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Managing documents in the file space Every mailing list has a "file space," a set of directories in which documents and list archives are kept. These directories are arranged in a hierarchy; the top-level directory is called "/", and beneath the top level is at least one directory, a public directory called "/public". If the mailing list has been set up to keep archives of the posted messages, there will usually be an archive directory, "/public/archive". This document explains how documents are stored into and retrieved from the file space. The examples in this document assume that you know how to use your list's administrative password. Please review "help admin_passwords", if you have not already done so. In each example, replace LISTNAME with the name of your mailing list. File names ---------- There are two ways to refer to a document or directory. If the name starts with a solidus, '/', it is called an absolute path. If it does not, it is called a relative path. In the file space, relative paths are considered relative to the public directory. This means that archive/LISTNAME.200101 and /public/archive/LISTNAME.200101 refer to the same file. Only the list owners can use absolute paths. Displaying the contents of the file space ----------------------------------------- The quickest way to see what documents are currently stored in the file space is to use the index-recursive command. For example, index-recursive LISTNAME will display a directory listing of the public directory, and index-recursive LISTNAME / will display a directory listing of the whole file space. See "help index" for more details. Retrieving a document --------------------- To retrieve a document from the file space, use the get command. For example, the LISTNAME.200102 archive can be retrieved with the following command: get-immediate LISTNAME archive/LISTNAME.200102 The get command also has an "edit" command mode that makes it easy for the list owners to retrieve, edit, and replace a document. For example, if you have previously stored a file in your list's file space called "/welcome", you can get it with this command: get-edit LISTNAME /welcome The contents of the document will be wrapped inside a put command. To replace the document, simply edit it and send the put command back to the server at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also possible to get messages from the list archive using the archive command. For example, archive-index LISTNAME 2001 will show a summary of all messages posted in the year 2001. As another example, archive-get-immediate LISTNAME 50 will display the full contents of the last 50 messages posted to the mailing list. For more information, please see "help get" and "help archive". Storing a document ------------------ The put command is used to add or replace a document in the file space. Because most documents occupy more than one line, a here document is needed (see "help here_document" for details). For example, the following command stores a document called "/subs_only.txt" in the file space. put LISTNAME /subs_only.txt Subscribers only <<LMNO Only subscribers are allowed to post messages to the $LIST list. If you wish to subscribe, write to $MJ In the body of the message, put only this command: subscribe $LIST If you have questions, contact the list owners at this address: $OWNER LMNO The description of the file, "Subscribers only," will appear when someone uses the index command to see a listing of the top-level directory. File descriptions can also appear in the Subject headers of welcome and farewell messages (see "help configset_welcome_files" for more details.) The names in capital letters, like $OWNER, are substitution variables. In some situations, Majordomo will automatically fill in the correct value. This allows documents to be shared by more than one list. See "help configset_file_search" and "help configset_file_share" for more information on sharing documents. See "help variables" for more information on substitution variables. The put command usually requires an administrative password. See "help put" for more details. Five special documents ---------------------- There are five special documents that every list owner ought to review before running a new mailing list. Three of these documents are available through special commands (faq, info, and intro). The other two documents are commonly sent to people when they join or leave a mailing list (welcome and farewell). The faq, info, and intro commands will each retrieve a special document from the file space. These three documents should be stored in the top-level directory and be called "/faq", "/info", and "/intro". You can see each document with the following three commands: faq LISTNAME info LISTNAME intro LISTNAME Like any other document in the file space, these three documents can be retrieved with the get command, but there is a subtle difference. Unlike the get command, the faq, info, and intro commands will automatically replace substitution variables. For example, if you use $LIST in one of the documents, Majordomo will automatically substitute the name of the mailing list when the document is displayed. See "help variables" to learn more about substitution variables. All three of these documents can be changed easily using "edit" mode. For example, to edit the faq document, use the following command: faq-edit LISTNAME The faq document will be presented to you wrapped in a "newfaq" command. This is similar to the configshow command, which displays the current configuration settings wrapped in "configset" commands. Please see "help newfaq" and "help admin_config" for more details. The other two important documents are "/welcome" and "/farewell". These documents are sent to subscribers when they join or leave a mailing list. They also make use of substitution variables. Unlike the other three documents, the welcome and farewell documents are supplied by default, so it should not be necessary to customize them. New subscribers will usually receive a welcome message, which contains two parts. The first part, called "/welcome", shows the subscriber's password and gives specific instructions for leaving the mailing list. The second part is the "/info" file. The files used in the welcome message can be changed by altering the welcome_files configuration setting. For example, if you would like to send only the "/intro" file, use the following command: configset LISTNAME welcome_files <<ABDF Welcome to the GLOBAL mailing list! intro | NS ABDF Unlike the get, put, and index commands, this setting considers relative paths to be relative to the top-level "/" directory, so intro and /intro refer to the same file. For more information, see "help configset_welcome_files". There is also a farewell_files configuration setting. People who unsubscribe do not normally receive a farewell file; it requires the farewell command mode. For example, the command: unsubscribe-farewell LISTNAME email@example.com would cause the farewell message to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org if the unsubscribe command succeeds. See "help configset_farewell_files" for more information. Sending documents to other people --------------------------------- List owners can send documents to other people by masquerading as the recipient. For example, if email@example.com asks "How do I subscribe to your mailing list," you could send the "help overview" document to her with these commands: default user firstname.lastname@example.org help overview When email@example.com receives the message, it will have your address, not the server's address, in the From: header. Automatic replies ----------------- Another use for documents is to inform people whose requests are stalled or blocked by the access rules. Consider the following two access rules, which deny posted messages from non-subscribers: post deny, reply="Only subscribers are not allowed to post messages." !@MAIN post deny, replyfile="/subs_only.txt" !@MAIN In the first rule, the message that is sent back to author of the message may be hard to understand. The author may be subscribed to the list under a different address, or may want to know how to subscribe. In this case, the second rule is more helpful, because the file "/subs_only.txt" can hold a much clearer explanation. For more details on how and when automatic replies are sent, see "help admin_moderate" and "help configset_access_rules". Customizing documents --------------------- Two kinds of document, or file, can be customized by a list administrator. Format files govern the appearance of the WWW interfaces and the results from Majordomo commands. Reply files are specialized messages such as welcome messages, confirmation messages, and so on. See "help format_files" and "help reply_files" for more information on which files are available. Restricting access to documents ------------------------------- Each command that has been discussed in this document (archive, faq, get, index, info, and intro) has a corresponding configuration setting that controls access to the command. For example, to learn more about restricting the archive command, see "help configset_archive_access". It is also possible to restrict any of these commands with the access_rules configuration setting. Any rules in the access_rules setting will override the settings that were mentioned in the previous paragraph. See "help configset_access_rules" for more details. See Also: help admin help admin_commands help admin_config help admin_delivery help admin_moderate help admin_monitor help admin_passwords help admin_subscribers help archive help configset_farewell help configset_farewell_files help configset_welcome help configset_welcome_files help faq help format_files help get help index help info help intro help newfaq help newinfo help newintro help put help reply_files This is the "admin_documents" help document for Majordomo 2, version 0.1201103110. For a list of all help documents, send the following command: help topics in the body of a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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