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Subscriber's Guide to Majordomo

Our mailing lists are managed by individual "list administrators" assisted by a program called majordomo. This program distributes the email 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.

In order to subscribe to one of our mailing lists first find out its name (see the "lists" command below). Then send mail to majordomo@cardiff.ac.uk. The subject doesn't matter, but the text should say subscribe listname, substituting the name of the list for listname, e.g. subscribe testing-list.

Similarly, if later you want to unsubscribe to the list, send mail saying unsubscribe listname to majordomo@cardiff.ac.uk, again substituting the name of the list for listname. Continue to substitute the name of the list wherever you see listname later in the document; substitute the appropriate email address wherever you see address.

In order to send mail to be distributed through the mailing list, simply send the mail you want to be distributed to listname@cardiff.ac.uk. Mail sent to that address will automatically be picked up by a program called majordomo and redistributed to the list of subscribers majordomo has.

There are a number of other commands that you can give majordomo. It is important that all commands to majordomo be phrased and spelled exactly the way they are given here. Because majordomo is a computer program, it is very literal-minded and can only understand commands which exactly match the ones it was taught.

Here's a list of the things you can tell majordomo to do. You send it these commands by sending mail to majordomo@cardiff.ac.uk, leaving the subject line blank, and including each command as a separate line of text.

The email message says:

What majordomo does when it receives the command. (Go to example, if applicable)

help

Majordomo replies with a list of 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.

which

Majordomo sends back a reply including 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 reply including a list of the mailing lists the address given is subscribed to.

lists

Majordomo sends back a reply including a catalogue of the mailing lists which majordomo handles, with a half-line description of each list. (example)

info listname

majordomo sends back the summary information about the list that the list owner may have provided.

Not all of these commands are necessarily usable for any given list; the administrator for that list can turn these commands off. The command which most often gets turned off is "subscribe;" the list owner can tell majordomo to require a password before letting people get subscribed to the list -- in which case a subscribe command is forwarded to the list owner (administrator). Similarly, majordomo can be told not to give out information about the list without the owner's password, or not to resend the mail sent to listname@cardiff.ac.uk to the subscribers without the owner's approval. If majordomo can understand a request but has been told not to obey it without a password, majordomo will forward the request to the list owner; the owner can then approve or deny the request.

Sometimes list subscribers may need to reach a person instead of the majordomo program. The majordomo program will automatically forward mail that needs password approval to the list owner. However, if you need to contact your list owner directly, you can send mail to the owner of a list by sending mail to owner-listname@info.cardiff.ac.uk.


Examples:

A subscription request will look something like this:

mail majordomo@cardiff.ac.uk
Subject:
subscribe testing-list


Majordomo's response will look something like this:

From: Majordomo@cardiff.ac.uk
To: tester@cardiff.ac.uk
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 "testing-list-request@cardiff.ac.uk":

unsubscribe

Or you can send mail to "Majordomo@cardiff.ac.uk" with the following command in the body of your email message:

unsubscribe testing-list tester@cardiff.ac.uk

Here's the general information for the list you've
subscribed to, in case you don't already have it:

"testing-list@cardiff.ac.uk" is the email address of the majordomo testing mailing list.


A request for information about a list will look something like this:

mail majordomo@cardiff.ac.uk
Subject:
info testing-list


Majordomo's response will look something like this:

From: Majordomo@cardiff.ac.uk
To: tester@cardiff.ac.uk
Subject: Majordomo results: info

--

>>>> info testing-list
[Last updated on: Sun Sep 25 16:55:08 1994]

"testing-list@cardiff.ac.uk" is the email address of the majordomo testing mailing list.


An unsubscription request would look something like this:

mail majordomo@cardiff.ac.uk
Subject:
unsubscribe testing-list tester@cardiff.ac.uk


Majordomo's response will look something like this:

From: Majordomo@cardiff.ac.uk
To: tester@cardiff.ac.uk
Subject: Majordomo results

--

>>>>
unsubscribe testing-list tester@cardiff.ac.uk
Succeeded.
>>>>


A request for a catalogue of lists would look something like this:

mail majordomo@cardiff.ac.uk
Subject:
lists


Majordomo's response would look something like this:

From: Majordomo@cardiff.ac.uk
To: tester@cardiff.ac.uk
Subject: Majordomo results: lists

--

>>>> lists
Majordomo@cardiff.ac.uk 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 listname-request@cardiff.ac.uk:

mail testing-list-request@cardiff.ac.uk
Subject:
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.

Written by E. Elizabeth Bartley, copyright 1994 by The University of Chicago.
Permission to copy for non-commercial use is granted provided these attributions are retained.

For further information, please contact insrvConnect@cardiff.ac.uk