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Mailing List User Guide
Our mailing lists are managed by individual list owners assisted by a program called Majordomo. This program distributes the e-mail sent to the mailing list, handles much of the routine subscribing to and unsubscribing from the list, and answers basic information requests about the list.
To subscribe to one of our mailing lists, first find out its name (see the "lists" command below). Then send e-mail to email@example.com. The subject doesn't matter, but the text should say subscribe listname. Substitute the name of the list for listname, for example, subscribe testing-list. Similarly, if later you want to unsubscribe to the list, send e-mail saying unsubscribe listname to firstname.lastname@example.org, again substituting the name of the list for listname. Whenever reference is made to listname in the document, substitute the name of the list; for address, substitute the appropriate e-mail address.
To send mail to be distributed through the mailing list, send the mail that you want to be distributed to email@example.com. Mail sent to that address will automatically be picked up by Majordomo and redistributed to the list of subscribers Majordomo has.
You can give other commands to Majordomo. It is important that all commands to Majordomo be phrased and spelled exactly the way they are given here; otherwise, Majordomo will not follow them.
Here's a list of the things you can tell Majordomo to do. Send these commands in an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org; leave the subject line blank and include each command as a separate line of text. Caution: Do not send any of the following commands to email@example.com, which is a commonly made mistake.
- The e-mail message says:
- What Majordomo does when it receives the command. (Go to example, if applicable)
- Majordomo replies with a list of acceptable Majordomo commands.
- subscribe listname
- Majordomo subscribes the sender to the named list. (Example)
- subscribe listname address
- Majordomo subscribes the address given to the named list.
- unsubscribe listname
- Majordomo unsubscribes the sender from the named list if the sender sent the mail from exactly the address he was subscribed to. (Example)
- unsubscribe listname address
- Majordomo unsubscribes the address from the named list.
- Majordomo sends back a catalogue of the mailing lists the sender is subscribed to at the address he sent the mail from.
- which address
- Majordomo sends back a list of the mailing lists the address given is subscribed to.
- Majordomo sends back a catalogue of the mailing lists which Majordomo handles with a half-line description of each list. (Example)
- info listname
- Majordomo sends back summary information about the list. (Example)
- who listname
- Majordomo replies with a roster of the e-mail addresses that are subscribed to the named list.
- index listname
- Messages sent to all mailing lists are archived monthly unless the list owner explicitly requests no archiving. Majordomo replies with the filenames of the archived files of the named list.
- get listname filename
- Majordomo sends the archived messages for the filename requested. Files are archived under the filename listname.yymm. Example: www-l.9503 contains all messages sent to the list www-l during March 1995.
- Majordomo ignores anything in an e-mail message to Majordomo which comes after the command "end". This can be useful if you have a signature or other text at the end of your message, or if you want to include more than one Majordomo command.
Not all commands are necessarily usable for any given list because the list owner can turn them off. The command most frequently turned off is "subscribe". In this case, the list owner tells Majordomo to require a password to subscribe people to the list, and as a result Majordomo forwards the subscribe command it receives to the list owner. Similarly, Majordomo can be prevented from giving information about the list or distributing mail sent to firstname.lastname@example.org to list subscribers without the owner's approval. In each case, Majordomo forwards the request to the list owner, and the owner can then approve or deny the request.
If you need to contact the list owner directly, send mail to the to email@example.com.
A subscription request will look something like this:
Majordomo's response will look something like this:From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: Welcome to testing-list -- Welcome to the testing-list mailing list! If you ever want to remove yourself from this mailing list, send the following command in email to "firstname.lastname@example.org": unsubscribe Or you can send mail to "email@example.com" with the following command in the body of your email message: unsubscribe testing-list firstname.lastname@example.org Here's the general information for the list you've subscribed to, in case you don't already have it: "email@example.com" is the email address of the Majordomo testing mailing list.
A request for information about a list will look something like this:
Majordomo's response will look something like this:From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: Majordomo results: info -- >>>> info testing-list [Last updated on: Sun Sep 25 16:55:08 1994] "firstname.lastname@example.org" is the email address of the Majordomo testing mailing list.
An unsubscription request would look something like this:
unsubscribe testing-list email@example.com
Majordomo's response will look something like this:From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: Majordomo results -- >>>> unsubscribe testing-list firstname.lastname@example.org Succeeded. >>>>
A request for a catalogue of lists would look something like this:
Majordomo's response would look something like this:From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Majordomo results: lists -- >>>> lists email@example.com serves the following lists: example-list An example list for this document. testing-list The testing list for Majordomo. Use the 'info <list>' command to get more information about a specific list.
There is an another form of (un)subscription request, based on mailing firstname.lastname@example.org:
subscribe OR unsubscribe
Majordomo takes the name of the list from the address mail is sent to so that the reader need not mention the list's name.
Majordomo list administrator document
This description has drawn heavily from the work of E. Elizabeth Bartley at The University of Chicago. Questions should be directed to the SCS Majordomo Administrator .
November 6, 1997