Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 2001)

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Subject: Digests
From: "Amy Stinson" <amys @ amys-answers . com>
Organization: Amy's Answers
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 20:23:50 -0500
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <>
References: <>
Reply-to: amys @ amys-answers . com

Personally, I'm not a big fan of digests.  That being said, roughly a 
third of my members use digest on my largest, most active list.  I've 
made a digest available with every incarnation of my largest list 
because subscribers ought to be able to have a choice if a choice is 
available, especially in a large, active list.  Mine is not the only 
list of it's kind (altho it was until this year) and subscribers will 
go where they have more choices (all other things equal).  

Listserv, imo, handles digests the best of the 4 listserve packages 
I've used.  My selection of list management software was very 
dependent upon how much I could control the digest. I keep the size 
down to 25k (for the sake of AOL people), have line limits on 
incoming mail so digests don't get reposted in replies, and encourage 
subject changes for relevance sake.
All digests are reply-to to the list by default afaik.  At least 
every digest I've ever dealt with has been.  Where else are you going 
to reply to?  I don't see how it could ever happen for a non-mime 
digest reply to go to the individual automatically.  But maybe I'm 
just being blonde.

I encourage my list members to use a mime compliant email program if 
they are going to go digest as LISTSERV detects the mailer type and 
assigns digest type accordingly.  Obviously,  this can't happen with 
AOL members, who, imo, are handicapped in almost every aspect of 
email.  Digests are a poor man's filter for AOL users as best as I 
can see.

I have several lists that we trade picture attachments.  That's 
another thing I like about LISTSERV.  I can specify what kind of 
attachments will be accepted and strip or reject the rest.  The non-
mime digest just sends a pile of junk when attachments are included, 
but handles them perfectly in a mime digest.  You can forward and 
reply to the individual messages in the digests, but you can't delete 
them (after all it would change the digest).  

BTW, I've been a Pegasus user since 1995 and it's handled every mime 
digest type I've gotten perfectly.  I get them from Lyris, Listserv, 
and Smartlist based listservers  

For those people who do not have mime digest capability, there's 
always the "digest reader" programs.

I'm not sure what all the complaining is about.  We all choose list 
management the suits our needs and email programs that we are 
comfortable with (and suit our needs).  I don't think there is a "one 
size fits all" solution in either aspect.  I find that Eudora's 
resend and filters don't work the way *I* expect them to and Outlook 
is too virulent to use other than for teaching purposes.  I used PINE 
to manage one of my lists, but few ISP's allow shell access any 
longer. I keep them all around so that I can help educate my 

Chuq, you've been so quiet.  Uncharacteristic of you.

Amy Stinson
Site Maintainer

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