At Wednesday, 28 February 2001, Amal wrote:
>Please let me know how to unsubscribe from this mailing list.
This is in the document you were sent when you subscribed,
which of course you read and kept :-)
I am posting this to the list for the record.
(If you are new to mailing lists, sit down and read ALL of this NOW.)
* How to subscribe to and unsubscribe from XML-L
* Sending mail to XML-L once you're subscribed
* Attachments and HTML in mail messages (banned)
* Reading the documentation
* What to do when LISTSERV rejects your messages because
your email address has changed since you subscribed.
* What to do when LISTSERV has suddenly unsubscribed you
for no obvious reason
* What to do if you suddenly stop getting mail from
Subscribing and unsubscribing
XML-L is a normal LISTSERV mailing list, so you can still send
commands in exactly the same way as for any other LISTSERV list, by
sending a message to
[log in to unmask]
HOWEVER - there is a Web interface which is much easier to use, at
You can use this to subscribe, unsubscribe, change your settings,
search the archives, and even just read messages.
If you have been told to use a different address (either Web or
email), please mail me privately at [log in to unmask]
and tell me where you were told this, so that I can get it corrected.
There are a lot of pages out there with some truly weird ideas about
how mailing lists work, and many of them are just wrong:
The address XML-L-request is only used for manual requests.
The address owner-XML-L is only used to report faults.
If you prefer, you can send commands to your nearest LISTSERV host
(any one will do, as they all know about each other, and your request
will be automatically forwarded to the right place). See the list
provided by CataList (L-Soft, the makers of LISTSERV) at
TO SUBSCRIBE by email, send a 1-line mail message saying
SUB XML-L forename surname
(substituting your own names) to [log in to unmask]
You can type SUBSCRIBE in full if you wish.
TO UNSUBSCRIBE by email, send a 1-line mail message saying
to the same address. You can type UNSUBSCRIBE or SIGNOFF
instead of UNSUB if you prefer.
* The Web interface is easier if you have Internet access.
* Don't send requests to the XML-L-request or owner-XML-L
addresses unless you want special action by a human (see final
* Don't include signature blocks (.sig files) or any other text in
your subscription or unsubscription request messages, especially
not MIME attachments like images, visiting cards, or those
automatically-attached formatting blocks like HTML encoding or
Microsoft's ms_tnef files.
NOTE: XML-L is a "mailing list", not a "LISTSERV". LISTSERV
is the name of the mailing-list PROGRAM that handles subscriptions and
distribution. Calling a mailing list a LISTSERV is a bit like calling
your computer "A Windows".
Sending mail to a mailing list once you're subscribed
Once you are subscribed, send your discussion messages to
[log in to unmask]
Don't send requests for subscription or unsubscription to this
address: all that does is distribute your request to hundreds
of other people and annoy them!
Never send messages with MIME attachments like images,
visiting cards, or automatically-attached formatting like HTML
encoding or Microsoft's ms_tnef files. If your mailer has
these facilities turned on, turn them OFF now. Sending
attachments to a mailing list is very discourteous to others,
completely unnecessary, a waste of bandwidth, and results in
higher costs for those users who have to pay to download their
Attachments and HTML in mail messages (banned)
All MIME attachments are prohibited in LISTSERV lists that I run. You
will not be told again, and if you try sending a message which has an
attachment, your whole message will silently be dropped on the floor -
you will not be informed, it will just be trashed. Equally prohibited
is HTML or email-formatting markup in text messages.
If you use a mail program that does either of these things by itself
without telling you, either go get a decent mail program instead, or
configure it not to do this any more. The setting is usually under
some menu like Options, Preferences, or Settings, and will be in the
section on Sending Mail, or Mail Formatting. The thing you want to
change will be something like "Send in HTML format" - it ought to be
set to "Send as Plain Text always".
If you want to be well-dressed in an email environment, you'll use a
good plaintext editor instead of a wordprocessor to do your email,
making sure it is set to word-wrap with hard returns, so that it
inserts real line-breaks at the right-hand margin. Most wordprocessors
fake this up, by storing each paragraph as a single very long line,
and only faking the line-breaks on-screen while you edit. This results
in you inadvertently sending messages which risk being truncated,
garbled, or just annoying to other readers.
Reading the documentation
These procedures are described in more detail in the document
automatically sent to all new subscribers. If you are already
subscribed and didn't have time to read it earlier, please do so
now. If you are about to subscribe, please make sure you read it when
There are lots of useful commands in LISTSERV such as
SET XML-L NOMAIL
which turns off the flow of messages temporarily without unsubscribing
you when you go away for a period (SET XML-L MAIL turns it on
again). The document also describes what to do when your email
LISTSERV rejects your email even though you are subscribed
This is very common because systems administrators - particularly in
ISPs - often change users' email addresses without telling anyone. It
also happens if you change Internet Provider and you don't have your
own domain name. It can also happen when your systems administrators
change addresses and DO tell you, but YOU didn't act on it.
LISTSERV records your address when you subscribe. That is the ONLY
address it recognises for you, so if your address is about to change,
you need to unsubscribe from the old address before it changes, and
then subscribe again from the new address.
You can create yourself a private LISTSERV password on the list server
at http://listserv.heanet.ie when you subscribe to a list or change
your settings. This password lets you do all these changes online.
If your address gets changed before you have a chance to do anything
about it, mail [log in to unmask] and ask for your old
address to be removed manually. You can then subscribe again from your
LISTSERV has automatically unsubscribed you and you don't know why
This happens when too many messages to your address fail to be
delivered. They bounce back to the owner's mailbox. This can happen
for many reasons:
* your Internet Provider has gone bust or been disconnected
* your Internet Provider's connection is intermittent or flaky
* your company or institution is running Microsoft Exchange
and it has lost your account or address (very frequent: tell your
system administrator to replace it with a better server)
* your mailbox is full and won't accept any more messages
* your email address has changed and your old one has been wiped
* you've got an auto-filter script which is failing to work
For reasons which should be obvious, when this happens it is
impossible to mail you to tell you you've been removed, or explain
If the problem was intermittent and has been solved, just subscribe
again in the normal way. If you need to know the reason (perhaps so
you can complain to your Internet Provider or system administrator),
mail [log in to unmask] and ask.
If you suddenly stop getting mail from XML-L
The most common cause of this is a blockage somewhere on the network.
It is most common at or immediately after a weekend, when many
machines run unattended. It also happens when ISPs who run backbone
LISTSERV gateways fail to keep them running (AOL is notorious for
this). In most cases the system gets unblocked within a day or two.
Another possibility is a site has been spammed (junk mail attack)
and has to unclog the queues before normal service can resume.
Bear in mind that a lot of mail is queued in ascending order of size,
so if there are a few large messages you haven't received, they may
still be on their way.
The email service is very large and complex: a delay of 1-2 days is
not uncommon, especially at busy times, or when mail has to pass
through poorly-maintained systems on its way to you. Email is an
asynchronous mechanism: do not *expect* delivery within seconds over
the Internet (usually it *is* this fast, but it can also be very
If mail genuinely has ceased to flow, and hasn't re-started in a
couple of days, and you've checked on the Web server at
http://listserv.heanet.ie/XML-L.html that other people elsewhere
have been getting and sending mail to the list, contact
[log in to unmask] and ask.
If you have problems, then please mail
[log in to unmask]
Please ALWAYS include copies of the emails or error messages you get,
with FULL HEADERS, so that it is possible to find out what went wrong:
without the full headers it's usually not meaningful to try to find