Basic settings and functions

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Detailed help

1.1 Adding and removing subscribers

With a MajorCool connection

  • Go to http://majordomo.helsinki.fi
  • Sign in with your own user name and password
  • Enter the name of the list in section List Name (without quotation marks and the @helsinki.fi part of the name)
  • Enter the administration password in section Admin Password
  • In section Modify What?, select List Subscribers
  • Add and delete addresses as necessary in the field which opens below
  • Finally, click Apply.
  • The answer will arrive to the address marked in the adjacent field

Please observe while editing the address list:

  • The addresses should not contain typos. Email systems deliver mail where they are told to deliver it. Use complete forms of addresses (not just user names, for instance)
  • Only one address per row. Do not leave empty rows between them.

Via email

Majordomo cannot read messages in HTML. Check from the e-mail program settings that the message is sent as plain text.

If you are managing list subscribers via email, you can add and remove subscribers in one e-mail message.

Here is an example of adding 2 subscribers and removing 1 subscriber:

approve listpassword subscribe list-name one.address@helsinki.fi
approve listpassword subscribe list-name other.address@helsinki.fi
approve listpassword unsubscribe list-name third.address@somewhere-else.fi

1.2 Setting a welcome message

If you wish, you can set a welcome message to be sent to new subscribers of a list. This text is added to Majordomo's own short welcome message. The message can describe, for instance, the type of list the user has subscribed to, whether it is an information or a discussion list or both, who to contact in problematic situations (owner-list-name@helsinki.fi) and how to unsubscribe.

  • Go to http://majordomo.helsinki.fi
  • Sign in with your own user name and password
  • Enter the name of the list in section List Name (without quotation marks and the @helsinki.fi part of the name)
  • Enter the administration password in section Admin Password
  • In section Modify What?, select Configuration Options
  • Make sure that yes is selected in section welcome
    • If not, select yes and click Apply
    • If yes, select 'Info' File in the bottom and select Modify
  • Write your message in the field
  • Finally, click Apply
  • The answer will arrive to the address marked in the adjacent field

If you know that section welcome is correct, you can also edit the welcome message on the front page of MajorCool by selecting List Info File under Modify What?

As the MajorCool site explains, it is also possible to use a so-called intro file. In practice, these are only two side-by-side methods that have the same result, and most users are probably not interested in this option. If an intro file is created, it is sent to new subscribers instead of the info file, whereupon the only way to receive the content of the info file is to send the command info list-name to Majordomo. But, as we said, this will most likely not be very useful to anyone.

You can also check the contents of the info and intro files of your list without MajorCool by sending Majordomo the commands info list-name intro list-name

In practice, the administrator of a list cannot delete a useless intro file after creating it even if they change their mind; instead, they have to contact atk-posti@helsinki.fi. We recommend only using the info file.

1.3 Message subject prefix

List subscribers can find it useful to see which mailing list it came from by simply looking at the subject of the message. You can define a text which will be added to the beginning of every message subject automatically.

The text is defined by editing section subject prefix in the list settings. Write a descriptive prefix, such as [list-name].

This setting is edited with MajorCool as follows:

  • Go to http://majordomo.helsinki.fi
  • Sign in with your own user name and password
  • Enter the name of the list in section List Name (without quotation marks and the @helsinki.fi part of the name)
  • Enter the administration password in section Admin Password
  • In section Modify What?, select Configuration Options
  • In the drop-down menu on the top of the page, select All keywords
  • Find section subject prefix and write your subject prefix
  • Finally, click Apply
  • The answer will arrive in the address marked in the adjacent field

1.4 Setting a closed or an open list

The limitations of subscribing to mailing lists can be changed with the subscribe policy setting. The options are: open, closed and auto:

  • open can be subscribed to by anyone
  • closed cannot be subscribed to without permission. Only an administrator can add new addresses. All other subscriptions have to be approved by the administrator.
  • auto allows anyone to add anyone to a list, even as a joke. When selecting the option auto+confirm, a verification email is sent to the address which is to be added to the list, and the owner of the address can accept or reject the subscription

By default, the subscribe_policy of a new list is open+confirm, i.e. anyone can join the list, but they will receive a verification message.

With a MajorCool connection, the setting is changed as follows:

  • Go to http://majordomo.helsinki.fi
  • Sign in with your own user name and password
  • Enter the name of the list in section List Name (without quotation marks and the @helsinki.fi part of the name)
  • Enter the administration password in section Admin Password
  • In section Modify What?, select Configuration Options
  • Find section subscribe policy and select the option you want
  • Finally, click Apply
  • The answer will arrive to the address marked in the adjacent field

1.5 Message fronters and footers

An identifier is often wished to be added to the beginning or end of mailing list messages to describe the type of list it is or to instruct how to unsubscribe.

This setting is edited with MajorCool as follows:

  • Go to http://majordomo.helsinki.fi
  • Sign in with your own user name and password
  • Enter the name of the list in section List Name (without quotation marks and the @helsinki.fi part of the name)
  • Enter the administration password in section Admin Password
  • In section Modify What?, select Configuration Options
  • Find section message fronter or message footer and enter the or footer of your choice
  • Finally, click Apply
  • The answer will arrive to the address marked in the adjacent field

Example of a footer:

_________________________________________________________
This is the information and discussion list of the Department of Humbugology. In the event of a problem, send a message to owner-humbug-list@helsinki.fi. Our website is http://www.helsinki.fi/invalid/org/humbug/. Find instructions for unsubscribing on the site. Please do not send unsubscription requests to the list!
_________________________________________________________

1.6. Other settings

The following contains other essential settings. All these are changed with Majordomo in approximately the same way:

  • Go to http://majordomo.helsinki.fi
  • Sign in with your own user name and password
  • Enter the name of the list in section List Name (without quotation marks and the @helsinki.fi part of the name)
  • Enter the administration password in section Admin Password
  • In section Modify What?, select Configuration Options
  • In the drop-down menu on the top of the page, select All keywords
  • Find the settings you need
  • Make the changes you wish – however, read MajorCool instructions
  • Finally, click Apply
  • The answer will arrive to the address marked in the adjacent field
Setting Explanation Default value + limitations
advertise

This can be used to limit who sees the list with Majordomo's lists command. This can include a regular expression which identifies the email addresses who are wished to see the list. E.g. to all Finns (regexp, in this case, is /*.fi/).

The lists command is not available at the university due to misuse.

OFF
announcements Whether the list administrator is sent messages concerning subscriptions and unsubscriptions. It is recommended to use this to prevent misuse. yes
approve_passwd A password to forward BOUNCE messages (see chapter 3) to the list. This must contain some value or Majordomo will not function properly. Change the default value as soon as possible. It can be the same as the administration password, although this is not recommended, as it can appear on the list if used carelessly. That is why this section should have a "minor" password.

l ist-name.pass

description Description of the list for the lists command. OFF. Maximum length 50 characters.
info_access if closed, the info command only works for the members of the list open
maxlength Maximum size of messages on the list. 40,000 characters
NB! It is not recommended to increase the size too much, especially on large lists, as large messages can clog mailing systems. Many systems also have size limits for messages.
message_footer The text to be added to the end of each message (chapter 1.5). NONE
message_fronter The text to be added to the beginning of each message (chapter 1.5). NONE
message_headers The header line to be added to the subject information of each outgoing message. NONE.
The format should be X-header-name: header field value
moderate List moderation status. In a moderated list, all messages must be approved by the administrator before they are sent to the list. NONE
noadvertise A regular expression covering email addresses that do not see the list name with the lists command.

The lists command is not available at the university due to misuse.

NONE
Comp. variable advertise. If the user fits both the noadvertise expression and the advertise expression, the former is stronger and the list is not shown.
reply_to To whom the answer to the message arriving from the list is sent: the sender of the message ($SENDER) or the list ($LIST). $SENDER
restrict_post A file with a list of addresses from which mail can be sent to the list. NONE
subject_prefix A word or a sentence added to the beginning of each list message, facilitating, for instance, the sorting of messages. The value can be e.g. $LIST. See chapter 1.3. NONE
subscribe_policy

Subscription policy:
auto:
anyone can add anyone to the list
open: anyone can add themselves to the list
closed:
only an administrator can make an addition confirm:
this feature can be attached to the aforementioned, whereupon the person to be added is sent a verification message, which prevents joke subscriptions.

The information sent to the administrator concerning subscriptions and unsubscriptions depends on the setting announcements.

open+confirm
taboo_body A message with a character string in the text body defined in the taboo_body setting cannot access the list immediately, but is sent to the administrator for approval. The syntax is Perl's regexp. See chapter 2 Blocking unwanted messages NONE
taboo_headers As in taboo_body, but the text is searched in the subject information of messages. NONE
unsubscribe_policy Whether one can unsubscribe by themselves. Compare subscribe_policy. open

 

 

1.7. Changing the password

The password should be changed from time to time due to information security reasons. At least if the password can accidentally be seen on, for instance, a list. It is also recommended to change the password when the administrator of a list changes.

The password is changed by sending the following command via email to majordomo@helsinki.fi:

passwd list-name oldpassword newpassword

Originally, Majordomo has two parallel administration password systems. The other password was changed as described above, but the other one was changed by changing the list configuration with, for instance, the MajorCool connection. The latter method is not used at the university due to information security reasons.

In addition, the lists have a separate password approve_passwd which is changed in the MajorCool connection. Its use is covered in chapter 3 Forwarding BOUNCE messages to a list.

1.8 Changing the administrator

The administrator of a list cannot personally transfer their duties to their successor. The mail administration of the IT department (atk-posti@helsinki.fi) changes the administrator. When requesting a change, please report your name, user name and email address.

1.9. Splitting a long row

If your email program rearranges long rows, i.e. splits them (so-called word wrap), Majordomo may misinterpret a command you have sent via email as, for instance, two separate commands. In these cases, it is recommended to split a command to several shorter rows that are combined into one command with a backslash (\), for instance:

approve listpassword unsubscribe groovy-gang \ some.long.email-address@some.domain.somewhere

This allows Majordomo to understand that there is only one command and will not, for instance, delete an administrator and report a false command as it would in the above case without the \ mark.

 

1.10 Deleting a list

 

Only administration can delete a list. Announce an unused list to Helpdesk.