Editing the contents of a notebook log is more difficult than outright deletion. If done incorrectly, you could severely impact the search and retrieval database capability. Of course, if you save your original unaltered notebook log locally, you can always fix matters. However, if you have a low threshold for making mistakes and are timed-constrained, your best bet would be to avoid editing notebook logs. If your purpose in editing archives is to avoid an outage due to exceeding quota and not primarily to fine-tune the content of your archives, you may be better off monitoring your list archive space with the SHOW QUOTA command and either request additional storage from your LISTSERV provider or delete notebook logs in their entirety when your archives exceed 80% capacity.

The steps to edit a notebook log are as follows:

First send the command

INDEX listname

to determine which notebook logs you wish to edit. Then, retrieve a copy of the desired notebook log by sending the command:


NOTE: Do not edit your current notebook log. That one is still being written to by the list. It is very important when editing notebook logs that you keep an original unaltered copy locally until you know your procedures were successful.

After editing the notebook log, you will send the command

<insert edited notebook log here in proper format >

to replace the specified notebook log on the server with the newly edited version.

Although the above steps to choose, retrieve and store a notebook log are quite straightforward, the actual editing process will vary depending upon the editor and mail program that you use. Two possible editing techniques are described in Section 4.2 and Section 4.3. No matter which method you use (or if you develop your own method) there are some general caveats to keep in mind:

  • The notebook log must adhere to a very specific format for search and database capabilites to continue working correctly. The correct format is discussed in Section 4.1.
  • Editing in a word processing program like MS Word or WordPerfect is not recommended. Text will have extra (invisible) formatting characters that will take up storage, serve no useful purpose, and likely corrupt the formatting in the archive. You should use a plain ascii text editor that can handle large files or as shown in Section 4.2, a mail program that allows you to edit large messages.
  • The Copy/Paste utility of your operating system may not be able to handle very large text block sizes. If you use that method to copy text from the results of the GET command into a text editor or an e-mail message, you may need to do multiple Copy/Paste operations to copy the entire notebook log.
  • Since you will need to e-mail your edited notebook log back to the server, you must use an e-mail program that can handle very large messages in the e-mail text editor:

- The following e-mail programs are known to have difficulty handling large messages of the kind needed to successfully edit Archives: AOL, Juno, Hotmail, Yahoo, Compuserve. The popular mail programs Eudora and Pegasus may also have problems editing archives because of an editor buffer size limitation.

- Mail programs that do work, though you may need to become familiar with their features: MS Internet Mail, Netscape Mail, Agent.

(NOTE: The above list of mail programs is not all-inclusive. Nor does it imply any recommendation but is for informational purposes only. As List Owner, you will wish to investigate the capabilites and restrictions of several of the many mail programs available and make an informed decision about what you prefer to use.)

If your list has a WWW archive interface, the changes you have made while editing your archives will not be reflected there until you do 2 things:

  1. the List Header for your list is stored via a PUT command and
  2. you attempt a WWW search.

This forces the WWW archive indexes to be rebuilt so they match the newly edited archives.