Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(March 1999)

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Subject: Introduction / Questions
From: Jeremy Blackman <loki @ maison-otaku . net>
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 21:06:51 -0800 (PST)
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com

Ok, a quick intro for myself. :)

I'm the original author (and still lead developer) of the less-well-known
mailing list server 'Listar', in my ever-decreasing spare time. :)  I
thought I'd subscribe to this list to see what people's
opinions/requests/mentality on mailing list software and management in
general is, to get an idea of where to focus future development on Listar. 
(I figure a package is only useful if it does what people need/want, so I
should find out what list managers in general need/want.) 

I've been reading through the archives of the list to catch up before
joining (some interesting discussions), and I have a few basic questions
for people... some things I've been trying to collect information on for a
while.  I DID read the thread on HTML formatted e-mail, but it didn't
entirely answer my question, which is more on the ETHICS of altering
the message, so...

* One capability I gave Listar quite some time back was the ability to
  decode alternative mail formats.  (In Listar's terminology, it's called
  'humanize-mime'.)  This basically ensures that any posts to a list
  with humanize-mime set true are in a nice, standard plaintext format,
  and do not include binary attachments.  (Attachments that are a 
  recognizable text format will be decoded and added to the main message
  body.)  While I feel this is a useful option, I have heard one or two
  complaints (usually from people who like to post binary files), that
  this is a violation of their 'right to post in whatever format they
  want'.  While the majority of users have not be displeased with the 
  option (and some are in fact overjoyed it's there), I was curious if
  any of the list maintainers out there thought that stripping binary
  attachments was an ETHICAL problem?

* Password, versus other methods of authentication.  I lean towards a
  'cookie' method similar to Majordomo's subscription confirmation
  tickets.  This has the advantage of not requiring an administrator
  to remember a password, and is less readily spoofable.  It has the
  downside, however, of requiring two mail messages per administrative
  session.  (One to retrieve the 'wrapper' for an admin session, and one
  to submit it back and have it processed.)  Do other list admins
  prefer a password method that requires only one message, or a more
  secure method that requires two messages per admin session and doesn't
  require a password to be memorized?

* Built-in sorting on domain, for the outgoing user list.  A good thing,
  or a bad thing?  It tends to REALLY improve sendmail's performance, but
  isn't that useful for qmail or Postfix.  It also tends to be less
  memory-efficient.  My opinion is that it should be an option (since
  sendmail IS fairly common), but disable-able for qmail and Postfix
  installations, which do their own queue optimization.

There.  Those are my three simple starting questions.  Thanks in advance!

--Loki (

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