Miscellaneous : NGONUT administration
attachments to emails Rachel Pinniger 03.02.98
Re: attachments to emails Michael Golden 05.02.98
controversial messages Michael Golden 01.09.98
Appologies from Aberdeen Michael Golden 02.11.98
BUG - problems! Michael Golden 24.11.98

From: Rachel Pinniger pinnigeratumn.mos.com.np

Date: Tue, 3 Feb 1998 08:06:35

Subject: Ngonut: attachments to emails


Its great to read all the messages but please note that attachments can NOT be received ie it costs LARGE amounts to receive them, they jam the system completely so that nothing else can be received and the message itself is unreadable when it does come! Others may also be in the same situation so I (we?) would be grateful if any info can be put into the main text of the email. Thankyou.

Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 10:30:49 +0000

From: Michael Golden <refugeesatabdn.ac.uk>

Subject: Re: Ngonut: attachments to emails


Dear Rachel,

Yes, there are others in this situation! With the new software now being used, I've configured it so that any message of over 20,000 characters (which includes virtually all attachments) will be bounced to me for editing rather than posted directly to the list. I've also configured it so that only those on the list can post directly to the membership, and that automated responses (such as "I am out of office to next week") are not posted to everyone, and error messages are trapped and sent to me rather than being returned to the sender of a message.

I hope that this helps and that the problems some have had in the past no longer occur (smile).

Anyone can now obtain a copy of the addresses of those on the list (not yet the names, unfortunately, I'm working on this) by sending a message to << majordomoatabdn.ac.uk>> and putting in the body of the message the text


who ngonut



Similarly, you can get a copy of the list "introduction", "information" and "help" files by putting in the body of the message to majordomoatabdn.ac.uk

intro ngonut

info ngonut


I am now also working on a system whereby messages are "collected together" over a period of time and then sent out as a "digest" periodically (say once per week or every two weeks) for those that want this service rather than an "on line" service. This should really help those who have to pay for messages in isolated places as the number will be restricted. It requires creating a separate list and transferring people to the new list "ngonut-digest" - but this is not yet set up, sorry to take so long.

Prof. Michael H.N.Golden

Date: Tue, 01 Sep 1998 13:15:02 +0100

From: Michael Golden <refugeesatabdn.ac.uk>

Subject: Ngonut: ngonut controversial messages


I have from time to time received "complaints" from senior colleagues who disagree strongly with some of the statements made on ngonut - and are very worried that such comments would go unchallenged to the field and affect programs in a way the complainant would not wish to see. I have thus been asked to "police" all messages and only pass on ones that are un-contentious.

I will not do this.

1) I do not control the messages that go out - anyone on the list can post to everyone. Some are intercepted unintentionally because the sender just clicks the <reply> button so it comes to me at <owner-ngonutat...> instead of being broadcast to nognut.

2) If a controversial message is posted it is better for it to come out in this informal forum where we all have the opportunity to rebut it immediately and to exactly the same audience than in other ways.

3) If such a person is indeed wrong then it is important that this be corrected both for themselves and for those whom they will inform in other fora where the chance to rebut from other experts is not usually present.

4) There are plenty of capable people on the list - I usually try to refrain from commenting myself unless I think that I probably do know better than most others, or I anticipate that there will be a lot of naive replies that should be deflected. (It would be far to easy for ngonut to become dominated by myself).

5) There are two types of message - the question asked and the answer given. The question can be totally naive, but the answer should not be.

The list depends absolutely, for its "policing of answers", upon All Those Who Disagree with the opinion giver, to say so loudly, rapidly, informally and without fear. (I will post anonymous messages if the person does not want "their agency" to be associated with the rebuttal - but I may edit and chose those anonymous messages to post.) The great value of this list is that the "expert answer" is given in public where others can see what is being suggested and have the opportunity to disagree! This is unlike most expert opinion which is given on a one-to-one basis, shielding the expert from dissent and where the requesting agency/person does not really know if the opinion is generally held and supported by evidence, or simply a quirky idea/ misinterpretation of that "expert". Indeed, there is an argument for all advice to be requested and given in this sort of open way with automatic second and third opinions where the subject is controversial.

6) the list is not really meant for those who have insufficient background to follow a debate on these issues and decide whose position is most cogent, even in areas where they are not themselves technically expert.

7) this means that senior people and experts have to stay on the list, if only to stop incorrect statements from going unchallenged and affecting programs as well as concepts; knowledgeable & wise informal opinions and records of experience, that are not usually published in formal research journals, are what makes the list so valuable - I hope that unwise statements will not go unchallenged, no matter who issues them. If there is not an real expert for a particular topic on the list, then if you know of one please get his opinion on the ngonut message and post that opinion to the list - or, better still, recruit that person to ngonut so that we can have the continuing benefit of their expertise.


Prof. Michael H.N.Golden

Date: Mon, 02 Nov 1998 10:03:57 +0000

From: Michael Golden <refugeesatabdn.ac.uk>



There has been a bug in the system over the weekend which has resulted in multiple batches of messages being sent out to ngonut.

I am VERY sorry about this, particularly for those of us that pay to receive messages! If anyone is very much "out of pocket" please let me know and I will try and help.

Again sorry for the terrible inconvenience.

Mike Golden

Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 16:54:36 +0000

From: Michael Golden <refugeesatabdn.ac.uk>

Subject: Ngonut: BUG - problems!


First let me apologise again for the multiple messages that were sent out - one member remarked, when this message was duplicated many times that I should stop apologising and stop the messages coming.

The situation is this:

1. There have been several changes made to the way the list runs, but as the fault was intermittent, the computer engineers are not absolutely certain that it is corrected! Similar problems have been reported before with majordomo software and large international lists, on the majordomo bulletin board - so we do not seem to be unique - the vendors of the program are aware of the bug.

2. I have suspended all those who requested to that this be done - and if anyone else would be embarrassed by a plethora of messages then I will certainly suspend them on request.

3. We have re-opened the list today - and will watch very closely to see if any of the messages are reduplicated. If they are then I will immediately suspend ngonut again.

4. If the problem recurs then we will move the list to another server in England that runs academic lists (Mailbase) - but will not do this unless there is a problem

5. After a time, if the problem does not recur, I will add all those who have been suspended-on-request back to the list.

A number of interesting messages have come in whilst we were suspended and they will be posted to the list in the next few days, when we see that it is working again properly!

For those who have tried to contact the list - you will have received a non-deliverable message - there is no need to resend your message we should have copies of them.

Again thank you for you indulgence over this time - I hope the millennium bug is easier to deal with (smile).

Best wishes

Mike Golden