Great Circle Associates Majordomo-Workers
(September 1996)

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Subject: Re: So where's this specification?
From: Robb Shecter <rshecter @ fieldrep . ed . umuc . edu>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 1996 15:43:10 +0200 (MET DST)
To: Jason L Tibbitts III <tibbs @ hpc . uh . edu>
Cc: "Carlos M. Gutierrez" <carlos @ gutierrez . com>, majordomo-workers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: <>

On 9 Sep 1996, Jason L Tibbitts III wrote:
> Carlos M Gutierrez writes:
> > Let us not forget that a Web interface is not just for list members,
> > but -more importantly- for list administrators, moderators, and
> > owners.
> I still think that forcing the admin to use a Web interface is asking too
> much.  It's a nice thing to have, but...

At our site, having a managers' web interface to Majordomo has made a 
profound difference:

        * Managers can bounce subscribers w/out access to the bounce list
          password, and without having access to the host that the bounce
          program lives on.  
        * Editing the info and config files and (and with my hacked MD) the
          archive files actually looks like file editing, thanks to the use
          of TEXTAREAs.
        * Copy & Paste that most users have can be optionally used for
          great results:  Copying a list of addresses from a Windows
          database, pasting into a subscribe window, and subscribing
          them all instantly.  Or, copying a document out of a word
          processor and pasting into the TEXTAREA as a way to save the
          info file, (or again, with my hacked MD) to 'put' an archive

This doesn't take into account how much easier a web interface is for 
most users.  This system works with Lynx, and MD functions normally - 
(also responds to e-mail commands).

But wait, there's more!  :)

Having this system has made a huge difference for our entire MIS:  We're
now using Majordomo as an easy way for users to put info on-line.  The
archive directory can be a link to a web page directory.  At our
University, we have hundreds of course descriptions that we wanted to put
on-line, that were in Wordperfect.  Because the web interface allows for
copy&paste, we were able to put them directly into a directory that the
web server can view.  And now, the one set of documents can be served by
both the webserver and the listserver.  A cron job runs once an hour that 
creates a 2-level hierarchy of web pages based on what archive files have 
been created. (See and "undergrad-syllabi" 
served by

I've taken this further by adding a "web-mirror" option to our Majordomo 
config file.  In this mode, "get" pipes an archive file through "lynx 
-dump", turning html into plain text.  To support our Distance Education 
program, whole sections of our web site are accessible both as web pages 
and as listserve archive files - (total database consistency).  When this 
is the case, the Majordomo+Web Interface can even act as a simple HTML 

- Robb

Robb Shecter                                               PGP Fingerprint:
University of Maryland, European Division              5F 70 B1 A7 B9 F9 42 67
Information Systems and Administrative Computing       11 27 47 EE 35 80 04 AA

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