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Mailwatch: Mailing list reporting

MailWatch is a program to analyze mail moving through a mailing list. As each message is received, it gathers a summary of the message and stores it into a log. Later, Mailwatch can generate a textual report, showing number of posts during a time period, who the most prolific posters were, and what the most popular topics were.

Installation and Configuration

Mailwatch can be installed as an alias to a mailing list on a local system by using a piped alias, like this:

  mail-list:	"!/usr/local/bin/mw.pl"

or it can be driven by Procmail. I used procmail for my setup, which requires a rule like this:

  :c
  ^(To|Cc): .*jobseekers.*
  | /usr/local/bin/formail -a "Status: O" 
  >> /u/shevett/Mail/somelist

  :
  ^(To|Cc): .*somelist.*
  | bin/mw.pl

Note that for this mail (mail from the 'somelist' mailing list), I already had a rule in place for it, so I needed to add the 'c' (continue) flag on the original rule, and add another rule.

Without any command line parameters, Mailwatch processes stdin into a summary line, and put it out on stdout. Normally, you'd want to log this information into a file via the '-l' option, for later processing.

  Usage: mw4.pl [-s] [-V] [-l logfile] 
               [-t title] [-d days] [-n number]
  -s           Output a summary instead of taking input.
  -V           Show version information.
  -v           Be verbose - show processing information 
               while working.
  -l logfile   Use this logfile instead of STDIN and 
               STDOUT. (If you have trouble with 
               suid/sgid, don't use this.)
  -t title     Display this title on the top of the 
               Summary 
               Report instead of the default, the logfile 
               name.
  -d days      Look back this many days instead of the 
               default of 7.
  -n topnumber Display this number of Top Posters and 
               Subjects instead of the default of 10.
  -y           Don't evaluate today's mail. Only look at 
               yesterday and before.
 
  mw4.pl takes email, distills it and writes out summary 
  information. When invoked with the "-s" option, it 
  analyses and prints out interesting summary information.
 
  IE. Pipe your favorite mailing list traffic into: 
  mw4.pl -l maillog
  In a week, run:  mw4.pl -s -l maillog 

Sample reports:

Virus Report - Mailwatch is used here to track how many virii are being caught in a mail gateway.
Spam report - Here we're using Mailwatch to see how much mail is being caught via spam filters on a daily basis to a single user (yes, those are real numbers :)

Licensing and Downloads

Mailwatch is distributed under the Artistic License.

The code is ever-evolving. The latest version is version 0.44, and is available here, and requires Perl5 to run.