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1.1 Introduction.

This chapter helps the (potential) subscriber to ezmlm/idx lists to learn the basic functions of the mailing list manager. It contains information on how to start and stop subscribing to ezmlm/idx list, how to access the list archive, how to send messages to the list, and how to contact the list owner, if necessary.

Features marked “(*)” are available only if the list uses ezmlm-idx in addition to ezmlm. See More Information.

ezmlm is a modern mailing list manager. Its purpose is to efficiently send a message to a large number of recipients with minimal delay. It allows automated additions and subtractions from the subscriber database. In addition, it may keep an archive of messages. It can also impose restrictions on what may be sent or retrieved and by whom. Some mailing list managers keep a database of subscriber information and tailor the message specifically for each subscriber. ezmlm sends the same message to all subscriber. This is much more efficient. The benefits to the user are that on average posts to ezmlm lists reach subscribers much faster than they would with other mailing list manager.

The digest list(*) is special kind of mailing list extension. Instead of receiving posts, it sends out “digest”, ordered collections of messages, when a predetermined limit in time or traffic volume has been reached. From the subscriber point of view, the digest list for the mailing list ‘list@host’ is called ‘list-digest@host’. You use the same commands when subscribing or unsubscribing to a digest as you do when you join of leave the main list. The only difference is the list name you use with your commands (‘list-digest@host’ and ‘list@host’, respectively. There is nothing to stop you from being a subscriber of both.

To temporarily leave an ezmlm list, just unsubscribe. Subscribe again later, when you wish to receive messages or digests again. ezmlm processes such requests virtually instantaneously, removing the need for a temporary “hold” command.

ezmlm is highly automated. Virtually everything can be done simply, rapidly, and without human intervention. ezmlm encodes your address and the message number in the return address to automatically handle bounces, i.e. messages returned to sender because they couldn't be delivered to the subscriber. This can be used to find out the message number, as well as the address you're subscribed under (see Unsubscribing).