> We are planning to run a mailing list in our university using the last
> vesion of Majordomo: my question is about its compatibility with Lotus
> Notes mailer. Anybody could help?
Lotus Notes does some very obnoxious things which show up with all mailing
lists. That is, there is no particular problem with majordomo the LN
doesn't have with real (Internet) Email in general. Here are the things
to watch out for.
(1) LN makes it very very easy for people to compose messages as MS-Word
documents instead of plain text bodies. Like all "User-Friendly"
systems it conceals info from the user, so they don't know this.
(2) Many LN systems silently and automatically include an image (of a
globe with an envelope orbiting it) in a PCX (Windows Paint Brush)
file. Some LN systems (like the one that I have to condend with)
do this by having this as uuencoded junk within the message. Others
do it as a mime attachement.
(3) When someone recieves a message via LN via an SMTP-LN gateway in which
the SMTP headers do not include the address of the recipient, it
assumes that the messages has been Bcc'ed, and will when displaying
the message for the user will included a line like
"(Bcc: John_Smith@Some.LN.Server)". This has been known to confuse
(4) LN users usually receive no or very poor training on the fact that
they need to deal with mail to the internet differently then mail
within Lotus Notes. Notes users, for exmaple, may routinely send
2 Mb files to hundreds of users and be shocked to be told that that
(5) Slashes in Usernames. Some address will have slashes in them. MD
by default freaks (and assumes that someone might be trying to add
a file name to the list). There is some feature in the majordomo
config file which will allow some slashes in email addressers.
(6) LN does not preserver all 822 headers. In particular it strips
Received: headers, making it very difficult to diagonose problems.
Ok. this things with LN can affect MD in two ways. One is if you have
participants on a list who use LN, the other is if you have list managers
who use MD. For the former, you can solve most problems by putting
in taboo_body in the the configs, and have a document ready to point
people to warning them about why it is a bad idea to send large messages
to lists. (And telling them that they can easily send large messages
accidently if their mailer does things behind the scenes). Basically,
you just have a larger user education problem with Notes users than with
You should get list administrators to make use of "end" statements, for
MD, since there is no telling what garbage LN will see fit to put
into a message. (So far I don't have any LN list administrators, so
am just guessing at what the problems will be.)
One part of our site uses Lotus Notes, and they occassionly join Internet
mailing lists. The do something (usually post the uuencoded PCX files)
and get badly flamed. They then come to me, and I tell them what
happened, and they ask how to stop sending the PCX file. I say I don't
know, they have to talk to their more local LN admin, but they shouldn't
send mail to the internet, and especially mailing lists until they've
sorted it out.
Jeffrey Goldberg +44 (0)1234 750 111 x 2826
Cranfield Computer Centre FAX 751 814
Relativism is the triumph of authority over truth, convention over justice.