missprint.org - list owners reference




[these are still a mess - miss print is busy making them readable]



[text versions of the list owners reference, the quickstart, the enhancements and appendix for printing when available]
[new: list owner's web interface]

missprint.org - list owners reference - enhancements


        (a). The new who command
        (b). The new confirmation
        (c). The replacelist command
        (d). Removal of the message footer and/or fronter in your digest.
        (e). The email addresses of the sender can be added into the 
             listing of subjects in your digest.
        (f). Customizeable Welcome file.
        (g). Choose of the frequency of the sub / unsub messages.
        (h). Banning subscribers from subscribing or posting to the list.
        (i). set nomail / set mail
        (j). set nodigest / set digest

Improvements to majordomo

Several new command features are available via Majordomo at missprint.org. The "who" command has been rewritten, there is a new procedure for lists which are subscribed to by "confirmation" only, and a completely new command, "replacelist", has been added. To use these commands, please read the documentation below.

NOTE: When sending a command based on an example, please remember to replace items such as "listname" and "password" with the actual name of your list and the actual password for your list.

Below is a short overview of all new features.

(a). The new who command


To retrieve a list of the your subscribers, send the following command:

who listname

in the BODY of an e-mail message to: majordomo@missprint.org

Note: If your list is set-up so that the "who" command is closed (password protected), send the following command:

approve password who listname

in the BODY of an e-mail message to: majordomo@missprint.org


The "who" command will now return an ALPHABETICAL list of your subscribers. If you would like a list of your subscribers in a non-sorted format, add the word "nosort" to the end of the command (this will show you, how your list of subscribers is saved at our server).


who listname nosort


approve password who listname nosort

(b). The new confirmation

If your list is set-up so that confirmations are needed before a person is actually subscribed to the list, the following is now true:

Upon receipt of the subscribe command, Majordomo will send a "confimation" message to the e-mail address of the person to be added. This confirmation letter has a unique confirmation code, and is self-explanitory. If the person receiving the confirmation request wants to be added to the mailing list, he/she need only "Respond/Reply" to the request, sending it back to Majordomo. Once received by Majordomo, that person is added to the list.

New subscribers don't need to search for the auth line and send it back to Majordomo. They only need to hit reply. Majordomo will search through the message to find the correct key. Also it won't be sent to the Majordomo address (majordomo@missprint.org) it will go to confirm@missprint.org.

Now you will be able to confirm unsubscription requests from your subscribers, too. To use these feature use the following steps:

request your configuration file
apply "+confirm" (without the quotes) to the unsubscribe_policy keyword send the new configuration file back to majordomo@missprint.org

(c). The replacelist command

This command is used to replace the file which contains the e-mail addresses of your subscribers. To use it, send a message to majordomo@missprint.org. In the BODY of the message write "replacelist listname password" (without the quotes). On the SECOND line of the message, begin the list of e-mail addresses for the file.


replacelist listname password

NOTE: Do not include any blank lines in this command. Do not hit return after the last e-mail address in your list. If Majordomo detects a blank line, the command will fail and you will be notified.

If your email program automatically adds a signature at the end of the message, please write EOF after the last email address.


replacelist listname password

Once complete, Majordomo will automatically send a confirmation to the person who issued the command, a report which details any changes to the list owner, plus a notice that the command was used to the list owner. This notice serves as security in that list owners are aware of any changes to the list file, and of any unauthorized use of the "replacelist" command. If you ever receive a notice that the "replacelist" command has been used, and YOU are not the one who sent the command, contact missprint immediately.

The report generated by Majordomo after the "replacelist" command is issued, details the number of addresses added (and what they are), the number of addresses deleted (and what they are), and is forwarded to the list owner.

NOTE: New subscribers won't get any welcome letter from Majordomo and no unsubscription notification, if they have been subscribed or unsubscribed.

If, when attempting to use this command, you receive the following from Majordomo:

> >>>> replacelist listname password

It means that something has timed out. You should then re-issue the command (send an e-mail to Majordomo), placing "noreport" after your password.


replacelist listname password noreport

Using this option will guarentee that the new file will replace the old file. As you may have guessed, the report of changes will not be generated by Majordomo, however notification that the command was used will still be sent to the list owner.

Why should I use this command?

You should use it, if you can't get off an email address of your list, or if an email address is more than one time on your list. Therefore don't contact missprint, if you can't get off an email address from your list.

We recommend to use the who command after using the replacelist command to make sure that everything went okay.

Majordomo makes a backup copy of your old list automatically. Therefore missprint will be able to restore your old subscriber file, if something went wrong. We always recommend to make some backup copies of your mailing list files such as subscriber file, configuration file, welcome letter...

(d). Removal of the message footer and/or fronters

This feature is only available if you have a digest list. This feature removes the message footer and/or fronter which you are adding to each regular mailing list messages. Those footers or fronters will be automatically removed in the digest when it is generated.

In order for the digest configuration file to remove any fronter or footer, it looks to the configuration file for the standard list to see exactly what it should be removing. Therefore, if you decide to change either your fronter or footer, don't be surprised if an old fronter or footer shows up on the digest. This will only mean that the digest configuration file did not recogonize the items as fronters or footers. However new messages to your list will have the new fronters and footers removed. To use this feature, get your digest configuration file. Note: It must be the digest configuration file and not the regular configuration file (config listname-digest PASSWORD).

Now look for the following keywords:

digest_rmfooter or digestrm_fronter. If you are adding a footer to each message then put the listname of the list which is adding the footer to the message into this keyword. In general its the regular mailing list name.

It will look like:

digest_rm_footer = listname

If you are adding a fronter, then use the fronter keyword, If you are adding both use both keywords.

(e). Add email addresses to the subjects token

This feature can add the email address of the senders of messages to your list into the digest subject list. It will look like the following example:

In this issue:
  My message                      [Miss Yummy <yummy@missprint.org>]
  How can I do this?              [Splat the Cat <splat@splatsplace.org>]

This featue only works if you have a digest list and you are using the subjects token. If you don't get a listing of subjects in your digest, then you don't use it. To use it get your digest configuration file and look for the message_fronter keyword and change it so that it looks like the following example:

message_fronter << END
In this issue:

If you now want the email addresses to be listed, look for the digest_email keyword and make sure that you have your digest configuration file and not the regular configuration file. Set the digest_email keyword to yes, if the addresses should be listed, set it to no, if they shouldn't be listed. The default value is yes.

(f). Customizeable Welcome file

You have created a nice welcome file and Majordomo still adds its old standard message? Or your list uses a language other than English?

Then this feature is for you. It lets you choose what Majordomo should use for generating his welcome file.

Request your configuration file (if you have a digest list you may want to change this in your digest list, too, then also get your digest configuration file)

Look for the welcome keyword.

Now the welcome keyword accepts the following values:

standard = Majordomo will do it in the old way (generate his welcome

file, attach intro or info file if available)

intro = Majordomo will use the intro file as a welcome message. Make

sure you have created a intro file.

info = Majordomo uses the info file as a welcome message. Again make

sure that Majordomo has an info file for your list available.

none = Majordomo will not send any welcome message. Don't use this

value, because it will cause problems for subscribers.

(g). Choose of the frequency of the sub / unsub messages.

Your list has many subscribers with many people subscribing and unsubscribing the whole day? Is your mailbox being filled with hundreds of tiny message? There's a solution. Now you can choose the frequency of the mailing of these notfication messages.

As always, you need your configuration file (if you have a digest, you may want to change this there, too, using your digest's configuration file).

Look for the announcements keyword.

This keyword accepts the following values:

standard = As it was before, Majordomo sends you the notification

messages immediately.

summarize = You will received a summarized version of sub/unsub

notification once per day. This summary will include all pertinent information, such as who has sub'd, who has unsub'd, which users have been banned, etc. Also you will see the time when he/she issued the command. This report will be sent at 0:00 GMT

none = You will never receive such notification messages.

Miss Print says: I've not made this functional: please don't use it for now.

(h). Banning subscribers from subscribing or posting to the list

Some listowners reported that there are some subscribers who offend other subscribers on the list or who may post junk mail to your mailing list. This feature allows you to block such offending people. Some listowners may know that you could block messages from certain subscribers already, but it was complicated. Now this feature supports both message blocking and subscribing blocking.

Therefore we have created new listowner commands for this.

If you want to know who is on your black lists, you use the contents command.

The syntax is:

contents <banfile> <listname> <listpassword>

optional you can put after your password "nosort" without the quotes, if you don't want that the output sorted alphabetically.

Replace all <> strings with correct values. The entry <banfile> can have the following values:

nopost = shows you the banned addresses which can't post to your list. nosub = shows you the list of the banned subscriber addresses

A valid contents command will look like:

contents nopost listname listpassword

Now if you want to put addresses into your banned files, you use the newcontents command. This newcontents command works like the replacelist command.

The syntax for the newcontents command is:

newcontents <banfile> <listname> <listpassword> list of banned addresses

Replace all <> strings with correct values. The entry <banfile> can have the following values:

nopost = to update the addresses which can't post to your list. nosub = to update the banned subscriber addresses

But the newcontents command can also block entire domains. So, if you want for example to block:

the complete cyberpromo.com domain, you would put into your blockfile:


Note: The newcontents command always replaces the old block file entirely.

Also its not case sensitive and the nosub file can be skipped via approve. The nopost file via putting into the first line of the message:

approved: password

Here is an example how a nosub file will look:

newcontents nosub listname listpassword badman@nasty.com

Note: The asterisks must always be the first character.

You can skip EOF, if you don't have a signature file, but we recommend that you put EOF after the last address. This will prevent adding strange things to the file.

(i). set nomail / set mail

If you have already maintained a list on a listserv mailing list host, then you may know this feature. We recommend that you announce these two new features on your list so that subscribers will know of these new commands.

If people go on holiday, but don't want to unsubscribe completely from your list, then they can use the set nomail command which removes them from the regular mailing list to a nomail mailing list. This means that the subscriber won't get any messages from your list until he/she uses the set mail command.

If you as listowner send a who command, you will see who is set to nomail and who is receiving mail.


Special Note: This feature is controlled through your config file, with the keyword nomail. The default value for this keyword is yes, therefore this feature is currently available on your list(s). If you prefer, you can disable this feature by changing the nomail keyword in your config file as follows:

nomail = no


The syntax of the set command is:

set <listname> <setcommand> <emailaddress>

The value <emailaddress> is optional and may be skipped. Valid setcommands are:

nomail = stop mail from the list

mail = start receiving mail again.

This command can also be approved.

Now an example would look like:

set listname nomail

(j). set nodigest / set digest

As we have added the set nomail command, we thought that we would also add the set nodigest and set digest command.

Before this command was available, subscriber of a list who wanted to be on the digest version would have to actually unsubscribe from the regular list and then subscribe to the digest list using the following commands:

unsubscribe <listname>
subscribe <listname-digest>

Now, if they want to get on the digest, its easier, they use:

set <listname> digest <emailaddress>

Again the email address is optional. Behind the scenes Majordomo does an unsub first and then a subscribe. (Of course, the old way with the two commands still works as well.)

If a subscribers wants to receive regular mail again, he/she uses:

set <listname> nodigest <emailaddress>

Now, if you want to receive the digest of listname, then you would use:

set listname digest

Note, this command will only work, if you have a digest list.

Contact missprint

If you have any questions , write to Miss Print at:


See also

You can get an up-to-date version of this guide from the missprint.org site at:


Further sources of information for list owners:

Reference guide for list owners:


Appendix: complex information for really geeky list owners:


[text versions of the list owners reference, the quickstart, the enhancements and appendix for printing when available]
[new: list owner's web interface]



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