Important and annoying administrivia about this list

Brian Smithson (
Fri, 19 Apr 1996 11:17:49 -0700

A few weeks ago, the Internet service provider that I use for this
mailing list stopped using "majordomo" to manage mailing lists and
started using a mailing list manager that they invented. It's called
"bestserv" and operates a bit like majordomo, a bit like listserv/listproc,
and a bit like no other. I'm sorry to bother you all with a change
like this -- I complained vociferously but to no avail -- but here's a
summary of what you need to know.

Basically, posting works the same as always: you send your message to and it gets distributed to everyone on the list.
If you reply to a message that you receive from the list, your reply gets
distributed to everyone on the list (unless you change the To: field).
Nothing new about any of that.

What's new is the subscription and unsubscription mechanisms and perhaps
some idiosyncracies of error handling. I won't bother you with the
idiosyncracies -- they'll make themselves known all too soon :-) -- but
here is the details about subscription and unsubscription and its
kissin' cousin, aliases:

To subscribe, send mail to
and put one of the following commands in the body of the message:


- or -


If you use "subscribe", you'll receive digests of ultralite-list messages.
If you use "subsingle", you'll receive individual ultralite-list messages.
There's no need to specify the list name or your name.

If you have a need to subscribe to ultralite-list but want the ultralite-list
messages to be sent to a different address, you can add that address
to the command:

subscribe address

- or -

subsingle address

(replacing "address" with the actual e-mail address to which you want the
ultralite-list messages sent)

Please note that a verification message will be sent to that address before
the address is actually added to the ultralite-list roles. See below for more
information about verification.

By default, ultralite-list only allows subscribed addresses to post to
the list. You can add other addresses to the list with the 'alias'
command. You'd send this message to

alias address

This allows you to post to ultralite-list from another email-address
without the list distribution being sent to that address. You can
add as many aliases as you like.

To unsubscribe from ultralite-list, send the 'unsubscribe' command to If you subscribed using a different
address, you can unsubscribe by adding that email address to the command.


- or -

unsubscribe address

Many of the requests you make to the list server require authentication.
The list server authenticates a request by emailing a message back to you
with a special Subject: line. The message contains complete instructions.
You normally Reply the message (making sure that the original Subject is
still in the Subject: header, possibly with an Re: in front of it).
You must edit the Subject line to change the word "REJECT" to "ACCEPT"
if you want to go ahead and run your original command.

You must be sure to leave the ID number in the Subject line intact;
otherwise, the list manager will not be able to authenticate your request.

The purpose of authentication is to ensure that a valid return email
address exists and to disuade spammers from crashing the list.

Hungering for more information?
I doubt it, but you can send mail to
with the command


in the body of the message, and you'll get the official bestserv help file.

Again, I'm sorry to bother everyone with a change like this. The main
improvements of bestserv over majordomo are that it helps prevent
unauthorized postings ("spams") and it significantly discourages people
from fraudulently subscribing other people to the mailing list ("mailing
list bombing"). Oh, the joys of today's Internet...

In spite of all of this, I hope you enjoy ultralite-list.

-Brian (still reachable at