Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(June 1995)

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Subject: Re: Mailing list throughput
From: Norm Aleks <naleks @ Library . UMMED . EDU>
Date: Sat, 3 Jun 1995 10:43:58 -0400 (EDT)
To: Dan Kanagy <dkanagy @ netcom . com>
Cc: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <Wvvplqx-mnqT078yn @ netcom . com>

[Dan Kanagy]
> the list has about 260 subscribers [...]   It can take  two to four hours
> (sometimes 10  or more hours)  before postings appear  in the list. [...]
> Recently, however, a subscriber to my  list subscribed to another mailing
> list at  NETCOM and found turnaround  to be much  faster for the new list
> (like 30  minutes  or so).  [...]   For   what it is   worth, NETCOM uses
> majordomo as its list server.

Unless hacked,  Majordomo sends mail out as  a single Sendmail  job with as
many recipients  as your list  has subscribers.   Sendmail  delivers with a
single process that  tries addresses  one  by one  (with some optimizations
like sorting by MX).  Therefore, on  a long list, it can  be a while before
Sendmail makes it to the end.  Your subscriber who got faster turnaround on
the  new list  is probably closer  to  the beginning of Sendmail's delivery
queue on that list -- fewer subscribers, perhaps?

> I'm unsure  about the various  parameters that affect list turnaround and
> hope to learn more.

To speed things up, the MTA (Sendmail) could optimize better or parallelize
delivery; or, the MLM (mailing list manager, Majordomo  in your case) could
split the   list into  pieces,  forcing the  MTA  to parallelize;   or, the
destination machines could run faster or always be up, causing fewer delays
by Sendmail.  While it's  not perfect, there  is  a discussion of  delivery
efficiency  in the "Mailing   List  Management Software FAQ,"  available on   or by  request from   various mail servers.
Since you use Majordomo, try:

	send mail to
		Majordomo @
 GreatCircle .
	in the message body, write 
		get list-managers software-faq

The discussion in there pretty much assumes Sendmail is  the MTA; I want to
fix  that and lots of other  stuff about the  FAQ  (and hope  to do so this
summer).  Please write to me privately with any suggestions.

"For Rent: 6-room hated apartment."

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