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Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms
Active Probing – With active probing, a probe message is explicitly sent to the subscribers informing them that their addresses is being probed and usually instructing them to just discard the message. If a probe message bounces, depending on the mailing list's setup, the address may be immediately removed or additional probe messages may be sent to make sure that the address is actually bad.
Attachment – A file linked to an email message. Many programs use MIME encoding to attach files.
Auto Responder – A computer program that automatically responds with a pre-written message to anyone who sends an email message to a particular email address or uses an online feedback form.
Banner – As a mailing list administrator, sometimes you want all messages distributed to a mailing list to include a specific piece of information. For instance, you might want to have instructions on how to sign off the mailing list at the bottom of each message, or to have a copyright notice at the top of the messages. LISTSERV's banner templates allow you to do this. The top banner is typically used for information that is deemed to be critical and requires prominent placement, for example copyright notices. The bottom banner is typically used for general information.
Bounce – An Email message that is returned as undeliverable.
Bounce Server – An optional dedicated LISTSERV server used exclusively to process bounced email.
CataList The catalog of LISTSERV lists that is operated by L-Soft, the company that develops LISTSERV. Listing in CataList makes it easier for prospective subscribers to find your list. CataList is known for keeping an up-to-date record of lists. It is updated several times a day.
Cookie – A block of data that a Web server stores on a client system. When a user returns to the same Web site, the browser sends a copy of the cookie back to the server. Cookies are used to identify users, to instruct the server to send a customized version of the requested Web page, to submit account information for the user, and for other administrative purposes.
Digest – The method of sending a number of messages to subscribers at the same time, combined into a single piece of email. The list owner decides whether digests are available or not, the frequency at which they are issued, and the day of week or time of day when the digest should be distributed. LISTSERV allows subscribers to get digests in three formats: HTML, MIME, and NOMIME NOHTML. Subscribers can individually choose the format that works best in their email clients. Each email client is different, so subscribers should experiment with the different digest styles to find the one they prefer.
DomainKeys – A cryptographic authentication solution that adds signatures to email messages, allowing recipient sites to verify that the message was sent by an authorized sender and was not altered in transit. DomainKeys uses two keys, a public key and a private key, for this certification. The public key for the domain is stored in the DNS, and the corresponding private key is registered with LISTSERV.
Editor – A person or email address that is allowed to send messages directly to the list without moderation. If the editor keyword is not defined, the primary editor is the first list owner address.
Flame – An abusive or personally insulting email message or newsgroup posting, or to send an abusive or personally insulting email message or newsgroup posting.
Header – The arrangement of keywords and their associated values that make up the configuration of a LISTSERV list. The values of the keywords defined in the header determine the behavior of the list.
Index – An index, similar to the digest, is another option for receiving one message that summarizes a collection of messages from LISTSERV. LISTSERV sends the subscriber a list of what messages have been distributed to the mailing list recently, along with information about when the message was posted, how big it is, and who sent it. Indexes are only available for archived mailing lists that have digests enabled. Indexes are sent out at the same time as the digests. Indexes are available in HTML and NOHTML formats. If HTML is used, the index includes a link to each message in the Archive Interface. If NOHTML is used, the index includes instructions on how to retrieve the messages the subscriber wants.
LISTSERV – The email list management software application distributed by L-Soft that allows users to create and maintain email lists on their corporate network or on the Internet. Newsletters, moderated, and un-moderated discussion groups and direct marketing campaigns are all supported. List sizes can range from a few participants in a discussion group to several million in a newsletter.
Mail Merge – LISTSERV's mail-merge support allows you to send individually customized messages to large numbers of recipients with very high throughput.
Mail Templates – These templates control the contents of email messages sent by LISTSERV. A mail template is a complete email message. Formatting commands are available, substitutions that make sense in the context of the specific message are available, and while other templates may be imbedded with the .IM command, the message is in and of itself ready for LISTSERV to send.
Maintainer – The technical person in charge of the LISTSERV application on a particular server. The LISTSERV Maintainer has the right to create new lists on the server. Sometimes referred to as Postmaster or Site Administrator.
Message Fragments – These templates are the lowest level of mail templates. Fragments are pieces of text produced by LISTSERV as parts of other messages or emails. For example, list digests must follow a certain format dictated by the Internet RFCs. Therefore, it is not possible to provide a complete mail template for digests. However, some of the text within the digest is not mandated by the RFCs, and so LISTSERV provides some fragment templates to control these parts, for example MSG_DIGEST_FRAGMENT_DATERANGE1 to control the date range and MSG_DIGEST_FRAGMENT_PREAMBLE1 to control the text preceding the table of contents. Formatting commands are generally not available in fragments.
Message Templates – These templates supply text that will ultimately be shown to the user. These messages may be included in a mail template; or they may be included in an email sent by LISTSERV in response to LISTSERV commands sent by email to the LISTSERV command address; or they may be returned to the Web Interface in response to commands sent through the Web Interface. Limited formatting is available.
MIME – Stands for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. Extensions to the Internet mail format that allow it to carry multiple types of data as attachments to email messages.
Moderated List – This type of discussion list has an editor or editors who review all incoming messages. The editor can then decide to allow the message to be sent to all the subscribers on the list, or not allow the message to be posted to the list. Moderated lists can be used to control the discussion by keeping off topic, inflammatory, or otherwise inappropriate messages from the reaching subscribers.
Moderator – A person who can accept or reject messages received by the list subscribers to post to the email list. It is also possible for the moderator to perform several tasks such as editing and deleting messages. There can be one or more moderators on a list. Moderators can share the task of moderation in a “round-robin” manner, with each moderator taking a turn, or all moderators can moderate all messages.
Notebook – A searchable archive containing all past posts to the list. A list owner may edit and delete notebook logs, only the list and/or the LISTSERV Maintainer may create a notebook log for a list.
One-Way Announcement List The owner(s) and/or editor(s) of the list are the only people who are allowed to send messages to the subscribers. The communication flows one way from the list administrators to the list subscribers. This type of list is primarily used for newsletters, product announcements, and dissemination of information that does not require feedback from the subscriber.
Owner – The person formally in charge of the operation of a specific list. The list owner is usually knowledgeable in the field covered by the list. There can be more than one list owner for a list. The responsibility of the list owner is limited to the list itself, and does not include the computer running the list, its mail system, network lines, and other hardware specifics.
Passive Probing – Passive probing is another option for testing subscriber email addresses. With passive probing, normal messages that are sent to the mailing list are used as the medium of the probe.
Peered List – A list that is split (or "peered") in order to share the mail load among two or more LISTSERV servers. Peering also makes it possible to have list archives located in more than one place. For example, a list might be peered between a European host and a North American host, making it possible for subscribers on each continent to retrieve archives from the nearer host.
Poster – A person or address that sends a message to a list.
Postmaster – The LISTSERV Maintainer; the technical person in charge of the LISTSERV application on a particular server. The postmaster has the right to create new lists on the server.
Probing – Probing an address involves sending a unique message to that address (and that address only) to test if the address is valid or if the address generates bounces (messages that are returned to LISTSERV because the address is bad). Probing is more reliable than other types of bounce collection because sometimes bounces from regular mailing list traffic do not include enough information to determine which subscription was responsible for the bounce.
RFC – These documents, called Request For Comments, explain the rules that email and other software products must follow in order to work cooperatively with each other on the Internet.
Sender ID A closed DNS-based certification protocol used to verify that the originating IP address is authorized to send email for the domain name declared in the visible "From" or "Sender" lines of the email message. Sender ID is used to prevent spoofing and to identify messages with visible domain names that have been forged.
Sender Policy Framework (SPF) An open DNS-based certification protocol used by recipient sites to verify that the originating IP address is authorized to send email for the domain name declared in the "MAIL FROM" line of the mail envelope. SPF is used to identify messages with forged "MAIL FROM" addresses.
Spam – The unwanted, unsolicited junk email sent to a large number of recipients. Also known as unsolicited commercial email.
Spoofing – Pretending to be someone else by deliberately giving false information. Spoofing is the deliberate inducement of a user or resource to take an incorrect action. For example, signing a person up to a list without their knowledge and permission.
Subscriber – A person who has requested and has been granted permission to join a particular mailing list.
Topics – Subdivision of the list’s messages into more precise categories. Subscribers can then pick which topics they want to receive messages from as a way to cut down the overall number of messages they receive. For example, a discussion list about restoring antique cars may have topics on the different makes or car, different year models, and/or shows for antique car owners to attend. A subscriber to this list may only be interested in Ford Model-T cars and therefore would elect to subscribe to only those topics, so as not to receive mail from any other topics.
Two-Way Discussion List – The list administrators and the list subscribers are both permitted to post messages to the list. The communication flows two ways - between the administrators and the subscribers, and back and forth between different subscribers. This type of list is primarily used for discussion groups engaged in the exchange of ideas and information centered on a specific topic.
Web Templates – (also referred to as Dynamic Web Templates) These templates control the pages produced by the Web Interface. These pages are produced dynamically when they are accessed. What gets displayed by the browser depends on the circumstances and may change depending on who is accessing the Interface, which list they are accessing, the settings of that list, and so on.