Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(June 1996)

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Subject: Re: List/Web Interfacing?
From: Al Gilman <asgilman @ access . digex . net>
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 1996 11:29:04 -0400 (EDT)
To: lazlo @ swcp . com (Lazlo Nibble)
Cc: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM, listelves @ sig . net
In-reply-to: <> from "Lazlo Nibble" at May 29, 96 02:57:03 pm

On lynx-dev we are currently running with Hypermail 1.02 and we like
it enought so that we are contemplating hacking it until we get a mode

<floodgate warning -- details follow>

    * Maintains web-based archives of Internet-style mailing lists;

This much works good.

    * Allows users of the web pages to post to the lists;

Presently, we allow open posting, so that a random visitor can reply.
As list-managers well know this is spam-vulnerable but we are risking
it for now.  Better later.  The key missing link is the threading
of replies so originated.  I have demonstrated that it can be done,
but the necessary steps are highly tedious.  We have hopes of modifying
the archiver to autogenerate a "reply" mailto: url that gets the
job done.  Some of this is keyed to using the X-URL: header generated
which is a functional synonym of a Referrer: header as used in HTTP.
the archiver doesn't presently understand and reply to that header, but
Lynx and Netscape generate usable headers for threading purposes and it's
a SMOP to get Hypermail to do the right thing.

    * Ideally allows people to "sign in" to the web pages and only be
      presented with messages that have been added since they last logged on.
Lynx does not maintain history, and we are oriented to lynx
users.  But I would still argue that this information should be
saved at the client side of the dialog and not at the server.  A
simple operational procedure that gets you 85% of this
functionality as is with little more user burden than a sign-on
transaction is that the user bookmarks the most recent message in
the archive when he/she visits, and then uses that bookmark as
the entry point for re-visiting the site.  On return the user
navigates from this old post to the by-date index.  The Hypermail
links include the intelligence to take you to the citation of
this post in the by-date listing, which clearly isolates more
recent messages from those in the archive when you last visited.

Very interested in anything you learn/do,

Al Gilman

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