[P1] The Digest Lives and the digi-cams have their own loop

Simon G. Trask simon at simbiosis.com
Wed Aug 4 13:23:48 PDT 2004

At 5:31 PM -0700 2/8/04, Jill Whenmouth wrote:
>The digi-cam
>list sent him a message, his auto reply responded, and .... yup, been there,
>done that... suddenly the messages were Pouring in... someone counted
>700+...   Just like saturday with  Jim! (Will we ever forget when Jim's
>vacation ends?)
>I don't remember this having happened before... and now it happens twice in
>three days... right in the midst of the macintoshguy's server doing its own
>Should we start looking for conspiracy theories?

Actually it's surprising this sort of thing doesn't happen more 
often. For one thing, mailing lists bring together people with a 
range of technical capabilities (or incapabilities!). There again, as 
the Jim affair showed, even technically adept people can mess up.

Poor people design is a given ;) Poor software design, on the other 
hand, is less excusable. Good software design - and especially good 
list software design - should attempt to take into account the 
vagaries of people - who, accidentally or otherwise, will always do 
things they're not 'meant' to do.

If a bit more thought had gone into the list software design, we 
needn't have been deluged with Jim's emails. All it needs is for the 
software to have a rule built in which detects that sort of thing, 
then stops forwarding the received messages on to the list and 
unsubscribes the person. A one-off message could be sent to the 
offending (ex) subscriber explaining why they were unsubscribed and 
providing instructions for resubbing to the list - when they're back 
off holiday, for example!


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