Re: No Subject Given

Subject: Re: No Subject Given
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1993 16:17:54 -0500

Date sent: 27-APR-1993

This discussion over how to sub to a list is relevant to this list, since
it is an issue of how technical instructions are written for the net. I
remember as a newcomer to networking, it took my quite a while to figure out.
As part of my own learning process, and helping friends and colleagues, I
ended up writing manuals for the systems I have had to use myself. I have
written a Beginner's Guide to Networking on the VM and VMS systems (two
separate manuals). This is how I have explained subbing to a list:

A discussion list allows you to send and receive mail from a group of people
with a common interest, who all subscribe to the same list. Lists are handled
by a server at a particular node, watched over by an individual who spends a
lot of time (usually volunteer) handling the technical aspects, and sometimes
the interpersonal ones as well. Discussion lists are a form of community.

On a technical level, the most common error is made while subbing and
unsubbing from a list. The important thing is to understand that the commands
to sub or unsub are handled by a LISTSERV (server on a remote host), not
the LIST. Sending commands to the list produces unwanted mail that clutters
people's accounts and annoys them, so get it right. It's not hard.

If the list is on a BITNET node, you can sub interactively by sending a
message to the LISTSERV. For example, if you want to participate in a list
for comic writers at the node unlvm, type in the VM ready and running space:

tell listserv at unlvm sub comicw-l yourfirstname lastname <enter>

This sends an interactive message to the listserv at the computer at
UNLVM that you want to subscribe to the Comic Writers Workshop List.
You must give your real first and last name, not your userid.

If the line and the listserv at unlvm is up, you will receive a msg of
confirmation in interactive mode, in a few seconds, and a letter will
follow in another minute with details about the list works. If the line
is down, you get a msg saying so.

Most listservs on Bitnet also accept subing by e-mail to the listserv,
with this msg in the body of the letter: sub listname fname lname

If the list is on an INTERNET node, you must sub to the list by e-ail to the
listserv, with no subject line, and the only text being: sub listname yourfirst
name lastname.

From now on, you will automatically receive mail from other subscribers who
write to this list and when you write to the list all other subscribers
read your contribution.

NOTE: different lists set up their REPLY mode differently. Some lists show
the individual users on the "FROM" line of the header. That means your replies
go to the individual contributors. Other lists show the list on the "FROM"
line. This means that your replies go to the list, for everyone to read. Make
note of this so that private msgs are not broadcast to the world, or vice
versal. You can also check the REPLY TO line if there is one. Some accounts
are able to customize this, others cannot.

Hope this helps. If a user is on a VMS account, the syntax for sending a msg
will differ of course, but the principle is the same.....

My Beginner's Guide for VM/CMS networking is available directly from Help-Net
by sending the following interactive msg to listesrv -at- templevm: get cms guide
help-net. Or, put the same msg in the body of an e-mail letter to
listserv -at- vm -dot- temple -dot- edu -dot-

My guide for VAX/VMS is not publicly available yet, but can be obtained
directly from me...until I find a listerv for it. I'm just finishing it.

Lucia Ruedenberg
New York University
Dep of Performance Studies
Email: ruednbrg -at- ACFcluster -dot- NYU -dot- EDU

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