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Accessing the Archive - ezmlm and ezmlm-idx Manual

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1.7 Accessing the ezmlm message archive

By default, ezmlm mailing lists keep an archive of all the messages sent to the list. Some of them may have been removed by the list owner, but usually at least the last few month's message will be there. With ezmlm you can retrieve one message at a time with the -get command. With ezmlm-idx(*) you can access the archive in three different ways: You can get an -index listing message subjects and authors only. This information is sent as sets of 100 messages with up to 2000 entries per request. You can also -get a range of messages(*) (up to 100 per request) which will be sorted by subject (‘Re:’ and other “subject modifiers” are ignored) and time received. Finally, you can retrieve a set of messages or a “thread” containing a specific message. This usually gives you an ordered set starting with the first post, and then all replies in order received.

To access the archive, again remember that commands are put into the ADDRESS. Here are examples of the commands:

Get message 123.
Get the subject and author information for the last 100-200 messages. This also tells you the latest message number.
Get the index for messages 200-299.
Get the index for messages 200-299.
Get the messages accumulated since the latest digest (returns latest 30 messages if there are no digests for the list). The normal format is MIME with only the important headers. If you instead of the -get command use -getr you get the digest as a single long message without MIME. The -getv command gives you the MIME format, but now all the headers of the individual messages are returned. (Normally only the important headers are included to save space but other headers may sometimes be relevant for error tracing, etc.)
Get messages 123-456. Because you can only get up to 100 messages per request, only messages 123-222 will be send. Send new requests to get the remainder.
Get the thread containing message 123. To change the format, use the -threadr or -threadv format instead. These work just like their -get cousins (see above).

If you haven't been following the list for a while, or you just want to see the discussion of a specific question, the easiest is to start with -index(*). If not found, send further -index(*) requests going backwards in the archive. Once you've found one message (e.g. ‘667’) in the thread use the -thread(*) command: ‘mailinglist-thread.667@example.org’ to get the entire set.

If you're a digest subscriber and find an interesting discussion, use -thread or the ‘mailinglist-get@example.org’ address to catch up with the latest messages in that thread or on the list. The -thread(*) command is also useful if you catch the tail end of a discussion and want to read earlier messages.

Some lists may be set up to allow archive access to subscribers only(*). If you are not a subscriber, you can simply subscribe. If you are a subscriber, but are denied archive access, you are subscribed under an address different from the one you are sending from. Easiest is to unsubscribe (see above) the current subscriber address and subscribe the address you're sending from. Alternatively, some mail programs (e.g. Mutt) allow you to change the SENDER address depending on where you are sending mail. Last, if this address difference is necessary, you may FORWARD a list message, and a note with the two addresses and a request to ‘mailinglist-owner@example.org’. The owner will add your second address to a special address list of senders allowed to access the archive (and post) even though they are not subscribers. Remember to replace ‘mailinglist@example.org’ with the list address. (If you are adventurous, see Adding Aliases for information on how to do this without the help of the owner.)