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Listupdate: a New Feature of the Listbox Service

  J. Casas and A. Taddei CN/DCI

We are offering a new feature with the Listbox service which allows lists to be automatically generated and/or automatically updated.

Automatically generated lists

There are two kinds of lists in the Listbox service. Lists may be managed by hand, (i.e. you and the users can add or delete entries in lists) or they can be automatically generated by preparing a selection criteria which will be used to automatically select entries from the Computer Centre DataBase, CCDB. You can typically have lists for groups, divisions, etc. This is done by setting a selection criteria in the list profile as, for example:

Selection Criteria: (division eq 'CN')
Note that this selection can be based ONLY on information stored in CCDB - the sort of information you can see with the xwho command. The list is refreshed daily.

If you want to create an automatically generated list, contact Listbox Support who will set up the selection criteria in the list profile.

Automatically updated lists

It is a fact that the e-mail address of a user may change with time. This is particularly relevant as users are moving out of CERNVM and AFSMAIL and therefore their mail addresses are changing more often in this period. For users registered in the CCDB and EMDIR databases, they can ``announce'' this change by updating their entry in CCDB/EMDIR.

In principle they should also update the addresses under which they subscribed to all their mailing lists. What usually happens is that users forget to do this and either the mail gets forwarded to its new destination via an inefficient route, accumulates unread at the old address, or is sent back to the list owner which is a real annoyance for the owner.

For lists managed by the CERN Listbox service, we allow the possibility to avoid some of these problems. If you want to enable this feature, you have to contact the Listbox Support and request the creation of a profile for updating a mailing list.

There are two options: one is to update only entries which match a certain pattern, typically generic addresses which end with the string ``''. The other one is to attempt to update all the entries that refer to the CERN domain. These updates can obviously only be made for users with e-mail addresses registered in the CERN CCDB. This operation is done on a nightly basis.

When there are faulty entries, a program will send you (list owner) the list of entries for which it believes that there is a problem.

Typical causes of errors are addresses:

For the errors that are detected:

read the error message carefully,
check all the entries in the mailing list for which this program gives a warning,
for each ``faulty'' entry check in xwho or via the ``Directories'' entry on the CERN home page on the Web to get the correct mail address,
edit the distribution list in AFS to correct the errors.

If you really still have problems, contact Listbox Support.

Using this update feature provides two more features:

Note: by default, lists are not updated - you have to request it. This allows you, if you wish, to update lists via your own database (for example, Atlas, CMS, etc. have their own databases and their own ways to maintain their data).

For more information contact:

next up previous
Next: Private News Groups Up: Mail Issues Previous: Listbox for Novices

Michel Goossens
CN Division
Tel. 73363
Fri Nov 07 10:08:07 METDST 1997