Hello people,

I and others are getting a bit sick of the all the subscribe and unsubscribe
messages being sent directly to this and other mailing lists.  It's really
not that hard to do it right.  Below is the canned message I sometimes send
out to people who seem to be ignorant of the correct technique.  PLEASE READ

I'm sending this to the whole http-wg list in hopes to forstall dozens of
further such messages being send to the entire list. 

It would be real nice if some software at would filter out
messages like these subscribe and unsubscribe ones and do something useful
with them, rather than just send them out to the mailing list. 
Donald E. Eastlake 3rd     +1 508-287-4877(tel)
   318 Acton Street        +1 508-371-7148(fax)
Carlisle, MA 01741 USA     +1 703-620-4200(main office, Reston, VA)

Dear Internet User,

Possibly it was just a typo or over sight.  Certainly I make mistakes
myself.  But you should should try to *never* send a message just
about subscribing or unsubscribing or other administrivia directly to
a distribution list until you have tried other avenues without
success.  On most mailing lists, sending directly to the list name
will cause your request message to be sent out to all the list members
and just annoy them.  It is quite possible that the list maintainer
isn't even on the mail list so they may not see your message.

The standard Internet thing to do is to append "-request" to the
list name.  In this case that would be

There are lists maintained by automated software.  In such cases, the
best address to send to may be like listserv@host.domain or
majordomo@host.domain.  However, such systems are almost always set up
to also intercept "-request" mail and handle it as if you had sent it
to the automated software's address.

Another alternative is to try sending mail to the postmaster at the
site hosting the mailing list.  In this case, that would be

Maybe you have already tried these methods.  If so you should keep in
mind that many lists are maintained by people, not software, so it may
take a while to your request to be acted on.

It's too bad that people don't put in software to filter out an re-direct
recognizable administrative messages even on systems with manual mailing
lists.  But they don't, so we should all be careful.


Received on Thursday, 1 February 1996 07:12:56 UTC