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[BKARTS] weird messages

 Stone Eye - An Exhibition of the Midwest Chapter, Guild of Book Workers
  For information about the exhibition, and to order your catalog, see

Peter - I have received today two very odd messages, one an apparent
advertisement about low mortgage rates (but purporting to be from Book Arts),
the other instructions on how to send messages to the Book Arts List. (the
latter is appended to this email). I have not sent any messages to the list
for a while, certainly not in the last several days. Any idea what is going
on? Barbara Harman

Text (with some stuff left off the bottom) of the message in my email:

Sat, 1 Jun 2002 01:09:43

Your message  to BOOK_ARTS-L-request@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU has  been forwarded
to the "list owners" (the people who manage the BOOK_ARTS-L list). If you
wanted to reach a human being, you used the correct procedure and you can
ignore  the remainder  of this  message.  If you  were trying  to send  a
command for the computer to execute, please read on.

The BOOK_ARTS-L list  is managed by a LISTSERV  server. LISTSERV commands
should    always    be   sent    to    the    "LISTSERV"   address,    ie
LISTSERV@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU. LISTSERV never tries  to process messages sent
to the  BOOK_ARTS-L-request address; it  simply forwards them to  a human
being, and acknowledges receipt with the present message.

The "listname-request" convention originated on  the Internet a long time
ago. At  the time, lists were  always managed manually, and  this address
was defined as an alias for the  person(s) in charge of the mailing list.
You would write to the  "listname-request" address to ask for information
about the list, ask  to be added to the list,  make suggestions about the
contents and policy, etc. Because this  address was always a human being,
people  knew and  expected to  be  talking to  a  human being,  not to  a
computer.  Unfortunately, some  recent  list  management packages  screen
incoming  messages  to  the  "listname-request" address  and  attempt  to
determine whether they are requests to  join or leave the list. They look
for words such as "subscribe," "add,"  "leave," "off," and so on. If they
decide your message is  a request to join or leave  the list, they update
the list automatically;  otherwise, they forward the message  to the list
owners. Naturally, this means that if  you write to the list owners about
someone else's  unsuccessful attempts to  leave the list, you  stand good
chances of  being automatically removed  from the list, whereas  the list
owners will never receive your message. No one really benefits from this.
There is no  reliable mechanism to contact a human  being for assistance,
and you can never  be sure whether your request will  be interpreted as a
command or as a message to the list owners. This is why LISTSERV uses two
separate addresses, one for the people in  charge of the list and one for
the computer  that runs it.  This way you  always know what  will happen,
especially if you are writing in a language other than English.

In  any case,  if your  message was  a LISTSERV  command, you  should now
resend it  to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU.  The list  owners know  that you
have  received this  message  and may  assume that  you  will resend  the
command  on your  own. You  will find  instructions for  the most  common
administrative requests below.

            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:

        Archive maintained and suppported by Conservation OnLine

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