[Mailman-Users] Sending a human message to the LISTNAME-request address.

The List Server Administrator at UNH listadm at metaphor.unh.edu
Thu Mar 18 21:28:04 CET 1999

    In investigating the differences between Mailman and ListProc, I
    noticed that the use of the `standard' list aliases are not the same.
    Specifically Mailman uses the "-request" address for contacting the
    server, while ListProc uses this address for contacting the list's
    human admin.

    Now I've seen different list servers go different ways on this issue.
    For example I think Majordomo takes the same approach as Mailman where
    this particular alias is concerned. 

    But ignoring this issue, look at error message I received from the
    server when I sent my `human message' to the "-request" address
    (see below).  Don't you think it would make sense for the server
    to include some sort of information on how to get help?  If I'm a
    typical user, all I'll know from this reply is that my message
    apparently went to a robot, not a person.  But know I don't know
    who I should contact or what I should do for help.

    While we're talking about error messages, a question.  Are the
    various text strings used for generating error messages and
    diagnostics sent to users kept separate from the code?  I'll
    briefly mention that I think such a feature is vital.  Separating
    the displayed text from the code allows for much easier
    internationalization as well as making it easier for different
    sites to customize the messages as necessary to reflect local
    policies.  Having the error and diagnostic messages hardwired into
    the server code is probably my number one frustration with
    ListProc.  In that particular case, the supplied error messages are
    rarely helpful, but there is little that I, as a site admin, can
    do about it.  Of course because the error messages are so bad, I
    end up handling many more user questions than I probably should
    have to.  (But at least each error message contains a blurb on who
    to contact for help.)

    Just my $0.02 USD.

                                           The List Server Admin
                                           list.admin at unh.edu
                                           (currently Bill Costa)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 14:52:25 -0500 (EST)
From: mailman-users-request at python.org
To: listadm at metaphor.unh.edu
Subject: Mailman results for Mailman-Users

**** Subject line ignored: This is a test to see what the server will do...

>>>> Please excuse this test.  It appears that Mailman uses the "-request"
**** please: Command UNKNOWN.

>>>> version of the list address differently than other servers I have seen.
**** version: Command UNKNOWN.

>>>> I want to see what will happen if I send a note addressed to a human
**** i: Command UNKNOWN.

>>>> to this address.
**** to: Command UNKNOWN.

>>>> Cordially,
**** cordially,: Command UNKNOWN.

>>>> The List Server Admin
**** the: Command UNKNOWN.

>>>> list.admin at unh.edu
**** list.admin at unh.edu: Command UNKNOWN.

>>>> (currently Bill Costa)
**** (currently: Command UNKNOWN.

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