Great Circle Associates Majordomo-Users
(July 1994)

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Subject: Re: Suspension?
From: Alan Stebbens <aks @ dokoka . ucsb . edu>
Date: Fri, 01 Jul 1994 09:11:31 -0700
To: Mark Eichin <eichin @ cygnus . com>
Cc: paulp @ is . internic . net, rouilj @ cs . umb . edu, lsheldon @ bluejay . creighton . edu, majordomo-users @ greatcircle . com
Comments: Hyperbole mail buttons accepted, v3.12P.
In-reply-to: Your message of Fri, 01 Jul 1994 11:18:07 PDT. <>
Reply-to: "Alan K. Stebbens" <aks @ hub . ucsb . edu>

> >> thousand subscribers here, and far and away the most common
> >> question is "How do I POSTPONE or NOMAIL? Listserv lets me do
> >> that..."

The difference between "NOMAIL" and the suggested implementation of
multiple "unsubscribe"s is that with the former, the knowledge of the
user's mailing lists is being maintained, whilst with the latter it is
lost.  In other words, after being unsubscribed to all the mailing lists
managed by a particular majordomo, the user must then resubscribe to
them all by hand.

A true "NOMAIL" would unsubscribe the user, but retain a history of
which lists of which he/she was a member, and then when mail was
reenabled, the user would be automatically resubscribed to the same
mailing lists.

As for doing a POSTPHONE (notice the _correct_ spelling :^), let's
remember the motivation for these two commands: the user is away and
unable to read his/her mail.  Only the user can know which mailing lists
for which mail is important enough to be retained during his/her
absence; and, as has been pointed out, it is unreasable to expect each
mailing list manager to retain enough disk space to absorb the
postphoned mail for all vacationing mailing list members.

The correct approach to this problem is to distribute the work & storage
back to the user: use an incoming mail filter.  With a filter, the user
can decide, during vacation mode, to either file or junk mail from any
given mailing list.  The decision making and storage requirements are
thus distributed back to each user.

As for mail filters, there are very many, and most are quite flexible
enough to filter mail based on the appearance of a particular mailing
list name.  MH (slocal + .maildelivery), Perl mailaudit, RAM's Perl/C
based mailagent are a few.

So, I don't think majordomo needs to implement the "nomail" or
"postphone" feature.

However, I do think that it should be trivial to do a

    unsubscribe all

command, in order to quickly remove oneself from all mailing lists
managed by a particular Majordomo.

| Alan Stebbens           | University of California, Santa Barbara |
| Email: | Center for Computational Sciences 	    |
| CCSE:  (805) 893-3221	  |  & Engineering (CCSE)		    |
| Voice: (805) 893-8135   | 3107 Engineering I			    |
| Fax:   (805) 893-8121   | Santa Barbara, CA 93106		    |

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