|Original:||February 2, 2001|
|Updated:||February 10, 2001|
The messages from the AMSAT-BB and SAREX mailing lists are now available on the web!
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.
* 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 "firstname.lastname@example.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.
* A new message will appear on the archive of the last 48 hours within a few minutes of being accepted for posting to the mailing list. The larger archives are updated once per day. So, if you need to catch up on the last week's messages, read the 10-day archive and then look at the end of the 48-hour archive.
* 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 other public mailing lists will probably be added eventually.
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, email@example.com. 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.
Feedback to KB5MU.