As far as I can tell, there isn't a decent mailing list program to be found anywhere on the planet. I don't want a lot a really, just a basic tool to keep a list of addresses and post a message once in a while. You'd think I could find one...
I should start by saying that I'm on a Windows box. There are
quite a few server-side programs out there, but all I want is
a simple list-management tool that runs on my desktop. Ideally,
it would have the capacity to connect to my server and retrieve
subscribe/unsubscribe messages. But it doesn't even need that,
really. All it has to do is keep a list of address and let me
send a message once in a while.
Well, I guess it needs a little more than that. The horror
stories that follow will bring out the other requirements...
This was the first list processing tool I tried. It worked
pretty well, for a while. It wasn't great, but it was
functional. Then it suddenly and mysteriously stopped working.
It's been on version 0.9 or something for the past year, with
no updates forthcoming. The author was nice enough to suggest
a workaround that involved launching a second message-sending
program. But when that failed, I started looking around again.
Mail List King
First stop: A program I downloaded several months ago. It
didn't look really great either, but it looked as though it
might work well enough to use. That's what I recall from when
I was looking at it, anyway. When I tried to fire it up, lo
and behold the time limit had expired. Heck, I had never set
up a mailing list in it, much less sent a message. But what
the heck, it's only $49. So I figure I'll just go buy it.
Better to spend a few bucks and get my newsletter out the door.
So I go to the site, and guess what? There is no $49 option.
There's a $100 "professional" option, and even more expensive
"corporate" options. I'm not very happy with that, so I keep
Adaptive Mailing List
This program sounds pretty good. So, like always, I go check how
much it's going to cost. The order page says "pricing will be made
available". Then it tells you to try the demo. Riiight. As if.
Do they really think I'm going to download the demo, figure out how
to use it, commit my mailing list to it, and then find out how
much it costs? I don't think so, Tim...
This one came really close. It was servicable. It had decent
export and export capabilities. But it turns out that it can't
sort the list, or tell you how many items are in it. But since
a comma-separated list (csv) can be edited in a spreadsheet,
I have a workaround. So I planned to send them some money
and register a request for the additional features.
But when I try to send a message to my list, it turns out that I
have the configuration wrong. So the program starts giving me one
error message after another, one for each attempted send. That's
bad. So I look for a way to cancel it. Ah. There's a Stop button.
I click it. Things stop. Good. I set up a test list so I can figure
out what the configuration settings need to be. But now I can't
send to it! The send button is disabled. So is the Stop button.
It seems I have to press "Start". I try that. The original send
now resumes, and I'm back to getting hundreds of error messages.
That implementation is just deplorable, so I go to the web site
to send some feedback. That's when I decide that these guys don't
get my money--there is absolutely no feedback address of any
kind! It's very clear that this program isn't going to get any
better. So I resolve to keep looking.
EMail List Software
$10 a month. Pass...
Mailing List Express
At $30, this one certainly isn't very expensive. I passed on it
orginally, because it didn't look quite as good as the others.
But since they've all fallen down, I'm back for another look.
The $30 version is pretty functional, as it turns out. The $80
version has a few additional features--notably address verification
and the ability to send to overlapping lists while removing
duplicates. There's also a high-performance $120 version, but I
definitely don't need that one.
I downloaded the $80 trial version, and it looks like I'll be
able to get the job done, but there's not a lot of joy. There
are still no sort options on the columns, and in this one I
can't even name the columns. So I tell it that column 1 contains
the addresses, and column 2 contains the names, but they always
display as "column 1" and "column 2".
Next, I paste my (long) newsletter into the little text window.
Guess what? No scroll bar! I can move up and down, but this
definitely a paste-only window, not an edit window.
For fun, I go to "Project Options" next. Good thing I did. I need
to set up my connection settings there. There wasn't a Wizard to
remind me, but that's not all bad. It let me do things in a more
natural order. And this one has a place to specify SMTP port--
something that Mail"Xpert" overlooked--and which may account for
So there I was. Home free, I figured. Wrong! When I tried to send,
all of the messages aborted. Why? Good question. It doesn't say.
Not one friggin' clue. It has a nice little spreadsheet that shows
the result of each send, but they all say "aborted". Nothing else
that's any help.
I review my configuration a few times and think about about sending
again. But there's another little problem--the trial version is
limited to 50 messages. That's no so bad, but when I post to my
list, it gives me an error message dialog for every additional
address--that's a lot of additional clicks to acknowledge the
error, with no ability to cancel the send! Freakin' poor design, that.
I could make a trial list, of course. But the configuration looks
right. So I'm not sure if it's worth experimenting with it any more.
So that's where things stand at the moment. All I want is a decent
program for managing a mailing list. I'm willing to pay for it. I
want to pay for it, so it will be supported. But I can't seem to
find one anywhere.
Anyone have a clue?? I'm 6 months overdue on my TreeLight Health mailing
list, and I can't seem to find a single product that "just works".
been there done that... In my case I wanted something really minimalistic for my class. It probably does not quite match your use case but if you are willing to add and remove users by hand you can adapt this for the time being. (Python runtime required):
Beware! my word processor messed up the source code: “message” and “server” should be written together. As for the format of the input text file it is one line per record: mail name, first name, last name, grade, comment, separated by spaces.
> Thanks much for the code. Being a Java hacker, I expect > I'll wind up creating a program that uses the java.mail > APIs. > > I excerpted the important bits below. Basically you > created a connection to an SMTP server and sent > messages to it. Yup. I can do that. I didn't *want* to. > But I can. > :_) > > > import smtplib > > > > email@example.com' > > firstname.lastname@example.org' > > message='hello!' > > guysname='mee' > > grade='999' > > comment='' > > hosturl='smtp.example.com' > > > > server=smtplib.SMTP(hosturl) > > server.set_debuglevel(1) > > Loop: > > try: > > server.sendmail(fromaddr,toaddr,message) > > except smtplib.SMTPRecipientsRefused: > > print toaddr,'NOT Available' > > raw_input('continue?') > EndLoop > > > server.quit()
Hey, you just reconstructed the evolution of the program (proof of concept) in reverse direction! I was wondering if anybody would catch that.
This being a site that deals with programming I thought it would be amusing to see some code, the point being, that what you are asking should not be that difficult to implement.
> This being a site that deals with programming I thought it > would be amusing to see some code, the point being, that > what you are asking should not be that difficult to > implement. > Granted. But you would have thought that such a basic problem would have been solved long before now, leaving me free to deal with the 15 other problems on my plate. :_)