Mailman Glossary

Last updated: January 23, 2024
Audience: StudentsInstructorsStaff

This information applies to: Old Mailman New Mailman

When a list is archived, you can view (and respond to in the new version of Mailman) messages sent to the list.

Some mail lists produce a lot of traffic, which can be a nuisance. To reduce the number of messages, Mailman provides an option called digest delivery. This option stores all of the messages that the list receives and sends them to you bundled together as one or more large messages every day.

List moderators manage list subscriptions and review postings, deciding whether posts should be sent to all subscribers. Moderators are optional and are assigned by the owners. Moderators do not have access to the administration pages and cannot make changes to configuration settings.

Each list must have an owner who is responsible for the configuration, maintenance, and operation of the list. The list owner may assign other owners and moderators. List owners can add and delete subscribers. List owners receive all moderation requests that moderators receive, so even with a moderated list, it is not necessary to specify a moderator. Each list must have at least one owner who is a current student, faculty, or staff member at the University of Washington. List owners are sometimes referred to as administrators.

A mail list is simply a collection of e-mail addresses that will be receiving mail messages on a particular topic. Every mail list has a list name and a list address. Mail lists are also sometimes referred to as “listserves.”

Nonmembers are people who have posted to the mailing list but are not subscribed to the mailing list. These may be legitimate users who have found the mailing list and wish to interact without a direct subscription, or they may be spammers. Many lists do not allow nonmembers to post messages.

A post is a message sent to a mailing list. People may also post (send) a message to a list.

The person who maintains the software that runs the lists.

A subscriber is someone who has subscribed to a list, receives messages posted to the list, and may also post messages for distribution to the list if permitted. A subscriber has no administrative power over list operation but can change a few of their own subscription settings.