Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 1996)

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Subject: Email and lists...
From: "Jason A. Dour" <jad @ bcc . louisville . edu>
Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 14:00:46 -0400 (EDT)
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
Comments: Getting paid to be a geek is cool...


Well...  I've come full circle on many of these issues.  I'm now back at
the start as my colleagues and I prepare to implement a new system of
email routing/service, list services, et cetera for the University of

Our background?  For years, a large majority of the email users
across the campus have relied on an IBM mainframe.  This mainframe, with
calendaring, listserv, et cetera has been their focal machine.  This is
beginning to change, and we are at a crossroads as to what to do with
email and mailing lists.

In the past, when someone wanted a mailing list, they would either
request a listserv mailing list, or would create an alias file somewhere
on a shareable minidisk.  Others would then send mail to the listserv
list, or send mail to an alias which used the publically readable alias

One point of contention in our group at present is whether or not there
should be a division between mailing lists and what I term (and
what shall hereafter be referenced as) "exploder" lists...

Some say that we could provide a means of creation/maintenance/deletion of
small exploder lists on our mail router.  Essentially, anyone with access
to the proper client-server software (probably WWW) and a proper ID and
PIN could create/modify/delete an exploder list.  The lists would be
maintained in a database and then exported to flat-text files for
inclusion as sendmail alias exploder files.  All of this separate from
standard listserv functions.

Others say that we could run both traditional mailing lists and simpler
exploder lists all with one listserver.  In essence, anyone with access to
C/S software (probably WWW) and a proper ID and PIN could
create/modify/delete a listserv mailing list.  The setup screens for such
a list could be simple (no options) to complex (all options).  But behind
it all would be listserv...nothing else.

It seems to boil down to performance.  We could potentially have hundreds
of lists...possibly more than a thousand...long term maybe even several
thousand.  Can listserv handle such a load on a single machine?  Would it
be ridiculously slow?  Would separating the functions of mailing lists and
exploder lists ease the load on the listserv?

Does anyone have a similar situation?  With the migration to C/S style
technology, it is harder to share an alias file between ten people than it
was in the day of the mainframe.  So a mailing list of some sort must come
into play...  Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

+ Jason A. Dour                       jad @
 bcc .
 louisville .
 edu               +
| Programmer Analyst II      |
| Dept. of Radiation Oncology         Finger for Geek Code, PGP Public Key,|
+ University of Louisville            PJ Harvey info, and other stuff...   +

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