ALL: Proposal to use LISTSERV Topics
Nathan Brindle (NATHAN@UBVM.BITNET)
Mon, 7 Nov 1994 16:51:31 EST
Jon has sort of put me in charge of this...:)
Here's the proposal to use LISTSERV 1.8a's TOPICS keywords to help
people get the mail they want to read. Mind you, TOPICS will only help
if people actually use them, so this will take a bit of discipline for
The proposed topics are (in no particular order):
USA= USA (general)
BSA= Boy Scouts of America
GSUSA= Girl Scouts of the USA
ANN= General Announcments--Jamborees, Pow Wows, Wood Badge courses, etc.
NA= North America (Canada, USA, Mexico and Central America)
SA= South America
EUR= Europe (including Russia)
We could sit around and dream up more specific topics till the cows come
home :) but the physical fact remains that LISTSERV supports only 11
topics--thus they need to stay as <general> as possible. I'm perfectly
open to other schemes of division.
Feedback on these topics is welcomed, but please post directly to me and
I will post a compendium of replies. My address is
firstname.lastname@example.org, and the Reply-To: field on this message is
set to point back to me.
Here is a short description of subscriber options for TOPICS, cribbed
from the LISTSERV 1.7f release notes by Eric Thomas:
Topics in LISTSERV allows you the subscriber to set your own personal
options regarding what posts you want to see. You can set it to ALL,
which is the default, or you can pick and choose. Posters label their
messages through the subject field. LISTSERV first skips any possible
sequence of 'Re:' keywords, and takes anything to the left of a colon as
a list of topics, separated by commas. The posting is considered to
belong to all the topics listed before the colon. If none of these
topics is valid for the list, it is classified in a special, 12th topic,
"Other". If some of the topics are valid but others are undefined, the
invalid ones are ignored. At any rate the subject field is left
unchanged. Here is an example, assuming that topics have been set to
News, Benchmarks, and Beta-tests:
Subject: Benchmarks,News: Benchmarks for XYZ now available!
Messages which should be read by everyone can be posted to the special
topic "All". Topic names can be shortened to any unambiguous
abbreviation. In our example, "Be" is ambiguous because it could be
either "Beta-tests" or "Benchmarks", but "Bench" is acceptable.
Subscribers select the topics they wish to receive with the SET command.
The syntax is 'SET listname TOPICS: xxx' where 'xxx' can be:
- A list of all the topics the user wishes to receive. In that case
these topics replace any other topics the user may have subscribed to
before. For instance, after 'SET XYZ-L TOPICS: NEWS BENCH', the user
will receive news and benchmarks, and nothing else.
- Updates to the list of topics the user currently receives. A plus sign
indicates a topic that should be added, a minus sign requests the
removal of a topic. For instance, 'SET XYZ-L TOPICS: +NEWS -BENCH' adds
news and removes benchmarks. If a topic name is given without a + or -
sign, + is assumed: 'SET XYZ-L TOPICS: +NEWS BENCH' adds news and
benchmarks. The first topic name must have the plus sign to show that
this is an addition, and not a replacement.
- A combination of the above, mostly useful to enable all but a few
topics: 'SET XYZ-L TOPICS: ALL -MEETINGS'.
The colon after the keyword TOPICS: is optional, and TOPICS= is also
accepted. Do not forget to include the special OTHER topic if you want
to receive general discussions which were not labelled properly. On the
other hand, if you only want to receive properly labelled messages you
should not include it. ALL does include OTHER.
If you want to go on receiving all SCOUTS-L mailings, you can safely
leave your subscription alone. Not setting any topics is equivalent to
setting TOPICS= ALL.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City