 2) kludges that scrape the archives. Ideas on doing this in a better and more modern way would be greatly appreciated.

Other lists, many to which I subscribed many email identities ago, won’t even let me unsubscribe easily. There’s been too many years, too many passwords and too many email identities for me or the lists to understand who I was back when I started reading then ignoring the messages from those sources. Solution: Mark as spam.

For those asking, Gmail tells me that it makes about 150+ messages to me as spam daily.


  1. The fact that mailman/pipermail doesn’t include RSS by default these days is deplorable. I remember hacking the TriLUG mailman instance to add RSS at one point, but the fact that it wasn’t included by default meant I had to do that with each and every release. The code to do it has been out there for years. It should be included by default.

    Out of curiosity, how are Google and Yahoo Groups for this? On more than one occasion I’ve subscribed to a Yahoo group and set the email preferences to “Nomail” preferring to read it online. I haven’t gone the extra step, though, to subscribe to an RSS feed of the posts in my RSS reader (I use Google Reader which I like quite a bit). I may have to experiment with that a bit.

  2. Paul

    6/9/2011 at 1:19 pm

    For Yahoo! Groups, there is good support for RSS. Help here.

    Google Groups seems to handle RSS well as well. Help for Google Groups and RSS here.

    Mailman=ugh after many years of code sitting out there and all other modern services providing RSS…

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