9.454 balm & advice for the grouch

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Fri, 12 Jan 1996 19:36:46 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 454.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)

[My thanks to everyone for the advice and support, as follows. From these
messages, I conclude that (1) mass-mailings from outside the membership
should simply be rejected; (2) rejections should never be silent;
(3) ListProc may offer an option or two to help my particular problem;
and (4) I should work with members of Humanist whose addresses are a
problem. I wholeheartedly agree and will do, with the help of my fine
colleagues at CETH. What cheers me most is the clear sense that Humanist
is a communal forum, not some few voices crying disjointedly in the
wilderness, however much like a wilderness the larger world may sometimes
be. --WM]

[1] From: Nicholas Heer <heer@u.washington.edu> (144)
Subject: Re: 9.450 editorial grouches

[2] From: Stephen Clark <srlclark@liverpool.ac.uk> (4)
Subject: repairing mail

[3] From: "Peter D. Junger" <junger@pdj2-ra.F- (16)
Subject: Re: 9.450editorial grouches

[4] From: Lynne Taylor <ltaylor@watarts.uwaterloo.ca> (8)
Subject: editorial grouches

[5] From: Andrew Burday <andy@dep.philo.mcgill.ca> (39)
Subject: Re: 9.450 editorial grouches

Subject: Full support from here Re: 9.450 editorial grouches

[7] From: "Dan M. Church" <CHURCHDM@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu> (19)
Subject: One reason for rejection

Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 19:52:12 -0800 (PST)
From: Nicholas Heer <heer@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: 9.450 editorial grouches


This has always been a problem with listserv and now listproc.
Both programs assume that the address of the subscriber is that of the
computer from which the e-mail was sent. Here at the University of
Washington our e-mail addresses do not include the name of the computer.
Unfortunately the name of the computer always appears somewhere in the
header of the e-mail message. I usually send e-mail from a computer named
Saul. However Saul is not one computer. It is a cluster of computers
named Saul1, Saul2, Saul3, etc. When I log in to Saul I have no choice
over which computer in the Saul cluster I will end up on. Consequently,
whenever I try to communicate with a listserv or listproc, I'm almost
always told that I'm not a subscriber because it does not recognize my
e-mail address.

Nicholas Heer

Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 10:17:43 +0000 (GMT)
From: Stephen Clark <srlclark@liverpool.ac.uk>
Subject: repairing mail

Dear Willard - personally I'd urge the offender to sort out his/her
address! Your list-editing, as always, is an example to us all.

Best wishes
Stephen Clark

Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 07:36:01 -0500
From: "Peter D. Junger" <junger@pdj2-ra.F-REMOTE.CWRU.Edu>
Subject: Re: 9.450editorial grouches

I am not familiar with your ListProcessor software, but I at times am
moderator of a list maintained by a regular listserver. It is sent to
send all mail to me, whether or not the mail comes from a subscribed
member of the list. Since I have to apporve each message before it is
published, there is no reason for the listserver also to have the job of
rejecting messages.

Is there some reason that your software cannot be set up that way?
Then, when you get those announcements of meetings that are not from
members of the list, you could just approve them or disapprove them
without having to re-edit them.

Of course, I don't know the ins and outs of the software that you are
using, so I don't know if this could be implemented


Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH
Internet:  junger@pdj2-ra.f-remote.cwru.edu    junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu

--[4]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 08:47:51 -0500 From: Lynne Taylor <ltaylor@watarts.uwaterloo.ca> Subject: editorial grouches

Please do whatever you feel is necessary to do the job. I think the proposed editorial policy makes sense, and that you already have enough "on your plate". I appreciate the work that you do for Humanist too much to insist on seeing it compounded and having you annoyed or swamped.

Thanks for the good work!

Lynne Taylor

------------------ Department of History, University of Waterloo, Waterloo ON Canada N2L 3G1 (ltaylor@watarts.uwaterloo.ca)

--[5]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 09:39:09 -0500 (EST) From: Andrew Burday <andy@dep.philo.mcgill.ca> Subject: Re: 9.450 editorial grouches

On the topic of handling messages from addresses that are not in the listserv's database... I sympathize, and I think you're being very kind to manually fix other people's messages at all. You have every right not to do that, if you wish. What concerned me about your proposal is that (if I understand you correctly) you propose to silently discard some messages that would need fixing if they were to be posted. I think silently discarding any message is a *very* bad idea. If the sender is on the list, they wind up perplexed and frustrated when their message never shows up. If the message is time sensitive, e.g. a reply to an ongoing discussion, then by the time they figure out what has happened and fix the problem the message may have become irrelevant. People should not be left in a position where they just don't know what has happened or what they should do about it.

I think it's possible to set the listserv software up simply to reject messages from non-subscribers, sending the error message back to the originator instead of on to you. That option would be preferable to silently discarding some messages, as it tells the originator what has happened and permits them to take corrective action if they wish. I don't think that this is unfair to subscribers with multiple accounts. Everybody knows (or should know) that listservers keep track of subscribers by their email addresses, and that administrative requests definitely and postings possibly will *have* to come from the same address as the one used to subscribe. Various workarounds are imaginable and have been implemented in some places, but neither you nor anyone else is obligated to provide such workarounds. Still, I do think that users in general are owed *some* kind of response when they attempt to use the system, even (especially) if they're in error. I'd rather see all such mail rejected with an error message than have some of it go to Never Never Land.

Thanks as usual for your work.

Andrew Burday --------------------------------------------------------------------- andy@philo.mcgill.ca http://www.philo.mcgill.ca/ ********************************************************************* Found in a comment on the _Time_ magazine cybersmut debacle: "The wired world is smart, savvy, and sophisticated, and Elmer-Dewitt quickly found out that you can't write broad trend stories that make sweeping generalities (at least, not about the Internet)." Good to hear that about sweeping generalities... ---------------------------------------------------------------------

--[6]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 10:45:44 -0500 (EST) From: "TRACY LOGAN, LAFAYETTE COLLEGE, EASTON PA" Subject: Full support from here Re: 9.450 editorial grouches

Hi Willard,

>The above may seem unjustifiably arbitrary until you consider that repairing

Just reading about walking in your shoes made me feel grouchy! Above was totally justifible. You got my vote, and for even more shifting of burden to the poster in spe, if you wanna.

You and I have talked about orality, in sorta this regard. If I understand you, repetion is an intrinsic, functional element thereof. But that might need recasting when millions, many of them to remain "total strangers" as we say, can say something to one.

Regardless of how far in left field or off the field I am on that, my support for your decisions is solid. - tracy

--[7]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 16:32:36 -0600 (CST) From: "Dan M. Church" <CHURCHDM@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu> Subject: One reason for rejection


One of the possible reasons for the problems you are having with rejected messages may be the same reason for which I couldn't suspend HUMANIST mail during my last vacation. At least, I strongly suspect that this is the reason (and may well be the reason for many others also).

When I first subscribed to HUMANIST, our e-mail system at Vanderbilt was BITNET, not INTERNET. My address at that time was "CHURCHDM@VUCTRVAX." When the system was changed to INTERNET, my address changed to "CHURCHDM@CTRVAX.VANDERBILT.EDU." It doesn't cause me any problems in receiving mail, apparently because some internal database here knows what old addresses correspond to which new addresses. However, if I try to send a message to HUMANIST, it is rejected because HUMANIST doesn't recognize me as a subscriber with the new address. And there is no way that I can force the system to send anything using the old address as "return address."

Perhaps you could post a general plea for those who have migrated from BITNET to INTERNET to send you personally a message such as this one. That way you could change the membership list to avoid future problems caused by that reason.

Cheers, Dan Church