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Your message to STAT-L-request@LISTS.MCGILL.CA

Wed, 23 Jun 2004 22:59:34

Your message to STAT-L-request@LISTS.MCGILL.CA  has been forwarded to the
"list owners" (the  people who manage the STAT-L list).  If you wanted to
reach a  human being, you used  the correct procedure and  you can ignore
the remainder of this  message. If you were trying to  send a command for
the computer to execute, please read on.

The STAT-L list is managed by a LISTSERV server. LISTSERV commands should
always be  sent to  the "LISTSERV" address,  ie LISTSERV@LISTS.MCGILL.CA.
LISTSERV  never tries  to  process messages  sent  to the  STAT-L-request
address;  it simply  forwards them  to  a human  being, and  acknowledges
receipt with the present message.

The "listname-request" convention originated on  the Internet a long time
ago. At  the time, lists were  always managed manually, and  this address
was defined as an alias for the  person(s) in charge of the mailing list.
You would write to the  "listname-request" address to ask for information
about the list, ask  to be added to the list,  make suggestions about the
contents and policy, etc. Because this  address was always a human being,
people  knew and  expected to  be  talking to  a  human being,  not to  a
computer.  Unfortunately, some  recent  list  management packages  screen
incoming  messages  to  the  "listname-request" address  and  attempt  to
determine whether they are requests to  join or leave the list. They look
for words such as "subscribe," "add,"  "leave," "off," and so on. If they
decide your message is  a request to join or leave  the list, they update
the list automatically;  otherwise, they forward the message  to the list
owners. Naturally, this means that if  you write to the list owners about
someone else's  unsuccessful attempts to  leave the list, you  stand good
chances of  being automatically removed  from the list, whereas  the list
owners will never receive your message. No one really benefits from this.
There is no  reliable mechanism to contact a human  being for assistance,
and you can never  be sure whether your request will  be interpreted as a
command or as a message to the list owners. This is why LISTSERV uses two
separate addresses, one for the people in  charge of the list and one for
the computer  that runs it.  This way you  always know what  will happen,
especially if you are writing in a language other than English.

In  any case,  if your  message was  a LISTSERV  command, you  should now
resend it to LISTSERV@LISTS.MCGILL.CA. The list owners know that you have
received this message and may assume  that you will resend the command on
your own. You  will find instructions for the  most common administrative
requests below.


Write to LISTSERV@LISTS.MCGILL.CA  and, in the text of  your message (not
the subject line), write: SIGNOFF STAT-L


Write to LISTSERV@LISTS.MCGILL.CA  and, in the text of  your message (not
the subject line), write: SUBSCRIBE STAT-L


Write to LISTSERV@LISTS.MCGILL.CA  and, in the text of  your message (not
the subject  line), write:  "HELP" or "INFO"  (without the  quotes). HELP
will give you a  short help message and INFO a list  of the documents you
can order.