> the list has about 260 subscribers [...] It can take two to four hours
> (sometimes 10 or more hours) before postings appear in the list. [...]
> Recently, however, a subscriber to my list subscribed to another mailing
> list at NETCOM and found turnaround to be much faster for the new list
> (like 30 minutes or so). [...] For what it is worth, NETCOM uses
> majordomo as its list server.
Unless hacked, Majordomo sends mail out as a single Sendmail job with as
many recipients as your list has subscribers. Sendmail delivers with a
single process that tries addresses one by one (with some optimizations
like sorting by MX). Therefore, on a long list, it can be a while before
Sendmail makes it to the end. Your subscriber who got faster turnaround on
the new list is probably closer to the beginning of Sendmail's delivery
queue on that list -- fewer subscribers, perhaps?
> I'm unsure about the various parameters that affect list turnaround and
> hope to learn more.
To speed things up, the MTA (Sendmail) could optimize better or parallelize
delivery; or, the MLM (mailing list manager, Majordomo in your case) could
split the list into pieces, forcing the MTA to parallelize; or, the
destination machines could run faster or always be up, causing fewer delays
by Sendmail. While it's not perfect, there is a discussion of delivery
efficiency in the "Mailing List Management Software FAQ," available on
comp.mail.list-admin.software or by request from various mail servers.
Since you use Majordomo, try:
send mail to
in the message body, write
get list-managers software-faq
The discussion in there pretty much assumes Sendmail is the MTA; I want to
fix that and lots of other stuff about the FAQ (and hope to do so this
summer). Please write to me privately with any suggestions.
"For Rent: 6-room hated apartment."