Intro to the GRASShopper lists [posted once a month]

grass-lists-owner at grass-lists-owner at
Fri Oct 1 07:00:02 EDT 1993


About the OGI GRASS Mailing Lists
Office of Grass Integration

[This document is sent out to the GRASS Users' Electronic Mailing List
 once a month as a reminder and introduction to the list manager

November 25, 1991

The Office of GRASS Integration has set up a service that will be of
interest especially to those GRASS users who have access to electronic mail.
We have set up two e-mail lists to foster communication between GRASS Users
and GRASS Programmers.  The lists work on the principle of "mail exploding"
-- a user mails a note to one address, and the computer at that address
"explodes" the letter, re-mailing it to everyone who subscribes to the
list.  Replies to the original letter generally go to the list as well (if
there is general interest in the answer), but can be directed solely to the
original author if desired.  Both lists are also automatically preserved in
an archive, and users may at any time request a file containing an archive of
list messages.

These lists exist to foster communication between parties interested in the
GRASS software; many CERL employees will participate in the lists, but on
an infrequent and informal basis.  The list will be maintained and stored
on CERL computers; however, CERL will not officially monitor the content,
intent, or accuracy of any messages that pass through the list.  The
point-of-contact for the list is:

	grass-lists-owner at

The list for GRASS users and friends is called "grassu" (short for
"GRASS users"), while the list for programmers and system-level users is
called "grassp" (short for "GRASS programmers").  Topics for discussion
on the |grassu-list| may include questions about various GRASS
applications, sources of (or reviews of) third-party support, and various
and sundry other experiences with GRASS.  |Grassp-list| topics will
include discussion of the algorithms and intricacies of current GRASS
programs, programming hints and ideas for new GRASS applications, and other
prorgrammer-oriented issues.  Note that the grassp-list is |not| the
best (nor even an appropriate) place to report suspected bugs in GRASS
code; the current <> program and correspondance with OGI are
the preferred problem-report procedures.

Accessing the mailing lists

Each mailing list has two addresses.  The first is the destination of
messages that should be "exploded" out to all subscribers.  This address
takes the form of

	grassu-list at

for the user's list, and

	grassp-list at

for the programmer's lists.{1}

{footnote1:These, and all other e-mail addresses in this article, are
provided in an "Internet-standard" format; different host computers might
require different specifications of the address.  The system administrator
at each site should be able to help if the addresses here do not work as

The other important address for each list is the destination of commands to
the list-management software (such as subscribe, unsubscribe, etc.).  They
should be sent to

	grassu-request at
	grassp-request at

as appropriate.  Multiple commands may be included in messages.  Commands
may be located in the subject line or in the body of the letter, but there
should be only one command per line.  Upper- or lower-case letters may be
used for commands, and they may be abbreviated to simply the first three
letters if desired.  All commands are acknowledged with return e-mail.

Commands that the server will accept are:


	This command mails back a copy of the list's help file from the
archive directory.


	This command "pings" the mailing list, causing a simple "I'm
alive" response to be returned.  This is a good way to check the list's
address, to check if the list is reachable from your machine, and to check
if the list is up and running.  This command is meant to be an alternative to
mailing a message to the everyone on the list asking "Is the list
working" and so forth.

SUBscribe [name]

	This command adds [name] to the mailing list.  The subscriber's
e-mail address is taken from the "From:" line of the subscription letter,
and this address is what is added to the list.  The [name] parameter is
optional -- it is used to specify the user's real name.  If [name] is
simply a dash (-), the WHO command (see below) will not display the
user's e-mail address in a list of subscribers.


 	This command removes the user's subscription from the list.
It relies on the "From:" field of the request letter.  If this address
does not match any name in the list, the software will notify the sender
and the CERL list-maintainer, who will resolve the problem by hand.

WHO [address]

 	If no [address] option is given, this command returns a sorted
list of list subscribers (minus all users who subscribed with the "-"
option).  If [address] is supplied, the software searches for a
user with that address and returns that user's name.


 	This command returns the mailing list's archive directory.
The primary purpose of this is to see which list-archive files are
available.  The list software will mail back a list of available files.

GET [file]

	This command returns the named [file] from the list's archive
directory.  Case and spelling are important; the name must |exactly| match
a file shown by the "DIR" command.  A message acknowledging the request
will be mailed to the user.

	If the file is short, the user will simply receive a copy of it
in mail.  For example, the command "GET LOG" (capitalization of "LOG" is
important) will cause the list-server to mail back a copy of the most
recent messages to the list (which are always stored in the file named

  	If the file is very long, the list server software will <uuencode>
the file and split it into several mail-sized chunks.  ("Uuencode" and
"uudecode" are common UNIX programs to encode files for e-mail transport.
The local computer must have the <uudecode> program in order to decode
these files.  The acknowledgement note will inform the user how many
chunks to expect, and each chunk will have a subject line that specifies
"filename: part X of Y".

Examples of List Usage

To "ping" the list (i.e. check that it is functioning and reachable from
your computer):

 Send a mail message to:

	grassu-request at

In the subject or the message body, type "PING" or "ping" or "pin"
(without the quotes; case is unimportant and only the first three letters of
commands are significant).  The list server will reply with a brief
"I'm here" message.  To ping the programmer's list, substitute "grassp"
for "grassu" in the address above.

To subscribe to one of the lists:

Send a mail message to either

	grassu-request at
	grassp-request at

with "subscribe [yourname]" in the subject or body.  Replace [yourname]
with your real name.  The list will add the e-mail address that it finds in
the "From:" field of your letter.


These two lists are provided by OGI as a service for the GRASS community; we
hope that they will prove to be useful resources.  We encourage you to try
several commands to experiment with the lists.  If there are any questions,
feel free to send mail to

	grass-lists-owner at

or contact the OGI by phone or mail.


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