Introduction to Mailing List Archives
What is a Mailing List Archive?
Marshall University runs a Mailing List Server, known as MAILSERV, that provides electronic mailing lists services. For more information on mailing lists see the Marshall University Mailing List Server.
In addition, we also run a Mailing List Archive Server, known as MAILARC, that provides for the archiving of email messages sent to a mailing list.
By establishing a Mailing List Archive for a mailing list, all email messages sent to the mailing list are saved in a web-based Mailing List Archive. Thus, a MAILARC Mailing List Archive keeps a history of email messages sent to a mailing list and makes them available via the web.
The following restrictions should be noted about the use of MAILARC Mailing List Archives.
- Since a MAILARC Mailing List Archive is made publically available via a web page, it may not be appropriate for all mailing lists.
- Many MIME types are not fully spported and only text messages are viewable in the archive. Thus, GIF, JPEG, AVI, WAV and other binary data is not viewable via the mailing list archive, although web and email addresses are converted to “links” within the text of messages in the archive. Future updates to the archive software are expected to provide this service.
- The email address email@example.com is automatically subscribed to the mailing list when a mailing list archive is created, and is automatically unsubscribed from the list when the mailing list archive is deleted.
Creating a Mailing List Archive
When creating or modifying a mailing list using the Marshall University Mailing List Manager you can specify that you would like to have a Mailing List Archive associated with your mailing list.
The email address firstname.lastname@example.org is automatically subscribed to a Mailing List when an associated Mailing List Archive is first created. This email address must be subscribed to the mailing list in order to have email sent to the list stored in the archive.
If you wish to temporarily turn off the Mailing List Archive (without deleting it) you can simply unsubscribe the email@example.com email address from the mailing list and resubscribe it when you wish to activate it again.
If you wish to delete the Mailing List Archive you can do so by using the Modify List option of the Marshall University Mailing List Manager.
Accessing a Mailing List Archive
Once a Mailing List Archive has been established for a mailing list, anyone can access messages in the archive by using a web browser to view the web page. The following web address format is used to access a MAILARC Mailing List Archive.
Where list-name is the name of the mailing list which is being archived. For example, to access the Mailing List Archive for the DEMO-LIST Mailing List, one would use the web address:
Managing a Mailing List Archive
At times, the owner of a mailing list may wish to remove some email messages from the associated Mailing List Archive. This is done by accessing the mail index file containing the messages for that specific Mailing List Archive.
At this present time, the only way to accomplish this task is to login to the HOBBIT system and enter commands to manage the archive. We are anticipating being able to provide this service via a web page in the future.
Once you login to the HOBBIT system (using TELNET for example) you can enter commands at the HOBBIT$ prompt to manage your mailing list. First, you must start the EMAIL application by entering:
at the HOBBIT$ prompt. And then enter the following comands:
SET FILE MAILARC:[list-name]
Where list-name is the name of your mailing list. For example, to manage the DEMO-LIST Mailing List Archive, you would enter:
SET FILE MAILARC:[DEMO-LIST]
At this point you are ready to manage the DEMO-LIST Mailing List Archive.
Note: You will receive an error indicating that the folder does not exist when using the SELECT command if the mailing list archive contains no email messages.
To see a list of messages in the Mailing List Archive, enter:
A list of email messages in the archive will be displayed. Each message will also be numbered. You use the number associated with each message to read or delete the message.
To read a specific message in the Mailing List Archive, you use the READ command followed by the number of the message you wish to read. For example: To read message number 4 in the Mailing List Archive, you would enter:
If you wish to delete a message you enter the DELETE command followed by the number of the message you wish to delete. For example: To delete message number 4 from the Mailing List Archive, you would enter:
After you have completed all of the changes you can exit the EMAIL program by entering:
If you have deleted any email messages from the Mailing List Archive, you should enter the following command before you exit EMAIL:
The PURGE command will empty the WASTEBASKET folder in the Mailing List Archive. Email messages that you delete are placed into the WASTEBASKET folder instead of actually being deleted. Should you accidently delete the wrong email message, you can recover it from the WASTEBASKET folder by entering:
To select the WASTEBASKET folder. Then use the DIRECTORY and READ comands to find the message you wish to recover. For example, if you discover that you wish to recover message number 4, you would enter:
Again, where list-name is the name of the Mailing List Archive you are managing. For example, to recover message number 4 and place it back into the DEMO-LIST archive, you would enter:
At this point, you can return to the folder containing the Mailing List Archive by entering: