Version 1.0 (alpha)
Copyright 1997 Johnny Be Good! Software
John R. Ashmun: jbg@kagi.com


Introduction

BLister is a shareware E-mail list server for the BeOS.

It works together with the BeOS's mail_daemon and People application program, and allows you to set up as many mailing lists as you like, each with as many subscribers as you like.


How To Get BLister

You can download BLister by clicking on this button, or, if it isn't yet available there, send me E-mail.


How To Get Ready To Use BLister

0.  Read everything on this page!

1.  Get a separate E-mail account for each list you're going to run, from your Internet Service Provider. For example, if you want to run a list for people who are, or are just interested in, the descendants of Daniel Boone, you might call it "Boone_List". The E-mail account for such a list might be Boone_List@some_isp.com. Keep track of the list's E-mail address and password for the next step.

2.  Use the People application to create a new Person file to represent each list. In the Name field of the People window, you should enter "Boone_List", or whatever your list is called. In the E-mail field, enter the E-mail address for the list. In the Nickname field, enter the list's E-mail password. Save the person file, as a "Person" named "Boone_List", or whatever your list is called.

3.  Now open your "home" folder, the "config" folder inside it, and the "settings" folder that's inside that. Create a new folder called "BLister" in the "settings" folder. (Note that both the B and the L must be capital letters!)

4.  Now open the BLister folder you just created, and for each list you're going to run, create a new folder by that name. For example, if you called your list "Boone_List", call the new folder "Boone_List", too.

5.  Open the "people" folder that's in your "home" folder, and for each list "Person" that you created in step 2, create a link to it in the /boot/home/config/settings/BLister/List_Name folder that you just created in step 4.


How To Run BLister

Simply double-click on the BLister icon. BLister will run in the background, checking for incoming mail for each of your E-mail lists, sending out whatever comes in to each list's subscribers, and then going to sleep for a minute before repeating those steps. If you prefer to have BLister sleep for a different amount of time between its processing of your lists, then in a Terminal window, enter:

Your_Path_Name/BLister interval&

where Your_Path_Name is the absolute path name of the folder where BLister resides on your system and interval is the number of seconds you want BLister to sleep each time. (If you choose an interval less than ten seconds or greater than a day's worth, BLister will silently use 60 seconds, keeping its opinion of your choice to itself.)

For example, on my system, BLister is in /boot/home/PR/BLister, so to have BLister sleep for 5 minutes each time it goes to sleep, I enter:

/boot/home/PR/BLister/BLister 300&


How To Subscribe And Unsubscribe People

To subscribe someone, use the People application program to create a Person file for the person. Be sure to fill in the E-mail field accurately. Then create a link from the Person file for the new subscriber in /boot/home/config/settings/BLister/List_Name, just as you did for the list itself in step 5 under "How To Get Ready To Use BLister". (If a person is already a subscriber to one or more lists, of course, all you have to do is to create another link to their Person file in the list's folder.)

To unsubscribe someone from a list, move the link in /boot/home/config/settings/BLister/List_Name to the Trashcan. (You probably won't want to remove their Person file from /boot/home/people - it may be needed to maintain their subscriptions to other lists, for instance.)


If You Thought The BeOS Isn't Ready To Support Servers...

To a degree, that's still true - you probably won't want to do personal E-mail on a system that's running BLister. The reason, though, is only that a server program like BLister can't yet let the mail_daemon know that it would like to use a separate POP account, as distinguished from your personal account, so it is forced to override the configuration you may have set up via the E-mail preferences application. From the E-mail API design, it appears that Be intends to support multiple POP accounts before long. If this seems to be a big problem for you now, send me a message - there are things that we can do to support personal E-mail without interference from E-mail lists.


Coming Attractions

Automatic subscribing and unsubscribing via E-mail.
Concurrent personal and list E-mail operations.


Credits

Chuck Norem pointed out lots of things I kept forgetting, such as the existence of the Network Kit documents in the DR8 version of the Be Book, and revealed lots of things I didn't know, such as where to find the E-mail RFC's.

My designing wife, Joanna Ashmun, (http://www.halcyon.com/jmashmun ), turned this page from a sketch to a document in a jiffy, while showing me how to create a presentable logo as well.


For Johnny Be Good!
John R. Ashmun
December, 1997
jbg@kagi.com