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Preface - About This Manual

Preface - About This Manual
This manual is intended for new list subscribers with little or no experience using LISTSERV software. The goal of this document is to give a broad overview of the main functions of LISTSERV software and some basic instructions on how to manage your list subscription(s). This document will concentrate on demonstrating interaction with LISTSERV using the Web interface.
Every effort has been made to ensure that this document is an accurate representation of the functionality of LISTSERV®. As with every software application, development continues after the documentation has gone to press so small inconsistencies may occur. We would appreciate any feedback on this manual. Send comments via email to: MANUALS@LSOFT.COM
The following documentation conventions have been used in this manual:
Editorial Note - New Version Numbering
With this release, L-Soft is aligning LISTSERV’s version numbering with the rest of the e-mail industry. There have been 51 released versions of LISTSERV since 1986 – 15 major upgrades and 36 minor releases. Version 1.8e in the “traditional” numbering system corresponds to 14.0. The present update is version 16.0.
Because the old nomenclature is more familiar to our users, in this version of the documentation we will continue to refer to versions of LISTSERV inferior to version 14.4 by the old version system.
LISTSERV Command Syntax Conventions
Generally, parameters used in this document can consist of 1 to 8 characters from the following set:
A-Z 0-9 $#@+-_:
Deviations from this include:
fformatNetdata, Card, Disk, Punch, LPunch, UUencode, XXencode, VMSdump, MIME/text, MIME/Appl, Mail.
full_namefirst_name [middle_initial] surname (not your email address). Must consist of at least two space-separated words, e.g., "John Doe".
listname – name of an existing list
node – Either the fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) of an Internet host or the BITNET nodeid or Internet hostname of a BITNET machine which has taken care of supplying an ':internet' tag in its BITEARN NODES entry.
host – Generally the same as node, but normally refers specifically to the fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) of an Internet host rather than to a BITNET nodeid.
pw – a password containing characters from the set: A-Z 0-9 $#@_-?!|%
userid – Any valid RFC822 network address not longer than 80 characters; if omitted, the 'hostname' part defaults to that of the command originator.
internet_address – Similar to userid, but specifically refers to a complete RFC822 network address in userid@fqdn format. When we use this nomenclature a fully-qualified hostname is required.
Other deviations from the standard set will be noted along with the affected commands.
Also, the following conventions represent variable or optional parameters:
italic type – Always indicates required parameter names that must be replaced by appropriate data when sending commands to LISTSERV.
< > – Angle brackets may sometimes enclose required parameter names that must be replaced by appropriate data when sending commands to LISTSERV. Sometimes used for clarity when italic type is inappropriate.
Unicode (UTF-8) Support
A major new feature in LISTSERV 16.0 is the implementation of the first phase of Unicode support. LISTSERV's Unicode support is based on UTF-8 encoding. The long-term goal is for everything in LISTSERV to be a UTF-8 encoded string unless explicitly tagged otherwise. Because this is not a simple implementation, and because going to UTF-8 will undoubtedly break some customer scripts and applications, the road to full support for UTF-8 will be an ongoing, careful journey.
The first phase of the implementation revolves around these areas: the template processor, the message (job response) code, archive searches, and individual commands with support for UTF-8 (for now, only the LIST command is affected). The next phases will continue to roll out with the upcoming versions of LISTSERV.
Contacting L-Soft
L-Soft international recognizes that the information in this manual and the FAQ questions on our web site ( or are not going to solve every problem you may face. We are always willing to help diagnose and correct problems you may be having with your licensed LISTSERV server.
L-Soft strongly recommends that, for support purposes, it is best to use the technical support "lifebuoy" link from the Server Administration Dashboard to initiate a support ticket. This will help you create an email message to the support group that contains all the necessary information about the site configuration, license and so forth without requiring you to find the individual files or issue information commands.
If LISTSERV is not running, of course, this will not be possible. In that case, please try to use the following procedure:
Make the subject line of your report indicative of the problem. L-Soft receives a great deal of mail with the subject "Help!", which is not very helpful when we receive them.
Include any appropriate log entries. LISTSERV keeps logs of everything it does, and without the log trace back, it is often impossible to determine what caused a given error.
If you're running a Unix server and LISTSERV dumps core, please run the debugger on the core file, produce a trace back, and include the results.
Always send a copy of your site configuration files (with the passwords x'ed out). See the Site Manager’s Operations Manual for LISTSERV for the locations and names of the two site configuration files.
If the supporting documents (for instance, log files) are extremely large, please contact support first before sending everything through. The support group has alternative methods of handling large files that they will be happy to share with you.
If you are not currently an L-Soft customer and are running an evaluation version of our software, please send your trouble reports to the evaluation users' list, LSTSERV@PEACH.EASE.LSOFT.COM.
If you are running LISTSERV Lite, please send your trouble reports to the LISTSERV Lite support mailing list, LISTSERV-LITE@PEACH.EASE.LSOFT.COM. This includes users of the paid version of the software unless you have also purchased paid support.
If your LISTSERV Classic/Classic HPO server for VM, VMS, unix, or Windows has paid-up maintenance, you may send problems to SUPPORT@LSOFT.COM for a quick reply.
To reach our worldwide sales group, simply write to SALES@LSOFT.COM. You may also call 1-800-399-5449 (in the US and Canada) or +1 301-731-0440 (outside the US and Canada) to speak to our sales representatives.

L-Soft international, Inc.