Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(December 1994)

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Subject: news -> mailing-list through moderated newsgroup status?
From: px @ fct . unl . pt (Joaquim Baptista [pxQuim])
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 1994 16:21:14 +0000
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com


On the subject of bidirectional gateways between news and mailing lists, I
would like to propose the use of moderated newsgroups.

General background:

If a newsgroup is marked as moderated in a news server, posts to that
newsgroup will be mailed to the moderator instead.  The message mailed has
all the headers of the original posting preserved in the body of the
message, and is sent from "Usenet news".  The moderator address is
specified in a special "moderators" file in the NNTP server.  Some
organizations offer this file to newsreaders through NFS, and the reader
does the mailing; others have the NNTP server accept the message and do the

My current setup:

Currently I have a special hierarchy lists.* with a newsgroup per gated
mailing list.  Users can't reply to the list.

My proposed setup:

Make all the newsgroups in lists.* moderated, with the moderator setup as
"list-reply @
 nntpserver .

The program that receives the news adds an "Approved:
news @
 nntpserver .
 domain" header, so that messages received from the list go
straight to the server.

In /usr/lib/aliases, add:
    list-reply: "| reply-gateway"

This "reply-gateway" has a different configuration file with the real
addresses of the mailing lists, such as:
    list-managers: list-managers @
 greatcircle .

The reply-gateway strips the "Usenet news" headers, rewrites the headers
found in the body if appropiate, and mails the message to the real address.

Advantages of this scheme:

The newsgroup only gets "official" messages sent from the mailing list.
There is no worry with duplicate messages, or messages rejected in
moderated lists which were posted anyway in the local newsgroup.  I really
thing that this is desirable for moderated lists.


The only one that I see is in organizatons where the "moderators" file is
replicated throughout the machines, and which use templates to send EVERY
moderated post to uunet or similar.  I would think that those organizations
got what they were asking for.

Comments requested:

Can anyone smell a bug in this scheme?  It seems too "simple" to me; am I
overlooking something?

(This message was sent to list-managers @
 greatcircle .
 com, and posted to
news.admin.technical and; replies should probably be
sent to both list-managers and

Joaquim Baptista, aka pxQuim

Dept. Informatica, Univ. Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
px @
 fct .
 unl .
 pt ... +351-1-295 3220 ... fax +351-1-295 5641

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