[Blues-l] Administrivia: welcome to the list, current status, and some hints/help

Rich Kulawiec rsk@gsp.org
Thu Jun 19 08:33:13 EDT 2014

Lots of people have subscribed in the past week: welcome aboard.
I think we're getting very close to being able to cut over from
the old list to this one.  I'm going to send one more round of
invitations to people who haven't subscribed yet; anybody who doesn't
pick up after three tries probably isn't interested any more.

I'm also going to let through some pending traffic that I've held
back waiting for new arrivals.  So if you sent something here and
wondered where it went: it's been sitting in the "hold" queue.

Some hints and help and information for you:

1. This list is run by Mailman, which is a piece of SOFTWARE that
does the same kinds of things as majordomo, listproc, Listserv, etc.

I emphasize the word "software" because quite a few of you are talking
to it as if it's a person.  That won't work.  Mailman is exceedingly
good at its task but it does not speak conversational English.

You can interact with it via email:


or via the web:


The functionality's equivalent, it's just a matter of preference.

There is a Mailman user's guide, in Q&A format, here:


2. You can set a bunch of options for yourself, if you like: things
like turning on digests, or turning off mail when you're going to be
away, and so on.  I prefer using email to talk to Mailman, so I'll
give an example that way.  If you want to (1) see your current options
and (2) see what you can set them to, then do EXACTLY this:

	To: blues-l-request@blues-l.com
	set show
	set help

That asks Mailman to show you the current settings ("set show") and
to show you what all your choices are ("set help").

3. The archives are here:


They go back to 2008 at the moment, and I'm slowly working through going
back further.  (There are issues with malformed/crazy dates on messages,
e.g. "1965".)

4. Remember: the -request address goes to Mailman, which is a piece
of software and does not know what to do with "Could you tell me...?"
The -owner address goes to people and is a fallback if you need it.
These are Internet-wide standards: EVERY mailing list is supposed to
have them.  So they're worth memorizing.  If you can't memorize them,
then write them down.

5. Do not, do not, do not ever ever ever send a "test" message to
this mailing list.  Or any other one for that matter.  If you think
something is wrong, then contact the listowner (whose address I just
reminded you of) and explain the problem.  Be sure to include any
error messages verbatim.  And keep in mind that the listowner may
or may not be using the same mail client, operating system, etc.
that you are, so you really do need to spell it out and make it
very clear what you think is broken.  Messages like "X doesn't work"
are useless because they don't specify HOW it doesn't work.

6. We have some seriously strong anti-spam controls in place here at the
firewall, mail system, and Mailman levels.  But: since some of you are
on freemail providers with notoriously poor security practices (e.g.,
Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL) it's always possible that one of your accounts will
be compromised and used to spam this list.  If that happens, then we'll
take care of it.  You don't need to tell us: we'll know.  And you
especially don't need to repost the spam to the list to complain
about it: that just helps the spammer.  So just delete it and move on,
trusting that it will be handled.  It WILL be.


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