LISTSERV and Discussion Groups


Introduction:
LISTSERV is a mainframe software program designed to create and manage electronic discussion groups. You can subscribe to a discussion group by electronic sending mail to the Listserv machine at the node which hosts the discussion. Once you have subscribed, mail from the discussion will automatically arrive in your incoming mailbox. Everyone who is subscribed can send the same messageto every participant on the list and receive all messages sent by everyone elseon the list.
Administrative Commands for Controlling Your Subscription:
Administrative commands are sent via electronic mail to the LISTSERV machine at the designated node. Address the email to LISTSERV@desirednode. In the body of the note, include the text (from Column 1) for the appropriate command in Column 2 which you wish to perform. Substitute the name of your list for and the nodename for .

LISTSERV Commands:
Syntax of LISTSERV command Description of action
SUB {Listx-l} Firstname Lastname Subscribes you to the discussion list.
QUERY {Listx-l} Queries your distribution options.
SET {Listx-l} NOMAIL Temporarily suspends incoming mail. Use when going on vacation.
SET {Listx-l} MAIL Turns the mail flow back on. Use when you return from vacation.
SET {Listx-L} REPROxxx Sends you a copy of your own postings to the list. Many lists are set up so that everyone else gets a copy of your posting except you.
SET {Listx-L} DIGESTxxx Multiple notes for a specified time period (a day or a week's worth) are mailed instead of each individual note arriving separately.
SIGNOFF {Listx-l} Unsubscribes you from the discussion.

Then, to participate in the discussion: send mail to {listx-l} AT {nodename}.



Getting General Information
Other information may be requested from the LISTSERV machine by sending one of the following commands, via electronic mail, addressed to the Listserv machine at the appropriate node. The information will be sent to you as a piece of electronic mail.
LISTSERV Commands:
Syntax of LISTSERV command Description of action
LIST Asks which lists are available from that Listserv.
LIST GLOBAL /keyword Asks for lists which meet the keyword criteria.
INDEX Requests a master index file of all the lists at that node.
INDEX {Listx-l}xxx Requests an index file of everything associated with that discussion group.
INFO {Listx-l} Sends you list header information.
GET {filename filetype} Requests a copy of a specified file.
REVIEW {Listx-l} Requests information about that list and who the members are.
SHOW ALIAS {nodename} Shows the Internet address of a Bitnet node, if one is available.
SHOW PATH {node1} {node2} Requests routing path and communications speed of physical telephone lines between beginning node and ending node.
SHOW RELEASE Tells you the version of Listserv which is run at the site, who the Listserv Postmaster is, what versions of routing tables are maintained,& the version of the operating system it's running under.



Commands for Searching the Archives:
To find all the notes that were discussed on the discussion list, pertaining to a particular subject, send an email search request for copies of all the notes in the archives which meet your criteria.
These commands must be sent to the LISTSERV machine at the designated node. Do not send them to the discussion or you will become very unpopular very quickly. Address the email to LISTSERV@desirednode. In the body of the note, include the text from Column 1, substituting a word or a phrase for and the name of the discussion for . The symbols <> are not used.
Search command syntaxDescription of request
//JOB ECHO=NO
DATABASE SEARCH DD=RULES
//RULES DD *
SELECT {keyword} IN {Listx-l}
PRINT
/*
//
// EOJ{/PRE}
All this information is contained within the body of the electronic note. The "// EOJ" tells Listserv to ignore whatever follows. This prevents error messages based on the contents of any closing signature lines that may contain your name, museum, telephone number, etc.




Example of a search that works.
//JOB ECHO=NO
DATABASE SEARCH DD=RULES
//RULES DD *
SEARCH (shrimp) or (Gopher) in CRUST-L
PRINT
/*
//
In this example, we search for either the keywords "shrimp" or "Gopher" in the CRUST-L discussion archives. Use the parenthesis to separate keywords or phrases. The command PRINT asks LISTSERV to send everything which meets our search criteria back to us.