LOCKE-L ArchivesArchiver > LOCKE > 1997-11 > 0880439149
Subject: All read please , Fwd: STATUS: Mailing list archives
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 01:25:49 -0500 (EST)
Hi all , I have forwarded this email to the Locke-L list so all can see what
we have available to us . I am going to leave this up to you all if you want
the Locke-L list to be Archived or not . It looks like they are taking
measure's to help block spammers from getting all of our email address's ,
but again , nothing is going to stop them .
Please email me directly or leave a message here on the list on what you all
think about adding the Locke-L list to be Archived and searchable via search
Thanks Donald Locke
From: (Karen Isaacson)
Date: 97-11-25 01:07:49 EST
There've been lots of questions. I haven't answered most of them.
Because I'm a lazy under-achiever? Nah, that's not it. The thing
is, things are still a bit in flux.
News, in no particular order. (But some of it is important, so skip
the boring bits and read the interesting ones.)
- Brian caught my flu, so hasn't had a chance yet to revise the
isearch/ifetch code to allow a more sensible directory stucture,
something we desperately need with over 2000 mailing lists. So
no new lists have been indexed yet at
although by now I do have the old messages from all the lists (even
the oft-neglected ones still on the old servers) prepared for indexing.
- We observed late on Friday that when things are really rocking, the
archiver software (the stuff that builds the nifty threads) interacts
in an unfortunate way with the operating system. It's not a serious
problem, but we may end up moving it onto a different server. If that
happens, there will probably be a new URL. There probably will be a
new URL anyhow, because...
- Something odd happened last week. On Tuesday, I gave someone a
new e-mail address, and they added it to their web page. (It was
a "mailto" link, if anyone cases.) The address hadn't existed before
then. On Thursday, less than 48 hours later, guess what address was
spammed? We knew things were bad, yes, but that bad? OK, that bad.
Given things are that bad, we've revised the approach. Brian and I had
hoped to have a demo up of what we'll be doing, but the flu kept him
from finishing the script, so you get me waving my hands instead.
- So, what do we intend so that the web-crawlers don't scoop up all
your addresses? A front door, of sorts. Anyone accessing the archives,
either the threaded ones or the search engine or, ultimately, the search
engine to the threaded messages, will have to come in via a particular
page. The page will have a box in it. In the box, you'll type the name
of the mailing list. (We'll make it robust, so that JONES, JONES-L,
JONES-D, jones, Jones, etc., all work.) Then you click on "submit" and are
deposited on a page (build on the fly by a cgi-bin script) that lets you
search the Jones archives, or follow a link to the threaded Jones
messages. Brian says he can set this up so that, once you're in the
"archive area", you can easily go from page to page, but that if you try
to jump into the middle, you'll instead be diverted to the front door
where you have to type a list name. So no robo-crawler will be able to
wander through our message bases collecting addresses, but your
listmembers won't have to remember a "password" any more elaborate than
the name of the list.
- Recent digests (probably a month's worth) will remain available for
ordering via e-mail in the usual manner.
- I'm aware of two lists that index or cross-reference their messages
by message number or digest number. Are there more? If there are
only two, I can run a script on your existing archives to add the
message and/or digest number to each message, so that you could
use the search engine to call the message up that way. I don't want
to promise this for your =future= messages, though. I can do this
now, or I can do it later, no hurry in letting me know.
- Until we can switch over to searching the threaded messages, we'll
continue to update the unthreaded message base in parallel, so that
all but the most recent messages will be searchable. If I can get
things organized right, I'll leave the e-mail search up, but only
the most recent messages will be available for searching. That should
limit the amount of computer resources consumed. There will be no
instruction or training or hand holding or other support for the use
of the e-mail search, but if you know how to use it already and want
to find a message you saw come through day before yesterday, you'll
be set. I'm sorry, there just aren't enough hours in the day for
me to provide "better training".
- If you want your messages included in the threaded message base =now=
be sure to subscribe to your mailing
- If you decide you don't want your messages included in the threaded
and unthreaded messages bases, be sure to add the address
to the reject list for your mailing list.
(Most of you can access this via the "edit selected files" button
at the bottom of the utility page for your list.) If you don't do
this, then on the cutover date (target: December 1st), the address
will be subscribed to your list and
a threaded message base will start being built.
- If you want to participate, but want to start with a clean slate,
write to and ask that your old archived messages
be omitted. We can package them up and arrange for you to FTP them,
if you'd like.
- None of this is final. Well, if you ask me to throw away your
archives, and I do, I probably won't be able to recover them. But if
decide to participate, and don't like it after awhile, let us know
and we can remove the search engine, threaded message base for your
- Someone commented on the mail-to's being to the poster rather than to
the list, so that interesting messages might be lost. I don't know what
the answer is here. On ROOTS-L, where we have 9 years and 11 months worth
of archived messages, I think people would be confused if someone found a
query in 1993 that they wanted to respond to, and posted their response to
the list. "Those sound like my ASCHNEWITZes! Shall we compare notes?"
Plus many of our lists are closed at this point, so only subscribers can
post (as an aside, this isn't true of ROOTS-L, where the messages are
screened), so someone responding to an archived message by writing to
the list might only end up in the error bucket. Let's revisit this
once we're in production, and have a better sense of the size of the
problem. One thing we could do is also include an option to "post to
the list" on the page. But would that be a good thing, or would that
invite noise? If you have comments, I've set the Reply-to on this
message to , as that seems like the best forum
to explore these concerns.