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AMSAT-BB on the Web



The messages from the AMSAT-BB mailing list are now available on the web!

See http://www.amsat.org/amsat/archive/amsat-bb/index.html.

Indexes by date, by thread, and by author are available. Archives of the 
current messages for several convenient periods are available, and monthly 
archives going back to February 1998 too.

If you have to unsubscribe from the mailing list for a while, you can catch 
up on what you missed by browsing the web archives. You may even find the 
web archives easier to use than the mailing list itself.

A few things to be aware of:

* If you unsubscribe from the mailing list and rely exclusively on the web 
pages, the system will no longer recognize you as a subscriber. That means 
if you post a message to the list, it will be held for manual review before 
it goes out. This could cause a long delay, but it helps prevent unwanted 
commercial messages ("spam") from going out to the mailing list. (I hope to 
have an automated solution for this soon.)

* The actual email addresses from the message headers are hidden in the web 
archives. For instance, instead of "kb5mu@amsat.org", the header shows 
"kb5mu@xxxxxxxxxxx". This is to make it more difficult for spammers to 
harvest everyone's email address from the web pages. It is not completely 
effective, however, since the real email addresses often appear in the 
message text, where it cannot easily be filtered out. You can't reply to a 
message from the web archives without puzzling out the user's real email 
address on your own.

* The archive contains everything. It has not been filtered manually for 
off-topic posts or even for offensive posts. You might find it easier to 
skip over the discussions that don't interest you, but they will still be 
in there.

* This service will be much more useful with a search engine. That's 
definitely coming. Soon, I hope.

* Be aware that a bookmark or saved URL to a message page in any of the 
"current messages" archives will have a limited lifetime. When the message 
expires from that archive, your bookmark or saved URL will no longer be 
valid. Worse, if the archive should need to be rebuilt, your bookmark may 
actually point to a different message!

* The index by threads (that is, by new subjects and all the replies with 
the same subject) is the default index you get when you enter from the 
archive home page, because it's the coolest. If you look at the web pages 
very frequently, you might find the index by date more useful, since all 
the new messages will be at the bottom. You can bookmark any of these index 
pages safely.

* Currently, a new message will appear on each of the "current messages" 
archives within a few minutes of being accepted for posting to the AMSAT-BB 
mailing list. This places some load on the server, so we may have to fall 
back to hourly updates at some point in the future.

* Don't forget that your web browser probably holds web pages in a local 
"cache" memory. If you look at one of the pages and think it might not be 
current, hit the "Refresh" button on your browser's toolbar to update your 
view.

* Web pages for the SAREX mailing list will be added soon, followed by web 
pages for the other public mailing lists.

The web pages are created and maintained automagically by MHonArc, an 
excellent, free, open source software package. See 
http://www.oac.uci.edu/indiv/ehood/mhonarc.html for more info on MHonArc.

Please send your comments on the new service to me, kb5mu@amsat.org. If 
there's an additional index or some change to the way the system works that 
would make it more useful to you, please let me know.

73  -Paul
kb5mu@amsat.org

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