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Mailing list management software FAQ
Section - 0.01 Introduction

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MAILING LIST MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE FAQ, v. 1.1  (1995/01/24 16:46:57)

Perhaps you have a topic you're dying to discuss on your very own e-mail
discussion list.  Perhaps you need to set up a up a mailing list manager
("MLM") for others to use.  In either case, you have many alternatives for
managing mailing lists.  This FAQ outlines some criteria that may be useful
to you in deciding whether you need an MLM, and which one is right for you.
It also includes listings of many available MLM's, along with pointers to
where to get them and where to talk about them.

About the examples used in this document: non-Unix software isn't covered
well, I know -- but only out of ignorance, not because it shouldn't be
covered.  Representation in the examples is biased toward Majordomo,
LISTSERV, and ListProc 6.0c, partly because they're popular and
representative of several points I want to make, and partly because those are
the systems I have administered :-).  I spend a fair amount of time here
talking about features and optimizations necessary for large lists, and that
means I also talk a lot about the features available in LISTSERV and
ListProc, the two very-high-end packages I know well.  (Mailbase also falls
into this category, I believe, but I don't have the right hardware for
Mailbase so I've never managed it.)  Think of feature discussions as a guide
toward what to look for and think about, not as a "must-have" list.  And
finally, keep in mind what *you* need -- I talk about busy servers because
they're interesting, but if you expect low activity, much of this discussion
is irrelevant to you.

Here are some ways I currently want to add to or change this FAQ:
1. Discuss various packages' support for languages besides English.
2. Talk more about what non-sysops can do to run lists.
3. Minimize the display of my own biases, which now are prominent.
4. Cleanly compare MLMs' feature lists, for "feature shoppers."
5. Talk about the facilities each package offers for spam control.
5. Collect all the "philosophy" issues into one section.

Please send suggestions for additions or changes to naleks@Library.UMMED.EDU,
and I will try to include them in the next version of the FAQ.

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