[Mailman-Users] listserv question

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Thu Dec 10 04:41:14 CET 2009

Carolyn Vander Schee wrote:

>I am wondering if you could help me with a problem I am having regarding a list serv that has recently been set up. 

If you are really asking about a Listserv(r) list, you've come to the
wrong place.

I know that use of Listserv(r) as a generic term to refer to an email
list or email list management software is ubiquitious, and I'm just
pissing in the wind to fight it, but Listserv(r) is a registered
trademark[1] owned by the developer of a particular email list
management product, and it shouldn't be used generically.

My personal interest in this is not to protect the Listserv(r)
trademark, but rather to avoid confusing Listserv(r) email list
management software with any other email list management software
including GNU Mailman of which I am a developer.

[1] <http://www.lsoft.com/corporate/trademark.asp>

>It seems as though some members of the group are receiving a very messy post (ie., characters do not all turn out and spaces are missing). This, of course, is making it difficult for our members to read. Some members however are receiving the message as it was sent (no problems). 
>When I compose the messages, I am careful to take all the formatting out (using word) and then paste the unformatted announcement in my email (novell email). 
>Perhaps you could offer a few suggestions. Would it be better, for example, for me to use g-mail to send out the messages?

It is very difficult to know what might be happening without seeing a
sample raw message including all headers and MIME parts.

What I am guessing is happening is your novell email is composing a
multipart/alternative message with text/plain and text/html
alternative parts. Some clients will actually create an HTML message
as you type, paste, etc. and then convert that HTML to plain text for
the text/plain part and some are notoriously bad at converting the
HTML to plain text.

This could be happening in your case such that the text/html part is a
fairly faithful representation of what you entered and the text/plain
alternative is somewhat garbled. Then those users whose mail readers
display the html part see what you entered and others whose mail
readers display the plain text part see the garbled message.

As I said though, this is only a guess, but I can say that if this is
in fact a Mailman list, all regular (non-digest) members are receiving
the same message.

Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net>        The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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