On Sun, 8 Dec 1996 12:44:23 -0800 (PST) James Cook <jcook @
>3. Is this kind of "management" of the delivery transport side of the
>equation a key part of Lsoft's products or other "high end" MLM's?
LISTSERV does not include a MTA (we do sell a MTA, LSMTP, but it is
technically a separate product, even if you bought the two as a package
and installed them together). When you set up LISTSERV, you indicate
where outgoing mail should be sent. This could be to LSMTP, or it could
be a local Linux box with sendmail, or a MTA run by your ISP, etc.
Perhaps I should clarify what the process Brent described does and does
1. It quickly FORWARDS the delivery chore to your ISP. This makes it a
very convenient way to run a list over dial-up (presumably the ISP's
machine has 24h uptime).
2. Your ISP bears the (resource/bandwidth) cost of actually delivering
the mail. This means you had better check with them beforehand unless
it is very little traffic, or they might just send you a bill.
3. It does not DELIVER anything. It may give the illusion of fast mail
delivery because the messages leave your machine quickly, but they are
just being moved around to the machine that will actually deliver
I'd like to insist on #2. When we developed the shareware version of
LISTSERV for Win95, all the beta sites were happily using their ISP's
machine for mail delivery. Well, most of them had one list of 10 people
with 5 postings a day, which is well within the amount of mail traffic
that an ISP can expect an active/enthusiastic user to have. But some of
them ran lists with nearly a thousand subscribers, and they were dumping
it all on the ISP. In very rough figures, we were talking 50k daily
deliveries offloaded to the ISP - for just ONE customer. A typical
sendmail server has a capacity of 100-200k/day. The potential for
overloading the server and impacting its other users was very real, and
at $19.95/month it is highly unlikely that the ISP's reaction would be to
buy more sendmail servers so that people can run more large lists. We
were in fact concerned about getting sued, so we configured the trial
copies to deliver all their mail through our machines (in a way that the
user cannot override until a registered copy is bought - this way *we*
bear the costs of the trial), and we also sold a cheap mail delivery
service to go with the shareware version.
>I'm thinking of Lost's LSMTP as I write this.
LSMTP actually delivers all the mail you send it, unless instructed
otherwise (you can set up special forwarding rules for certain domains,
etc). You don't need LSMTP to offload your deliveries to a third party's
server (LISTSERV can do that for you), and it would be false advertising
to publish delivery figures that turned out to be for tossing the hot
potato to a third server.