Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(June 1998)

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Subject: Re: Finding A Listowner
From: Rich Zellich <zellich @ STL-17LSSC . ARMY . MIL>
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 98 19:38:28 CDT
To: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM

> No, it's not clearly  been understood for well over a  decade at all. For
> one thing, over  a decade ago there was exactly  one mailing list manager
> available, LISTSERV,  and it did  not sit  at -request. Your  Honour, I'm
> afraid the  first use of -request  for the command address  dates back to
> somewhere around 93.

Try somewhere areound _1980_, instead.  As the person who invented the
list-of-lists back when there were only about a dozen mailing lists TOTAL
on the ARPANET, and BitNet hadn't even been invented yet, I can tell you
with authority that a [listname]-request address was very near to being
a standard.  It was cited in the explanatory comments at the top of my
list-of-lists database as one of the normal things to try if the list
owner didn't specify how to reach an administration point.

The sf-lovers digest and the human-nets digests _might_ have been the
ones to invent the -request address format - Roger came up with a _lot_
of firsts - but my fuzzy memory says not.  There were quite a few mailing
lists by that time (what, about 18-19 years ago?), although those two
were the first _digests_ and probably the first ones that really needed
a separate admin address, as opposed to the owner/administrator's personal
email address.

And note that Dave Crocker, who wrote the RFC that's causing all this
noise, was on the _first_ mailing list ever (which, not surprisingly,
was dedicated to email protocols - guess where RFC822 and friends _all_
came from?).  I was on that list, too, but not until about 1977, so I
was a relative latecomer.  I have the feeling that maybe D. Crocker
can be considered to know a bit more about email than most of the
people on this list.  :-)


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