Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 1996)

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Subject: robotinfo list manager command - Was: Re: Pangaea
From: John Lines <John . Lines @ aeat . co . uk>
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 14:20:56 +0100
To: BKnowles @ aol . net
Cc: list-managers @ greatcircle . com, john . lines @ aeat . co . uk
In-reply-to: Your message of "Mon, 08 Apr 1996 12:38:23 EDT." <>

Brad Knowles wrote:

> On Apr 8,  8:43am, Brent Chapman wrote:
> > What they're talking about is basicly a Yahoo or Alta Vista for mailing
> > lists.  They'll archive everything, and set it up for access via some
> > pretty powerful search engines.  Presumably when people access the Pangaea
> > site through the Web, to run their searches, they'll get little "banner"
> > ads (just like on Yahoo) on each page of search results; very unobtrusive.
>     In my discussions with Eric, I got the impression that it was more
> like DejaNews, but with mailing lists included as well.  They're going
> to be using some very interesting technology to make the searches much
> useful and relevant to the people doing the searches (far beyond
> simple keyword or boolean searches, or those combined with some sort
> of ranking system).

You can ask most Web indexing agents not to index your pages by using the
robots.txt file. Perhaps what we need for lists is a way to return information
to 'Listcrawler' robots to indicate information about the list policy in
a structured way.

For example it would be trivial to add a new 'robotinfo [listname]' command
to Majordomo (just crib the existing info command)

It could return information as a set of fields e.g.

Listname: sample
Listtype: majordomo
Moderated: yes
Subscriptions: closed

RobotArchive: no
IncludeInMetaLists: ask owner
Keywords: sample list

The RobotArchive field indicates whether robot subscribers are welcome or not
The IncludeInMetaLists tells collectors of lists whether they should publish
the existence of your list. (Someone can probably think of better names for
these fields)
Both have the field values
	yes	- go ahead and index or archive
	no	- dont index (and dont bother the list owner to ask)
	ask [owner or email address] - ask the list owner or the given email
		address for permission.

All the fields in the return message are optional, but designed to help a
list manager to communicate with others who are interested in the list itself
in a structured way, similar to the way that normal list management software
allows the list owner to communicate information about the list to subscribers
in a structured way.

It would help everyone if we could establish the same keyword and reply
format across all list management packages.

	John Lines (AEA Technology Internet Manager)

  • Re: Pangaea
    From: "Brad Knowles" <>
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From: Eric Thomas <ERIC@VM.SE.LSOFT.COM>
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