on ListServ and lists, part 1 (82)

Wed, 29 Mar 89 20:07:56 EST

Humanist Mailing List, Vol. 2, No. 779. Wednesday, 29 Mar 1989.

Date: Wed, 29 Mar 1989 11:27:23 IST
From: David Sitman <A79@TAUNIVM>
Subject: LISTSERV and lists

This is the first of what I hope will be a series of messages on "what
HUMANISTs should know about LISTSERV."

LISTSERV and lists

1. Background
There are currently over 150 computers on Bitnet/Netnorth/EARN running
LISTSERV, and these machines are managing close to 1000 lists like
HUMANIST, some unmoderated, some moderated, some which appear periodically
as "digests." The person who runs a list need not have an account on
the same computer as the LISTSERV software (note that Willard's account
is not on UTORONTO). LISTSERV runs only under the VM/CMS operating system
of IBM, but a list "owner" can be on any machine.

2. List of lists
To ask a LISTSERV what lists it manages, send the command: LIST
I sent the command LIST to LISTSERV@UTORONTO and got the following results:

>ADVISE-L User Services List
>CENTRG-L Central Region Directors
>CRAY-L Ontario Universities Cray Users Discussion List
>REED-L REED-L: Records of Early English Drama Discussion
>SAS-L SAS(r) Discussion
>SOCWORK Social Work Discussion Group
>SUPERSIG Super Computing Special Interest Group

Over 100 of the 150 LISTSERVs are part of the "LISTSERV backbone". Every
backbone LISTSERV has a list of ALL the lists on ALL the LISTSERVs. To
get a copy of this global list, send the command: LIST GLOBAL
to any backbone LISTSERV. Since this list is rather large, you can ask
LISTSERV to perform a string search on the list and send the results:
I sent the command: LIST GLOBAL /PHILO and got the following results:

>Excerpt from the LISTSERV lists known to LISTSERV@TAUNIVM on 29 Mar 1989
>Search string: PHILO
>Network-wide ID Full address List title
>--------------- ------------ ----------
>NSP-L NSP-L@RPICICGE Noble Savage Philosphers mailing list
> NSP-L@RPIECS Noble Savage Philosphers mailing list
>PHILCOMM PHILCOMM@RPICICGE Philosophy of communication
> PHILCOMM@RPIECS Philosophy of communication
>PHILOSOP PHILOSOP@YORKVM1 Philosophy Discussion Forum

3. Joining and leaving lists
You can send a SUBSCRIBE command for any list to any backbone LISTSERV.
For example, I can send the command: SUB HUMANIST David Sitman
to LISTSERV@TAUNIVM, and it will automatically be forwarded to UTORONTO.
Similarly, the UNSUBSCRIBE command to leave a list can be sent to any
backbone LISTSERV.

4. Getting information about a list
The REVIEW command gives a list's parameters and a blurb, and a list of
members if you are permitted. Use the command REVIEW SHORT to get just the
parameters and blurb, REVIEW NOHEADER to get just the list of members.
If you do not want your name to appear in the list of members, send the

Note that all commands must be sent to LISTSERV and not to the list.

David Sitman
Computation Centre
Tel Aviv University