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Message delivery

The list members and owners may choose the format and/or topics of messages delivered through a list by each list member. Moreover, the list member may suspend all delivery for them as long as necessary.

Suspended subscription

List members can suspend subscription of their own using suboptions page on web interface (the list owner can suspend or restore subscription of any list members). Thus, the members won’t receive any posts through the list. Suspension will continue for the duration the member specified, or forever until the member will restore subscription.

Suspending members are marked “suspended” in the list review page on web interface.

Regular delivery and digest delivery


List members can select a reception mode for messages sent through the list.

With one of regular delivery modes, The message is delivered immediately, if it is allowed.

However, if delivery_time list configuration parameter is set, messages will be delivered at that time, and delivery of messages sent after that time will be postponed to the next day.

With one of digest delivery modes, multiple messages are compiled in one message which is delivered periodically.

The list owner can set the days and time to deliver compiled message using digest list parameter.

Message topics


This feature is available only with regular delivery described above.

A list can be configured to have message topics. Users can subscribe to these message topics in order to receive a subset of distributed messages: A message can have one or more topics and list members will receive only messages that have been tagged with a topic they are subscribed to. A message can be tagged automatically, by the message sender or by the list moderator.

To filter messages using message topics by each user, steps below are followed:

  1. Message topic definition in a list

    The list owner defines available message topics by list parameters. For each new message topic, they create a new msg_topic paragraph that defines the name, the title of the topic and optional keywords.

  2. Subscribing to message topics for list members.

    The list members can select a message topic to receive messages tagged with particular topics using suboptions page (To receive messages that were not tagged, users can subscribe to the topic other). The message topics selected by a list member are stored in the subscriber_table table of Sympa database.

  3. Message tagging

    If one or more msg_topic are defined, Sympa tries to tag messages:

    • If the list is held for moderation by scenario, moderator can tag topics on the held message (to hold the message, scenario have to return editorkey. See also description on special scenario variables below).

    • If a thread is identified for the current message, the topics tagged for that thread is tagged automatically.

    • Otherwise, if msg_topic.keyword defined, Sympa tries automatic tagging. The msg_topic_keywords_apply_on determines which part of the message (subject, body or both) is used.

    • Otherwise, if msg_topic_tagging defines that topic tagging is required, the message is held (whether the list is moderated or not) and the list moderator or the sender is asked to tag the message. In this case the list moderator can tag topics manually on web interface.

  4. List members receive only the messages tagged topics they subscribes.

Special scenario variables are available to customize tagging: topic, topic-sender, topic-editor, topic-auto and topic-needed (see Authorization scenarios and “Variables” in sympa_scenario(5)).

Tagging a message will create a topic information file in “topic spool”, the $SPOOLDIR/topic/ directory. Its name is based on the list name and the message ID. For message distribution, a X-Sympa-Topic field is added to the message, to allow members to use email filters.

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