Subject: Re: =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Mailing_List_Activation?=
To: Zafer Aydogan <>
From: der Mouse <mouse@Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 08/22/2005 11:02:45
> I just subscribed to a few NetBSD Mailing Lists and noticed that the
> subscribtion is done by replying a Mail.  Isn't this procedure too
> old-fashioned ? Usually you confirm your subscribtion by clicking a
> (http) Link.

I do?  "Usually"?  If I can't confirm by email, I don't confirm.  (I
also don't "click" HTTP links.)  Perhaps those just make me an old

One advantage of email confirmation is that if the confirmation mail
gets archived somewhere visible on the Web, then the various Web
spiders like google don't end up `confirming' the subscription.

I actually think that involvement with NetBSD correlates positively
(albeit not perfectly) with being old-fashioned in such ways.

> Another point is, that I get two Emails called "Majordomo Results"
> with really no useful content.  The confirmation and all needed
> information is coming with the welcome Email - whatfor the other ones
> ?

Majordomo likes to tell people what it did.  Most of the time this
isn't useful, because it did exactly what it was told to.  But it's
very useful when it does something the person didn't expect.

One could argue that majordomo's "here's what I did" mail should be
suppressed when, for example, the input is a subscribe request and the
response is the usual "your request must be confirmed" response.  But
quite aside from being a significant change to majordomo's established
behaviour, this kind of heuristic is rather brittle.  I'd much rather
return responses every time, even when they usually aren't wanted, than
sometimes return a response and sometimes not depending on a guess as
to what a human meant.  Software is almost notoriously bad at guessing
what humans mean....

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