Re: [Tools-discuss] mailing lists don't add "Archived-At"?

Glen <> Tue, 20 July 2021 20:56 UTC

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From: "Glen" <>
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Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2021 13:56:03 -0700
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Subject: Re: [Tools-discuss] mailing lists don't add "Archived-At"?
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Hello Lars -

I haven't seen any replies, so, speaking only as the operator for both the
IETF and the RFC-Editor, I will try to answer those questions for you.

> From: Lars Eggert <>
> Subject: [Tools-discuss] mailing lists don't add
> Am I correct in my understanding that mailing lists don't
> "Archived-At" headers? 

You are correct.

> Also, are there any other lists that "we" host that don't add
"Archived-At" headers?

No, there are no lists we (the IETF) host that don't add those headers.  The
IETF currently hosts all of its list on its central server grid, across
several domains, and they all have that header added.  In the case of the
IETF, the Archived-At headers are added as one of the many functions of the
IETF's custom Postconfirm program, which interfaces with the IETF's custom
Mail Archive tool.  Both of those tools are IETF-owned products, and
deployed on the IETF servers, providing those custom features to the IETF
and the lists it runs.

(As an aside, the IETF also provides "mirrors" of some external lists'
archives, wherein we are not the primary provider of the list, but our
archive system is just "subscribed" to that external list as a member.
Those messages do not have the Archived-At header added to them, because the
list messages come from an external source, and feed directly into the IETF
Mail Archive, without actually being "processed" by the IETF mail chain.)

But "We the IETF" don't actually host the RFC Editor mailing lists.  Those
lists are hosted on the RFC-Editor's servers, and are used by the Editor
staff, and operated by the RFC-Editor.   The custom systems used by the IETF
are not deployed on or used by the RFC-Editor's servers in any way.   The
RFC-Editor deployment is just a "normal" Mailman instance, with the normal
Mailman archives.

> Could we add that? 

Anything is possible given appropriate circumstances, and there are
different approaches we could take.   I believe that the primary concerns
are keeping the RFC-Editor's systems severable, and not disrupting the
operations of the RFC Production Center or their staff.  

With that in mind, one approach might be to develop custom code for the
RFC-Editor Mailman instance which would put a more-or-less generic
Archived-At header into the messages that go through the list.  As a simple
example, an Archived-at header could be added which points to the monthly
index for the message, as in .   That would
require, I guess, an RFP from the IETF?  RFC-Editor?, and could be deployed
(I would hope) in a reasonably non-invasive way to the RFC-Editor servers.

Other approaches no doubt exist, but this would be the simplest one I could
think of.

> PS: I also see that mailing lists are not searchable via
> mailarchive. That also seems like a feature we'd want.

I'm given to understand that the primary public lists, RFC-DIST, and
RFC-INTEREST, should be searchable.  They are certainly browse-able, at and  .  For those, we
took the same approach we took with other external lists, and we just do an
external feed into the IETF Mail Archive.  The primary archives are, of
course, still on the RFC-Editor server, but the IETF Mail Archive does have
the full copies available as shown above.   If there are other lists that
the RFC-Editor wants to share across, setting that up would be trivial.

I hope this information is helpful, please feel free to contact me directly
if you have any additional questions, and I will always do whatever I can to

Glen Barney
IT Director
AMS (IETF and RPC Secretariat)