"The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard."
-- William Hazlitt, The Plain Speaker, 1826
You have already heard about a few of the basic listserv commands -- "subscribe," "unsubscribe," "index," and "get." Now it's time to take a closer look at these and a few others.
Since Eric Thomas' LISTSERV package is the oldest and most widely used on the net, we will look at the commands it accepts. (James Milles' Mail Server Commands document -- http://lawwww.cwru.edu/cwrulaw/faculty/milles/mailser.html -- referenced at the end of this lesson will give you the equivalent majordomo, listproc, mailbase, and mailserv commands).
BTW, you won't need to worry about using upper or lower case letters in these commands; they are not case sensitive. (This is *not* the case -- no pun intended -- when we look at addresses on the World Wide Web, which we'll get to later.)
where 'hostname' is the name of the machine serving the list you're addressing.
Let's put these commands to a practical use. For a test-case, you can practice by requesting a list of all the archived files associated with the BCK2SKOL listserv on the University of South Carolina's LISTSERV. Just address an email message to:
and include as the text of your mail message the command:
INDEX is the command and BCK2SKOL is the name of the list. Thus, this command requests that a list of files associated with the BCK2SKOL listserv be shipped to you.
Since the archives of the list are maintained on the USC listserv (in addition to being archived on the USC CSD's World Wide Web home page), people without access to WWW software can retrieve a "master" list of updated lessons using the above command. In the list that you'll be mailed, note that in addition to the filenames (BCK2SKOL 97-00001, etc.) each file has a "Remark" associated with it (at the far right) which indicates the contents of each file (Lesson 2, etc.). The archive contains the most recent updates of the BCK2SKOL lessons. Look for the file labeled "BCK2SKOL README" in the remarks field for a table of contents (with lesson titles) for the archived files -- you might want to request this file first.
To request the first file available in the archive, send the command:
GET BCK2SKOL 97-00001
To request a specific lesson, check the remarks such as Lesson 6, and send the GET command requesting the filename associated with it (e.g., GET BCK2SKOL 97-00008 or whatever it might be called in the archive).
You can request multiple lessons in your mail message with multiple GET commands (one per line in your message):
GET BCK2SKOL 97-00015
GET BCK2SKOL 97-00018
GET BCK2SKOL 97-00029
You will receive the lesson(s) in an email message.
If a list's archives aren't accessible in any of these "webberized" modes, you'll be limited to using the old standby database search mechanisms built into the original LISTSERV software and sending your commands via email. While not as neat as webbed archives, it is certainly "do-able" for the novice!
The following example presents an email-based LISTSERV archive search; this type of search works against all LISTSERV-proper archives, and the only special tool required is email.
NOTE: Check the LSOFT LISTSERV User's Guide at http://www.lsoft.com/manuals/user/user.html (look in the Database Functions section) for specific info on this interface.Example of Basic Email Search Routine:
search stumpers in bck2skol
You're requesting a 'search' for the word 'stumpers' in the list 'bck2skol.' LISTSERV will mail you back a list of "hit" information, similar to the following:
search stumpers in bck2skol 3 matches. Item # Date Time Recs Subject ------ ---- ---- ---- ------- 000008 97/03/19 17:02 284 LESSON 7 000010 97/03/19 17:02 266 LESSON 9 000035 97/03/19 17:14 151 EXAM ANSWERS To order a copy of these postings, send the following command: GETPOST BCK2SKOL 8 10 35 ----- snip ----- snip ------
and more information providing the actual context of each hit, which I've snipped out of this example to save space. To order the complete text of each of the three hits, LISTSERV has given you the command to mail back to retrieve each:
GETPOST BCK2SKOL 8 10 35
Mailing this command back to LISTSERV@VM.SC.EDU will return to you the complete text of each posting (each BCK2SKOL lesson in our case) where the word 'stumpers' occurred.
That wasn't so hard, was it?
Your search parameters can, however, become very involved; you can limit your search by date, submit complicated Boolean searches, etc. More detailed information on LISTSERV archive search parameters, and details on interacting with LISTSERVs in general, is available in LSOFT's LISTSERV User's Guide at: http://www.lsoft.com/manuals/user/user.html
LISTSERV@listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu and including as the text of your message the command:
GET MAILSER CMD NETTRAIN
John, Nancy R. & Edward J. Valauskas. _Internet Troubleshooter: Help for the Logged-On and Lost_. ALA, 1994. ISBN 0-8389-0633-8. pap. text ed. $20.00
|"BCK2SKOL" is a free electronic library classroom created by Ellen Chamberlain, Head Librarian, University of South Carolina Beaufort, and Miriam Mitchell, Sr. Systems Analyst, USC Columbia. Additional support is provided by the Division of Libraries & Information Systems, University of South Carolina Columbia.|
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Links checked 4 January 1999. See the BCK2SKOL homepage for course
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