Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(July 1999)
 

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Subject: Re: Identifying lists in headers - was Re: Subject Prefix
From: John Lines <John . Lines @ aeat . co . uk>
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 12:38:42 +0100
To: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
Cc: List-Managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: Message from Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com> of "Wed, 30 Jun 1999 10:49:22 PDT." <v04205501b3a008085d37 @ plaidworks . com>

> At 3:50 PM +0100 6/30/99, John Lines wrote:
> 
> > I would like to see a standard header for all mailing lists, for example:
> >
> > List-name: list-managers
> >
> > which I could rely on to filter lists.
> 
> <http://www.nisto.com/listspec/>
> 
> RFC 2369 (accessible from the above URL). Some lists support this. 
> Some don't, but it's going to be the emerging standard (I expect all 
> of my lists to support it RSN).
> 
> There is a second standard, the List-ID standard, which is also 
> affiliated to this and which lists ought to consider supporting. If 
> they exist, they answer your issue. If they don't, there are any 

The List-ID standard looks like the thing I was looking for. Having a
virtual domain name built into the name of the list (or using the unmanaged
list name space) seems a good idea, as it decouples the list from the
actual host which provides it, and from the particular mailing list software.
(Lists, particularly newly created lists, do move from host to host within
a domain)
If you think your list might move between service providers you could still
register a virtual domain for your list (e.g. hockey-players-list.com)
which would be able to move with you (I know this is unlikely in your case)


> number of other ways to determine lists. My lists all go out with an 
> appropriate Sender: header, and that's what I encourage my users to 
> filter by in my list documentation. But you can usually find some 

Most of my filtering is done by Sender, and I am pleased to hear that you
tell your users how to filter in the list documentation. Most lists dont
provide any advice in filtering, which is why they get so much traffic
asking for the list name to appear in the Subject header.


> string that will guarantee it's a list posting, even if we're not yet 
> at the point where the mail client can automatically determine 
> whether a list exists 100% of the time. Setting up a filter for each 
> list is a trivial exercise...

Trivial for me, as I use a proper mail system - not so trivial for the
millions who have to use a proprietary mail system. I have just fired up
my Groupwise client and all it will filter on is Subject, From, To, Cc and
Message contents. Outlook is similar, ccmail is worse.
If a List-Id specification became standard then we could pressure the mail
system vendors to support it. One of the big growth areas is in group working
tools - I think the user of the future will see named streams of information
which they will turn on and off and not care too much about how they arrive
at their system.

(I see no-one has mentioned Newsgroups in the List-Id spec - maybe there should
be provision for mailing lists which are gatewayed to/from newsgroups ??)


	John Lines

List-Id document - 


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