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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
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
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:



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:

  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

Unlike the get, put, and index commands, this setting considers relative
paths to be relative to the top-level "/" directory, so 
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

would cause the farewell message to be sent to
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 asks "How do I subscribe
to your mailing list," you could send the "help overview" document
to her with these commands:

   default user
   help overview

When 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:

  deny, reply="Only subscribers are not allowed to post messages."

  deny, replyfile="/subs_only.txt"

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".

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 get
   help index
   help info
   help intro
   help newfaq
   help newinfo
   help newintro
   help put

This is the "admin_documents" help document for 
Majordomo 2, version 0.1200401130.

For a list of all help documents, send the following command:
   help topics
in the body of a message to

For assistance, please contact the administrators.
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