Important List Mechanics

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What you need to know about how the list works

Reply Warning: Mailman's reply option for the list as a whole is set to "reply to list." This means even if you tell your email program "reply to sender only" your message will still go to the whole list. The only way to reply to the original sender of a list message is to copy and paste that address into the "recipient" box.

Vacation Warning: Two conditions can result in your list mail delivery being disabled— putting you on "nomail". (When your delivery is set to nomail, messages are not held for you.)

1. If you don't retrieve your email from your ISP, and your mailbox there fills up, your service provider will bounce messages back to the senders. This commonly happens when people vacation.

On the ninth day Mailman gets a bounce message from your provider, it will disable delivery of messages to you.

2. If you set your system to automatically reply to messages with an "I'm gone" message, Mailman will query the managers what to do about it, and we will put you on nomail immediately, so your auto response doesn't create a loop that fills your mailbox and the UUBF-L's.

Please set your delivery option to nomail if you're going to use an auto response.

To get delivery back, you must turn off nomail yourself — by visiting Mailman's Member Configuration page (see below), or by sending an email command (below).

Changing Your List Options: there are two ways you can make changes in your relationship to the UUBF-L:

1. Go to the UUA Mailman site.

  • On the UUBF-L Info page you can
    • subscribe
    • post message to the UUBF-L
    • get to a list of subscribers
    • get to the Member Configuration page: go to the bottom of this UUB-L Info page, enter your email address, and press the "Unsubscribe or Edit Options" button.
  • On the Member Configuration page (accessible only from the UUB-L Info page) you can
    • unsubscribe
    • request a reminder of your password
    • change your password
    • change various other options
    • get a list of all UUA email lists you belong to (and from that page you can go to the Member Configuration page for each one of them)

2. Use email commands.

  • These were listed in the email message titled "Welcome to the UUBF-L mailing list" which you received when you first subscribed.
  • You can also get instructions for valid Mailman email commands by sending an email command (below).

Reading old messages in the archive:

  • Our list's archive is here.
  • To get in, you will need the password you were given when you joined the list (or what you have changed it to).
  • If you don't remember that, see "Changing your list options," above.


Email Commands

There are a number of commands you can send to the mailing list manager, Mailman.

Format of email commands

  • The address for commands is
  • Put the command word(s) in the subject line or in the body of the message.
    • Parameters in <angle brackets> are required
    • Parameters in [square brackets] are optional
  • Do not include the brackets themselves in the command.

The most important email commands

  • To subscribe to the mailing list: subscribe [password] [digest-option] [address=<address>]
    • If you enter one, you determine the password. If you don't, Mailman will give you one (which you can change).
    • You'll need your password to unsubscribe or change your options. Mailman will remind you of your password monthly.
    • [digest-option] may be either: [nodigest] or [digest]
    • If you wish to subscribe an address other than the address you send this request from, you may specify [address=<email address>]
  • To receive a reminder of you password: password
  • To disable mail delivery temporarily while you're on vacation (and to resume it): set <nomail> <on|off> <password>
  • To unsubscribe (sign off): unsubscribe <password> [address] Fill the [address] field to unsubscribe from a different address than the one you are writing from.
  • To get the instructions for valid email commands (all these and more): help (You were sent this when you subscribed.)

For more information: All this information is also available at The UUA Email List User's Guide.

More information

  • When you subscribed, you were sent these instructions, along with more details about commands you can send to Mailman to accomplish other changes. This information is also available at The UUA Email List User's Guide.
  • In addition there is one advanced Mailman feature available that's not mentioned there: the subscriber profile, where you can enter information about yourself to share with other members of the list. (This is accessible only to subscribers). To edit your profile or view other members' profiles, go to UUBF-L Subscriber Profile.

To Contact the List Managers: If you have a problem or question about this list or about your subscription, write to the list managers at .

If you have questions not answered in this Guide, try the UUA guidelines and policies for lists:

Or contact the UUBF-L co-managers, Bill, Catherine, Michelle and Sam at

UUBF-L :: A Code of Courtesy and Kindness :: Important List Mechanics