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Encyclopedia > LISTSERV

LISTSERV is the first electronic mailing list software application. [1] An electronic mailing list, a type of Internet forum, is a special usage of e-mail that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. ... An electronic mailing list, a type of Internet forum, is a special usage of e-mail that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. ...


LISTSERV email list management software, 1986-

LISTSERV is the first email list management software product. Prior to LISTSERV, email lists were managed manually. To join or leave a list, people would write to the human list administrator and ask to be added or removed, a process that only got more time-consuming as discussion lists grew in popularity.

LISTSERV was freeware from 1986 through 1993 and is now a commercial product developed by L-Soft, a company founded by LISTSERV author Eric Thomas in 1994. [2] A free version limited to 10 lists of up to 500 subscribers each can be downloaded from the company’s web site.rossz


In 1986, Eric Thomas invented the concept of an automated mailing list manager; that year, while a student in Paris, he developed the software now known as LISTSERV. [3] The early software features developed by Thomas included the capability to send commands to LISTSERV to join or leave a list without the need for human administration, as well as the concept of a list owner (other than the system administrator) who could add or remove subscribers, edit templates for welcome messages and other system messages. Among other innovations, LISTSERV introduced double opt-in in 1993 and the first spam filter in 1995.fcvgfr [4]


LISTSERV is a registered trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office [5] and the Swedish Patent and Registration Office, PRV [6]. As such, using the word "listserv" to describe a different product or as a generic term for any email-based mailing list of that kind is a trademark misuse. The standard generic terms are electronic mailing list or email list for the list itself, and email list manager or email list software for the software product that manages the list. [7] The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO or USPTO) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides patent and trademark protection to inventors and businesses for their inventions and corporate and product identification. ... PRV may refer to: Polycythaemia rubra vera PRV engine, an automobile engine Pressure relief valve Progressive Response Vehicle, Typically white Ford vehicles used by Progressive Insurance Co. ...


The integrated F-Secure Anti-Virus system in LISTSERV software scans every message and attachment posted to a mailing list for viruses. LISTSERV is the first and so far the only email list software providing such built-in virus protection. If a virus is detected, the message is automatically rejected. [8] The user interface for F-Secure Anti Virus 2006. ... Anti-virus software consists of computer programs that attempt to identify, thwart and eliminate computer viruses and other malicious software (malware). ...

Through version 15.0, individual user passwords were stored cleartext and available to users who are listed as Site Managers or "Postmasters" in the application configuration. Passwords are encrypted since version 15.5.


LISTSERV is available in several licensing options: LISTSERV Free Edition for non-commercial hobby use, LISTSERV Lite for smaller workloads, LISTSERV Classic the standard, full-featured version, LISTSERV HPO (High Performance Option) and LISTSERV Maestro (for customized and targeted email publishing and reporting).

Supported operating systems

LISTSERV is currently available for and supported on Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, AIX, Mac OS X, OpenVMS, HP-UX, Tru64, VM and Microsoft Windows (XP, 2000, and 2003). This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... Solaris is a computer operating system developed by Sun Microsystems. ... FreeBSD is a Unix-like free operating system descended from AT&T UNIX via the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) branch through the 386BSD and 4. ... AIX (Advanced Interactive eXecutive) is the name given to a series of proprietary operating systems sold by IBM for several of its computer system platforms, based on UNIX System V. Before the product was ever marketed, the acronym AIX originally stood for Advanced IBM UNIX. The latest scalable AIX 5L... Mac OS X (pronounced ) is a line of graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... OpenVMS[1] (Open Virtual Memory System or just VMS) is the name of a high-end computer server operating system that runs on the VAX[2] and Alpha[3] family of computers developed by Digital Equipment Corporation of Maynard, Massachusetts (DIGITAL was then purchased by Compaq, and is now owned... HP-UX (Hewlett Packard UniX) is Hewlett-Packards proprietary implementation of the Unix operating system, based on System V (initially System III). ... Tru64 is HPs (formerly Compaq; formerly DEC) 64-bit UNIX for the Alpha AXP platform. ... VM is an early and influential virtual machine operating system from IBM, apparently the first true virtual machine system. ... Windows redirects here. ...

Historic reference -- BITNIC LISTSERV, 1984-1986

A program that allowed mailing lists to be implemented on IBM VM mainframes was developed by Ira Fuchs, Daniel Oberst, and Ricky Hernandez in 1984. This mailing list service was known at LISTSERV@BITNIC and quickly became a key service on the BITNET network. It provided functionality similar to a Sendmail alias and was managed manually (sendmail was not available on IBM mainframes at the time). After the release of Thomas’ LISTSERV in 1986, LISTSERV@BITNIC was enhanced to provide automatic list management, but was abandoned a few months later when BITNIC installed Thomas’ LISTSERV. [9] For other uses, see IBM (disambiguation) and Big Blue. ... For other uses, see Mainframe. ... BITNET was a cooperative U.S. university network founded in 1981 under the aegis of Ira Fuchs at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Greydon Freeman at Yale University. ... Sendmail is a mail transfer agent (MTA) that is a well known project of the open source, free software and Unix communities, which is distributed both as free software and proprietary software. ...

Contemporaneously, North Carolina State University had been given a copy of the BITNIC code to run on their mainframe (LISTSERV@NCSUVM). This was actually a modified version of the code with improvements from Alan B. Clegg. NCSU switched to Thomas’ LISTSERV in 1986. Other than their name, BITNIC’s and Thomas’ products are unrelated. Neither product is based on the other product’s code. [10] North Carolina State University is a public, coeducational, extensive research university located in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States. ...


  1. ^ Unedited archives of LSTSRV-L, LISTSERV site administrators' forum, July 1986-
  2. ^ CV of Eric Thomas
  3. ^ History of the Internet - 1986
  4. ^ LISTSERV product history timeline
  5. ^ LISTSERV Trademark Registration at USPTO
  6. ^ PRV, the Swedish Patent and Registration Office
  7. ^ LISTSERV trademark information
  8. ^ Costello Sam. "E-mail lists get virus protection", CNN.com, Sci-Tech, October 30, 2001
  9. ^ BITNET Network Information Center announcement by Judith Molka on the NODMGT-L List, January 7, 1987
  10. ^ History of LISTSERV@BITNIC and LISTSERV email list management software, 1985-1995

See also

Majordomo is an open source mailing list manager (MLM) developed by Great Circle Associates. ... The term massively distributed collaboration was coined by Mitchell Kapor, in a presentation at UC Berkeley on 2005-11-09, to describe an emerging activity of wikis and electronic mailing lists and blogs and other content-creating virtual communities online. ... GNU Mailman is a computer software application from the GNU project managing electronic mailing lists. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
User FAQ (1591 words)
However, the listserv software doesn't do decoding for the archives, which is why it appears scrambled.
Any subscriber to the list can send in a listserv command to receive the posting as an email, and then let their email program decode it.
The listserv will then resend that post to the person who requested it, and when it arrives, their email reader should be able to decode it.
The Resource Center: Listservs (1982 words)
Inclusion of information in a listserv message should not be construed as an endorsement by the Corporation of that information, the person submitting it, or the material submitted.
National service programs are encouraged to use this listserv to seek technical assistance advice and to problem-solve with peers around common issues and challenges that affect the quality of inclusive national service programs.
This listserv is a forum for Corporation-funded programs and schools to discuss tutoring, literacy and other issues relevant to operating an America Reads program.
  More results at FactBites »



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