Dada Mail Configuration



The, dada/DADA/ file holds all the global variables in Dada Mail. It should not itself be heavily edited with custom changes - such changes will be lost whenever you upgrade. Use the outside config file (.dada_config) for that.

How To Use This File and This Documentation

Other than the variables:

You should not make any changes to the variables in the, dada/DADA/ file.

Rather, use the variables and inline documentation as a guide for making custom changes to your own outside config file (called, .dada_config)

How to place new variables in your outside config file

First, double-check that the variable doesn't already exist in the outside configuration file. Duplicates will simply cause headaches when editing.

Place new variables in your outside config file by simply copying the variable you want to set a custom variable for and pasting that variable in your outside config file.

For historical reasons, the outside config file sets the config variables by simply using Perl code, instead of a configuration-specific format. This may change in the future - we don't like this technique. One problem with this technique is that setting configuration variables successfully means that you will need to use strict and valid Perl code. This will make things harder for a casual user of the program perform, successfully - and unfortunately.

Some things to be careful of:

The variables set in the dada/DADA/ file use the, ||= operator, like this:

 $SOME_VARIABLE ||= 'some value';

Replace the, ||= operator with the, = operator, when placing it in the outside config file:

 $SOME_VARIABLE = 'some custom value';

You may also see hashes and arrays with, unless clauses at the end:

        # a long list of key/value pairs
 ) unless keys %SOME_HASH;


        # ... 
 ) unless scalar @SOME_ARRAY;

Remove the entire, unless clause:

        # a long list of key/value pairs

        # ... 

If you need to set a variable in the outside config file to '0', it may not work. Instead, try setting it to '2'. This is a known - and embarrassing, issue.

Currently, the $PROGRAM_ERROR_LOG variable cannot be set in the outside config file - you'll need to set it in here.

How to Set Up, Install and Configure Dada Mail

Complete installation instructions may be found here:

Dada Mail ships with an installer that will guide you through the setup and configuration of Dada Mail, write a starter outside config file and generally, get you up and running.

Config Variables


$PROGRAM_CONFIG_FILE_DIR holds the absolute path to the, directory the outside config file, named, .dada_config, can be found.

By default, you'll notice that the $PROGRAM_CONFIG_FILE_DIR variable is set to, auto. If this is the case, Dada Mail will attempt to look for the .dada_config file in the following location:


An example of a complete, usable and extendable .dada_config file can be found in the Dada Mail distribution at:


You may also want to read the README for this example, located at:



If you want to set a specific location for all errors from Dada Mail to be logged, $PROGRAM_ERROR_LOG is what you want to look at.

Set this variable to, An absolute path, to a location of a file you want the error log to be. Sounds like a mouthful - let's break it down:

  • "An absolute path" - the path to a resource on the server, from the server's perspective. (begin geekery:)

    In a Unix environment, an absolute path starts with, "/", also known as the, "root" directory and moves down, like an upside-down tree. Example of some absolute paths:

    • /home/myaccount

      an example of the absolute path to my home directory

    • /home/myaccount/dada_files

      an example of the absolute path to where I've set the, $FILES variable to (just as example).

      So, if you've set the $FILES variable correctly, you already know what absolute paths are. You see? You're smarter than you thought.

  • "to a location of a file you want the error log to be"

    So what's , "an error log"? It's just a plain text file - that's it, so set the $PROGRAM_ERROR_LOG variable to an absolute path to a plaintext file. Easy enough. As to, "what location"? Well, if you've set the $FILES variable to an absolute path of a directory (per directions), use that as a starting point, and just specify an exact file in that directoy - easy!

So, if I set $FILES to:

 $FILES = '/home/myaccount/dada_files';


 $PROGRAM_ERROR_LOG = '/home/myaccount/dada_files/errors.txt';

and you're done.

Note! This WILL NOT work:

 $PROGRAM_ERROR_LOG = $FILES . '/errors.txt';

So, don't do that.

Also, you cannot set this variable in an outside configuration file (.dada_config), it has to be set in the file.

Don't create the file beforehand - you won't need to. It'll be created automatically for you, as long as the path you set in this variable is to a place Dada Mail can actually write to.

Finally, just to clarify, the program can't automatically set a error log, since there may be problems with the program, before it's able to be fully interpreted, so we have to hard code it, that's why there's this variable.

Basic Configuration Variables


The $PROGRAM_ROOT_PASSWORD is used to create new mailing lists and also may be used to log into any existing mailing list.

THE $PROGRAM_ROOT_PASSWORD variable should be encrypted. Instructions to do so can be found in the documentation for the, $ROOT_PASS_IS_ENCRYPTED variable.


$FILES holds the directory you want your mailing list subscribers, schedules and a few obscure files to be saved in.


This variable should hold the Absolute Path of your sendmail-like program.

If you don't have sendmail, this script will still work great, but you may have to fiddle around with the "$MAIL_SETTINGS" variable under the "additional settings" after the first four variables. Dada Mail uses a Mail Program like Sendmail or qmail to send its messages and it needs to know where the Mail Program is to be able to use it.


This variable holds the URL of the mail.cgi script.

This is the address of the mail.cgi script (not this file!), so when you're all done setting up the script, you'll have to go here to make your first list.

Backend DB Options

By default, Dada Mail comes configured out of the box using a PlainText backend for list subscribers and DB Files for everything else: Archives, Settings and Session Handling.

This makes setup simple, since there's no SQL setup needed.

YOU may want the additional features that an SQL Backend provides. These additional features include being able to save Profiles and Subscriber Profile Fields, other than the email address.

There's three steps involved to setup Dada Mail to use its SQL backend.

The first step is to set the five variables, $SUBSCRIBER_DB_TYPE, $ARCHIVE_DB_TYPE, $SETTINGS_DB_TYPE , $SESSION_DB_TYPE and $BOUNCE_SCORECARD_DB_TYPE all to, SQL.

Required SQL tables

Dada Mail supports three different types of SQL backends, MySQL, Postgres and, SQLite. SQLite is included, but isn't advised to be used in production. The MySQL and PostgreSQL backends are exactly the same, feature-wise.

The second step in setting up the SQL backend is to create the correct SQL tables needed for the type of backend you're going to use.

The appropriate tables are listed in the files located in the dada/extras/SQL driectory of the distribution itself:

  • MySQL


  • PostgreSQL


  • SQLite



The third and final step involved in setting up the SQL backend is to fill out the %SQL_PARAMS variable.

They are as follows:

  • database

    The name of the database you are using.

  • dbserver

    The name of the database server itself. Example:, or, localhost

  • port

    The port that is used when connecting to the database server.

  • dbtype

    Set dbtype to 'mysql' for MySQL usage, 'Pg' for Postgres or, 'SQLite' for SQLite.

  • user

    The SQL username.

  • pass

    The SQL password.


These are advanced paramaters sent to the Perl DBI SQL driver. You probably will not need to change the below.

For more information, see:

Dada Mail Profile Options


More Information:


Most all the list administration screens have direct links to the Dada Mail Manual at the bottom of the screen. Set this variable to, 1 to have them shown or, 0 to have them not shown.

The Dada Mail Manual is a paid service, more information about it can be found at:


The Dada Mail Manual is available online, and also to download. You may use your own copy of the Dada Mail Manual (just somehow password protect it) and set this URL to the location to where it is.

The default setting is the online version that we provide - but it is a paid service.

Additional Global Configuration Settings

It's well advised that you get familiar with this program and go through it ENTIRELY before you change any of the settings below. From this point, it helps if you have some kind of Unix/Perl background, Or you've used previous versions of the script.


The "S" in $S_PROGRAM_URL stands for Secure, and allows you to have all screens that have anything to do with the list control panel to use a separate URL where you can install a completely different version of Dada Mail, or, if you can access your website via the https protocol, you can use that different URL specifically for list control panel activity.

Make sure $S_PROGRAM_URL contains a valid URL (http://...).


$PLUGIN_CONFIGS holds defaults to various Dada Mail plugins and extensions.

The idea is that these plugins and extensions are difficult to upgrade, since everytime you upgrade, you have to re-configure the plugin. Not so anymore.

Some of the plugins currently supported are:

The order of precendence for the setting of these variables are:

So, if you set the configuration variable in the plugin/extension itself and the .dada_config file, the value in the .dada_config file will be used.

Refer to the plugin/extension itself to know what the various plugin/extension configuration names and values are and do.


This section deals with Dada Mail and security - both to tighten it up and lax it down, depending on what you want to allow and what you can do.


Set $SHOW_ADMIN_LINK to '0' to take off the 'Administration' link that you see on the Dada Mail default page. You can always get to the administration page by pointing your browser to an address like this:

This is a small security measure but may just stop people from snooping further.


Complementary to the $SHOW_ADMIN_LINK variable, $ADMIN_FLAVOR_NAME allows you to set the URL needed to access the screen that has the form to log into all the lists administrated by Dada Mail and to the form to create a new list.

By default, this variable is set to, admin, which means to access this screen, you'd go to a URL that looks like this:


If you set $ADMIN_FLAVOR_NAME to something like, kookoo:

 $ADMIN_FLAVOR_NAME ||= 'kookoo';

You'd then access this screen via the following URLS;


A small security measure for sure, but could help keep curious eyes at bay.

Works best if you have, $SHOW_ADMIN_LINK set to, 1.

A small note on how to set this variable correctly:


Similar to $ADMIN_FLAVOR_NAME, $SIGN_IN_FLAVOR_NAME holds the URL that allows you to log into a particular list (usually), although it is sometimes used to re-login into any of your lists - very similar to the administration screen, but does not give you the form to create a new list.

The same naming rules apply for this variable as they do for $ADMIN_FLAVOR_NAME. It's also suggested that you append, "sign_in" to the value you set this, like so:



If set to, 1, The only forms that will allow you to log into a Dada Mail list will be by a form supplied by Dada Mail itself. This means, you can't create a different form, outside the program to provide a way to login.

More so than any other option, this variable attempts to stop attempts of logging into a list by automated means.


By default on the list login screen, Dada Mail presents its user with a popup menu with the names of all the lists, hidden or not, that you can select to login to.

This is done by setting $LOGIN_WIDGET to 'popup_menu'.

If you want to only have a text box for someone to type in the list Short Name in, set $LOGIN_WIDGET to 'text_box'.


Allow the Root Password to Log In to All Lists

Set the '$ALLOW_ROOT_LOGIN' variable to '1' to allow the Dada Root Administrator to use the dada root password to log into any list. This is handy when you have many, many lists and need to tweak them but don't want to keep track of all the list passwords. Setting this variable to '1' does make your lists less secure, as every list can be accessed with the same password and that password is written plainly in this file, unless! you encrypt it (see below).


You can store an encrypted version of the $PROGRAM_ROOT_PASSWORD instead of the plain text version. Here are the steps. This is extremely recommended for obvious reasons.

  1. Set up Dada Mail so it's working. Usually this means setting up the first four variables.

  2. Point your browser to wherever you have the dada.cgi script at, and at the end of the URL, append this: ?f=pass_gen so you'll have something that looks like this:

  3. You'll see a page in your browser that asks for a password to encrypt. Type in the password you want to use, and press 'encrypt'. An encrypted password will be outputted.

  4. Copy that encrypted password and use it as the root password (that is, by changing the $PROGRAM_ROOT_PASSWORD variable above to the encrypted password).

  5. Set $ROOT_PASS_IS_ENCRYPTED below to '1'.

  6. Eat a mango. They're REALLY good.


You can block anyone from using any list control panel by specifying exactly what IP addresses are allowed. Leave the @ALLOWED_IP_ADDRESSES blank:

        @ALLOWED_IP_ADDRESSES = qw();

to disable this security measure.

To add an address, just list it, like this:

        @ALLOWED_IP_ADDRESSES = qw(123.456.67.678 

Please note that crafty people can spoof what IP address they're coming from, and dial-up accounts and connections using DHCP may not have the same IP address per session.


Setting $REFERER_CHECK to '1' will only allow you to access admin screens if the referer in your web browser is whatever is set in $PROGRAM_URL or $S_PROGRAM_URL. In other words, you won't be able to log in to your list control panel, then stop, check your email on Yahoo! and come back to the list control panel by typing in its URL.

CAPTCHA in Dada Mail

See the doc on CAPTCHA features in Dada Mail:






Dada Mail uses cookies only for its login mechanism. Subscribers are not given a cookie.


$LOGIN_COOKIE_NAME holds the name of the cookie passed to the person's browser that will be accessing the list control panel.

Cookie Parameters

Some browsers/servers funkify Dada Mail's cookies. I don't know why. You can set additional attributes that are written for Dada Mail cookies by tweaking the %COOKIE_PARAMS hash, as outlined:

Sendmail Settings


|$MAILPROG -t -odq is great to use for very large lists as it queues up all messages, but may not be available in all situations.

Since Dada Mail 2.4, most optional flags aren't needed, as Dada Mail now handles the mailing of large lists well with its Batch Sending feature and sending mail through SMTP. These settings are still useful if you are using something other than Sendmail or qmail.

See the main page for Sendmail or whatever mail system your server uses for more info. Some flags for sendmail you can use are:

-io -> Not exit a line with only a dot is read.

-t -> Read the headers of the message to decide whom to send it to. (this is really good to have for qmail)

-odq -> Insert the message into a queue.

-oem -> On error, mail back the message attempting to deliver it immediately.

An example of using all those flags in the variable looks like this:

    $MAIL_SETTINGS = "|$MAILPROG -oi -t -odq -oem";

Tip: change this to ">>filename.txt"; to make Dada send email to a file instead of an email, for debugging. Here's something to look at: if you want more info.


Windows-Specific Settings


NPH stands for No Parse Headers. I don't know what that means either, but Microsoft servers like it, and I've found that cookies don't get set correctly and you're left with a funky screen saying you did wrong without it. Set this variable to '1' if you're using a Windows server.

It's also a good idea to rename dada nph-dada.cgi for Windows servers that require scripts to use NPH.



$LOGS sort of holds the default location of where all the logs should be placed; you can then set the other logs using this as a starting point. For example:

 $LOGS = '/home/account/dada_files/logs';  
 $PROGRAM_USAGE_LOG = $LOGS . '/usage.txt';

Sneaky. This makes a bit more sense if you're using an outside configuration file.


The dada log keeps track of mundane things, such as subscriptions, unsubscriptions, control panel logins, ...things like that. This can be pretty useful come debugging time, or if something went south during a very important mailing - best to turn this on /before/ that big mailing.

Turn logging on by specifying a absolute path to a file you want to use for the log. I personally always have this on, since it helps in finding a general trend and health of my list and can be beneficial if there is some sort of subscription dispute.


What should be logged?

Change each value to '1' in the %LOG hash if you want these things logged, change the variable to a '0' if you don't.



Control what outside CPAN modules give back debugging information. Set the value to, "1" to enabled debugging information from the CPAN module.


 NET_SMTP => 1,

Read the inline comments - there may be instances where you can set these values to something other than, "1" if the CPAN module itself supports levels of debugging information (for example:DBI)


You can change the look and feel of Dada Mail globally by specifying a different template file to use. Examples of what these templates look like are located in the 'extras' directory.


Path to the admin template. The default admin template is located at:



Path to the default user template, also know as the list template. We'll attempt to stick to one name from now on. The default user/list template is located at:


List Files - Specific Places to Write Them


Templates, by default, are saved in the same directory as your lists. To make things cleaner and nicer, you can move them into their own directory by setting the $TEMPLATES variable to an absolute path to a directory.


Hopefully, this variable will not need to be used - it's a little confusing on what it does....

Dada Mail, internally, uses a separate templating language from what is exposed to List Owners and such, called HTML::Template. More information:

Dada Mail needs to know the absolute path to these templates, which (as of 2.9) is at:


Sometimes, the automated thingy that figures this absolute path hangs for unknown reasons.

To thwart that, you can manually put the absolute path you need in $ALTERNATIVE_HTML_TEMPLATE_PATH like so:

 $ALTERNATIVE_HTML_TEMPLATE_PATH = '/home/justin/cgi-bin/dada/DADA/Template/templates';

How do you know if you need to set this variable? Most likely, you'll get an error that contains something along the lines of:

 HTML::Template::Expr->new() : Error creating HTML::Template object :   
 HTML::Template->new() : Cannot open included file congrats_screen.tmpl :
 file  not found. at

or something dealing with the "File::Spec" module.

Somewhat lame, I know.


Specifies the different directory that Dada Mail should use for writing temporary files. These files may contain sensitive data, like a copy of an outgoing message, so keep that in mind.


Set $ARCHIVES to the absolute path a directory that you want archives to be saved under.


Set $BACKUPS to an absolute path to a directory to where you want list backups to be saved.


%BACKUP_HISTORY sets how many different revisions of various list files are saved.

Program Behavior


If set to, 1, Dada Mail's mailing monitor will automatically be called. See:

For more information.

It's suggested that you use the, Monitor Mailing plugin that's mentioned in the above documentation, as this method has less testing done to it, but if you can't be bothered (and for the sake of variety), this method is available.

If you do enable this option, every single time the, mail.cgi program is run, the mailing monitor will be run just before the program quits. This makes things convenient, since you can you just have a cronjob set to run Dada Mail:

 */5 * * * * /usr/bin/curl > /dev/null


 */5 * * * * cd /home/youraccount/cgi-bin/dada/ /usr/bin/perl ./mail.cgi > /dev/null

And you have a mailing monitor running, without any extra scripts to installed. It may also be convenient, if you want the mailing monitor that the extension provides, but you don't have access to, or don't know how to set a cronjob.


$ENFORCE_CLOSED_LOOP_OPT_IN enables the Closed-Loop Opt-In System in Dada Mail and disables other features in Dada Mail that work around being 100% in conformance to Dada Mail's Closed-Loop Opt-In System.

It's highly suggested to set this $ENFORCE_CLOSED_LOOP_OPT_IN set to, 1.

More Information:

FCKEditor Integration - $FCKEDITOR_URL

$FCKEDITOR_URL is not used anymore. Please see the $WYSIWYG_EDITOR_OPTIONS and $FILE_BROWSER_OPTIONS variables.

CKeditor Integration - $CKEDITOR_URL (Experimental!)

$CKEDITOR_URL is not used anymore. Please see the $WYSIWYG_EDITOR_OPTIONS and $FILE_BROWSER_OPTIONS variables.



Please see the docs on WYSIWYG Editors and File Browsers at:


$WYSIWYG_EDITOR_OPTIONS ||= { fckeditor => { enabled => 0, url => '', }, ckeditor => { enabled => 0, url => '', }, tiny_mce => { enabled => 0, url => '', }, };

$FILE_BROWSER_OPTIONS ||= { kcfinder => { enabled => 0, url => '', upload_dir => '', upload_url => '', session_name => 'PHPSESSID', session_dir => '/tmp', }, };

Multiple Mailing List Sending


Set this variable to, 1 to enable Multiple Mailing List Sending.

Set this variable to, 0 to disable Multiple Mailing List Sending.


Set to, merged or, individual

More Information



$SCREEN_CACHE - Caching HTML Screens

Setting SCREEN_CACHE to, 1 will save rendered HTML screens for future use, instead of having the program recreate them each and every time a certain screen is needed.

If you have dynamic information in list templates, you may not want to use this option.

More information:


A global black list means that all lists being run under Dada Mail use the same black list. Change the value to, "1" to enable.

This feature is only available using the SQL Subscriber backend.


Global Unsubscribe means that when a person unsubscribes from one list, they're unsusbcribed from every list under Dada Mail. Change the value to, "1" to enable.

This feature is only available using the SQL Subscriber backend.

It's advised that you take advantage of this feature if you also use the Global List Sending feature.


There may be a situation where you'd like to have a field about a subscriber that isn't publically available for a subscriber to fill out. If this is the case, when naming the field, create the field with the name prefixed with what is saved in the, $HIDDEN_SUBSCRIBER_FIELDS_PREFIX variable. By default, this is set to, _ (underscore)


@PING_URLS holds the URLS that should be sent an XML-RPC message when you add a new message to your archive.

Here's more information:

You'll need the XMLRPC::Lite Perl module installed:


If no parameters are passed to the mail.cgi script, you will see the default or main Dada Mail page. You can override that by setting any URL you want into $DEFAULT_SCREEN.

If you do override this screen, it is recommended that you provide some way to at least unsubscribe to every one of your lists.


By default, when you log into the administration area you are shown the "Send a Message" screen. You can specify a different URL to go to by changing the $DEFAULT_ADMIN_SCREEN variable.


When a user clicks the, "Logout" link on left hand menu of the control panel, they'll be redirected to the URL located in the, $DEFAULT_LOGOUT_SCREEN variable. By default, this is set to the, $PROGRAM_URL variable.


This generates the admin menu's various links and features, which can then be turned on and off via the control panel. You shouldn't fool around with $ADMIN_MENU itself unless you want to add a feature, like a plugin.


$LIST_QUOTA, when set to anything other than undef, can be used to set the maximum number of lists a Dada Mail install can have at one time.

If set in an outside config file, you may also use the value, ' ' to mean, "no quota"


$SUBSCRIPTION_QUOTA, when set to anything other than undef, can be used to set the maximum number of subscribers in a Dada Mail list.

This variable will basically also set the limit of the per-list setting, subscription_quota. Any limit set in this setting that's over the limit imposed in the, $SUBSCRIPTION_QUOTA will be ignored.

If set in an outside config file, you may also use the value, ' ' to mean, "no quota"


This variable sets how many different mailouts may go out from an installation of Dada Mail at one time. Conservatively, this is set to, 1 by default.

There are a few reasons why you wouldn't want to set this to any higher limit, one being that there's a possibility that there is a limit on how many email messages you are allowed to go out in a specific period of time.

Another reason is that sending out too many messages at once may cause the server your running to be overloaded.


$MAILOUT_STALE_AFTER sets, in seconds, how long a mailout can go with no mailing activity until Dada Mail itself won't automatically reload it, from the point it stopped. The default, 86400 seconds is one full day.

This variable attempts to safegaurd you against having a dropped mailing that you've, "forgotten" about reloading, "mysteriously" and unintentionally.

A mailout may still be reloaded if this limit has been surpassed, but it must be done manually, through the list control panel.


$EMAIL_CASE configures dada to either lowercase ONLY the 'domain' part of an email, or lowercase the entire email address. Lowercasing the domain is the correct way, since the 'name' part of an email should be case sensitive, but it is almost never handled that way. Set this to 'lc_domain' to lowercase JUST the domain, or set this to 'lc_all' to lowercase the entire email address.


@EMAIL_EXCEPTIONS allows you to enter email addresses that wouldn't normally pass the email address validator. Good for testing offline when all you have is, say, root@localhost working.


$LIST_IN_ORDER controls whether your email list is handled in alphabetical order. Having a list in alphabetical order makes a list easier to work with but BE WARNED that this will, especially when you're using a plain text list, slow things down. If you have small lists then this shouldn't be too much of a problem. Set this variable to '1' to have your list sorted, '0', to keep your list unsorted.


This variable tells Dada Mail if you should show the "Top-Level Domains" table. You might not be interested in this information, or maybe your list is so large that your "View List" page is having trouble loading. Change this to '0' to stop the table from being shown.


The Domain Table can also be customized. You can put in or take away any top-level domain ending (like com or edu) by changing this list. Just add to the list, or delete something out of it - follow the pattern. Lots of top-level domain listings won't necessarily slow down the "View List" page.


This variable tells Dada Mail if it should show the "Services" table. Change it to '0' if you're not interested in this information, or if your list is so large that your "View List" page is having trouble loading.


The services Panel can also be customized. You can put in or take away any service that you want to track by adding a record in between the parentheses. Here's an example of what a new service would look like:

        'Altavista'     => '',

Put the NAME of the service on the left, and the domain ending that corresponds to that service on the right. The domain ending for America Online is "" - follow the pattern!


$FILE_CHMOD is a variable that sets what permission Dada Mail sets files to when it initially writes them. You can set it to a few things:

0660 - probably all you need 0666 - allows anyone to read and write files in the $FILES directory 0755 - probably insecure 0777 - shooting yourself in the foot insecure 0600 - godawful paranoid about the whole thing - life in general, as secure as it gets

It's a good idea to figure out what works and leave this variable alone after your lists are set up, as you may not be able to access a list under a different $FILE_CHMOD.

We've changed what the $FILE_CHMOD Dada Mail is shipped (02/13/01) with from 0660 to 0666. Note that this may be less secure than 0660, but may solve some problems people are having. Change this back to 0660 if everything seems to have been running just fine.


Similar to $FILE_CHMOD, $DIR_CHMOD sets permissions to Directories created with Dada Mail. At the moment, this is limited to backup directories.


List Control Panel

Email Messages and Headers


Charsets that Dada Mail supports. These are the most used; to add your own would look like this:

        'Description    charset',

There's a TAB between the Description and the actual charset: THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT.


These are the default content-types. Add your own, have fun.


Priorities of mailings. I find people sending me things with the highest priority to tell me about credit cards really don't garner my attention.



Plain Text to HTML Encoding

Dada Mail uses the HTML::TextToHTML CPAN module to convert plain text to HTML when showing plain text in archives and things like that. You can change the behavior of this formatting by changing what arguments get passed to the HTML::TextToHTML module, as described here:


Dada Mail uses the HTML::Scrubber CPAN module to attempt to strip JavaScript from potentially harmful HTML messages when displaying them in its archives.

$HTML_SCRUBBER_OPTIONS holds the parameters that are passed to HTML::Scrubber when creating a new HTML::Scrubber object.




Setting this paramater to, 1 will allow you to use the old-style tags that Dada Mail originaly used. An old-style tag looks like this:


New-style tags look like this:

 <!-- tmpl_var tag -->

And are nothing but HTML::Template-style tags. We'd like to move away from the old-style tags, but still 100% support them, for the time being. Setting this paramater to, 0 is very much experimental.


engine May be changed to one of the following:

When set to, Best or HTML Template Pro, Dada Mail will use HTML::Template::Pro if available as the templating engine. If HTML::Template::Pro is not available, Dada Mail will use HTML::Template/HTML::Template::Expr.

Note: Any templates that required the advanced templating syntax will currently still use HTML::Template::Expr.

When set to, HTML Template, Dada Mail will only use HTML::Template or HTML::Template::Expr, depending on what's needed.

HTML::Template::Pro will most likely be the faster choice, so it's preferred and Dada Mail will automatically use it, if it is available.

If you do not want to use HTML::Template::Pro at all, just set engine to, HTML Template.

MIME Settings


These are the MIME types Dada Mail understands. The file ending is on the left, what MIME type it maps to is on the right. Feel free to add your own. Dada Mail should be able to figure out the MIME type of a file, but when it can't, it'll fall back on this.


In case nothing up there matches what someone is trying to upload, there's a default MIME type for a last ditch guess. Some mail readers are sophisticated enough to figure out what an attachment is without its MIME type, but don't count on it.


This is set for the $MIME::Lite::PARANOID variable. Set it to '1' if you don't know if you have the MIME::Base64 or MIME::QuotedPrint or you don't know what those are. :)


Set mime_hush to '1' to suppress/unsuppress all warnings coming from this module.


Set to: 'faster', 'less memory', or 'no tmp files'. This controls how the MIME::Parser works. For more information: =cut

$MIME_OPTIMIZE ||= 'no tmp files';

Default Email Message Templates

The global default Email Message Templates are saved in the file.

Many of these email tempaltes are list-centric and can be edited list by list in the list control panel under, Manage Copy - Email Templates. If what you desire is to edit an email template for just one list, the place to do that is in the list control panel.

If you desire to set the default email template for all your lists, you'd want to do this in the global configuration (right here, or in the outside configuration file)


(List-centric, editable per list)

This is the default "subscription successful!" email message. This message can be customized for each list in the list's Control Panel.


This email message is sent to the List Owner, when a new subscription has been made by a subscriber.


(List-centric, editable per list)

This is the default "unsubscription successful!" email message. This message can be customized for each list in the list's Control Panel.


(List-centric, editable per list)

This is the default "subscription confirmation" email message. This message can be customized for each list in the list's Control Panel.


(List-centric, editable per list)

This is the default "subscription confirmation" email message. This message can be customized for each list in the list's Control Panel.


(List-centric, editable per list)

This is the default "Mailing List!" email message. This message can be customized for each list in the list's Control Panel.


(List-centric, editable per list)

Similar to $MAILING_LIST_MESSAGE, but used specifically for HTML messages.


(List-centric, editable per list)

This message is sent to someone who is not allowed to post to your list using Dada Bridge plugin. If you do not use the Dada Bridge plugin, this won't be of any use to you! This message can be customized for each list in the list's Control Panel.


This message is sent to the List Owner, usually in a discussion list setup, when a message is sent to the list from an email address who does not have access to do so.


(List-centric, editable per list)

This message is sent out only if someone that's already currently subscribed to a list tries to subscribe again and you've set the preferences to send an email out, instead of giving this message in the web browser.


(List-centric, editable per list)

This message is sent out only if someone that's not currently subscribed to a list tries to unsubscribe and you've set the preferences to send an email out, instead of giving this message in the web browser.


This email message is sent to the List Owner, when a mass mailing has finished.


The text version of the list invitation message.


The HTML version of the list invitation message.


(List-centric, editable per list)

The text version of the message sent when an archived message is sent to a friend.


The HTML version of the message sent when an archived message is sent to a friend.

Default HTML Screen Templates

The global default HTML Screen Templates are saved in the file.

Many of these HTML screen templates are list-centric and can be edited list by list in the list control panel under, Manage Copy - HTML Screen Templates. If what you desire is to edit an HTML screen template for just one list, the place to do that is in the list control panel.

If you desire to set the default HTML screen template for all your lists, you'd want to do this in the global configuration (right here, or in the outside configuration file)


(List-centric, editable per list)

Shown when a request to subscribe is successful.


(List-centric, editable per list)

Shown when a request to unsubscribe is successful.


(List-centric, editable per list)

Shown when a subscription is successful.


(List-centric, editable per list)


(List-centric, editable per list)

Shown when an unsubscription is successful.


List Setting Defaults


These defaults will be used when CREATING a new list. These defaults will also be used for existing lists if there isn't a variable already set. These values correspond to the values created in the list databases. An example would be:

                                 black_list     => 1, 
                                 sending_method => 'smtp',

This would setup all lists created now with blacklists on, and mail being sent using SMTP.

Note! You *can* enter the passwords for both POP3 (for POP-before-SMTP stuff) and the SMTP SASL password here, but they will be in plain text. When these passwords are saved in the list settings, they are encrypted.


Similar to, %LIST_SETUP_DEFAULTS, %LIST_SETUP_INCLUDE holds defaults values for lists.

The difference is that any value NOT set here, will be set, in accordance to what %LIST_SETUP_DEFAULTS already has. Because of this, it's much more convenient to use this variable in the outside config file.

For example, if you set up the bounce handler with the bounce email of, "", you could set %LIST_SETUP_INCLUDE to have these values:

 set_smtp_sender              => 1, # For SMTP   
 add_sendmail_f_flag          => 1, # For Sendmail Command
 admin_email                  => '',

And all new lists would automatically be hooked up to the bounce handler.


%LIST_SETUP_OVERRIDES will override any setting that's in the %LIST_SETUP_DEFAULTS hash and whatever is set in the list preferences.


@LIST_SETUP_DONT_CLONE is a list of settings you'd rather not have allowed to be cloned, in the little feature in the, "Create a New List" screen, entitled, "Clone settings from this list:"

Additional Settings You'll Probably Not Need to Change

(advanced hacker stuff)

Operating System

Dada Mail tries to guess your Operating System using the $^O variable. If it's guessing wrong, you can set it yourself.


$NULL_DEVICE refers to where the /dev/null device or file or whatever you more smert people call that thing... is located. On most *nix's, it's at /dev/null. You may have to change it. For example, if you're a Windows folk.

Seed Random Number Generator

if this is taken off, the seed random number will be made from the time, or from something pretty random, depending on your version of Perl.


Where is the salt number located in the encrypted password? It's usually at substr(0,2) but may be different on different systems, some systems are set to substring(3,2). Actually, I've only had this problem on one system - mine :) - which was a FreeBsd 4.0 distro. Under most cases, this is NOT going to be your problem!


The salt number. Change $SALT to

         $SALT = "mj";

if all else fails.


A pin number is made when someone wants to subscribe to your list. They will get a confirmation email with a special link that includes their email, and a pin that's generated from the email and the variables below using a mathematical equation. It's much harder to guess a pin with these two variables changed:


Changes how Dada Mail handles parsing CSV files. See:\%attr)


Change what DB Dada Mail will use. Dada Mail can use various db packages to save each list's information. It looks for the best one and uses the next package in the list if it can't find it. If you get a software error (an error 500, not having any information changed when creating a new list) you may have to change this to:

        BEGIN { @AnyDBM_File::ISA = qw(SDBM_File) }

SDBM is the worst package to use, but it is always available with perl. See the man page for the AnyDBM_File for more information.

Check the AnyDBM_File for more info.


To add an attachment to a list message in Dada Mail from the control panel, we have to upload it via the web browser. There are two ways we can do this. One is to save the information in the $FILES directory and then open it up, attach it, and then delete it; and the other involves some magical qualities of and MIME::Lite, probably coupled with your server's /tmp file, if you can use it. Setting $ATTACHMENT_TEMPFILE to '1' uploads, saves, attaches and then deletes the file. Setting it to '0' does it magically. I suggest '1', unless you want to play around with it.



Variables That Don't Need Changin'


This is the version of this Dada Mail Program. Mostly it's used to see if there's a new version out there to use and to say that you've got the freshest tools on the Web.


This is the name of the program. I guess if this script has a mid-life crisis or something, it can change its name, buy a really fast car and start chasing guys half her age.


%EMAIL_HEADERS hold the default values of all email headers that Dada Mail supports. Most of the default values have no default (they're set to, undef) and in this case, won't be used, unless explicitly set in the program, somewhere.

You may try changing the default value, (for example, the Reply-To header) but these default value will always be overrided by anything explictly set in in the program.


@EMAIL_HEADERS_ORDER sets the order at which email headers are written in, when Dada Mail creates an email message.


If you need further support for this script, please do not email me directly, but use one of the following channels:


My name is Justin Simoni


Copyright (c) 1999 - 2012 Justin Simoni All rights reserved.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

Last Words

To riding bicycles.