Since June 25, 1998 the Viola Mailing List officially stopped calling itself part of the Internet Viola Society. There's no hard feelings with Jan Henkins, former Internet Viola Society webmaster (who has left the mailing list for some time, citing busy work load) and Sean Udal, founder of Internet Viola Society. It simply reflects the fact that the list has not been administered by Internet Viola Society for some time.
The first Viola Mailing List was part of the Internet Viola Society. The Society was founded by Sean Udal in June 1995, and its Viola Mailing List was created in August 1995. Sean maintained the mailing list and web site. Some time later Jan Henkins took over the task of maintaining the Internet Viola Society.
The mailing list owned by Sean was experiencing two major problems: (1) some people were involuntarily subscribed to the list and threatened legal action if not removed from the list, (2) it was not possible to unsubscribe due to "system maladministration" [by Rhodes University's system administrator], in the words of Jan Henkins, who maintained the list along with Sean.
I offered to create a new mailing list to replace the old one:
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997 15:47:48 -0800 (PST) From: Allan
To: Viola Mailing List Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: New Mailing List planned Hi, It seems that Sean and Jan and others involved in maitaining this mailing list are not able to unsubscribe people due to problems with the list server. Since I found out recently that I have the resources to start a mailing list, I thought perhaps we can move this list to my list server so that we can solve this problem of being unable to unsubscribe. I will start this mailing list if our current problem persists. Please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions; please do not write to the list as it may potentially generate a lot of unwanted e-mail to subscribers, some of whom are involuntarily subscribed to this list. I will soon post the list server address where people can write to instead of email@example.com. I am also willing to donate my web space to host the Internet Viola Society web site. Everyone on this list is invited to join the new mailing list as well as to help maintain it! Allan _____________________ firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.viola.com/
The next two days I received some very enthusiastic responses, including the blessings of Sean Udal and Jan Henkins. I began to feel pressure building--hope nothing goes wrong!
On Sat, 11 Jan 1997 00:36:22 -0800 (PST), I received confirmation that the new mailing list is working.
Then I posted this message to the old mailing list:
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 1997 03:43:45 -0800 (PST) From: Allan
To: email@example.com Subject: New Mailing List Successfully Created Hi, Good news for everyone--the new mailing list is now working! Please follow the directions carefully: (all commands are in lower case) To subscribe to the list, send e-mail to 'firstname.lastname@example.org' with the word 'subsingle' alone in the body of the message. To subscribe to the digest-version of the list, use the 'subscribe' command instead of the 'subsingle' command. Note that digests are sent from 'email@example.com'; it's not a mistake. To post to the list, send email to 'firstname.lastname@example.org'. To receive the help file, email a message to 'email@example.com'. The body of the message should contain a single line, left justified, containing the keyword 'help' in lower case. To subscribe someone else, put the email address after the command 'subsingle' or 'subscribe'. e.g. subsingle email-address or subscribe email-address The person will be sent an email asking him or her to acknowledge the subscription before that person is actually added to the list. The person can simply ignore the email if he or she does not want to be on the list. Look forward to hearing from you! Allan _____________________ firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.viola.com/
As well as this message, which didn't seem to make it to some members of the old mailing list:
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 1997 03:53:07 -0800 (PST) From: Allan
To: email@example.com Subject: How to unsubscribe Hi, To unsubscribe to the current list, do nothing. This list will soon be terminated, all continuing members should subscribe to the new list and stop posting to 'firstname.lastname@example.org' and thereby solve your problem of receiving unsolicited e-mail. Allan _____________________ email@example.com http://www.viola.com/
That was the beginning of the new viola mailing list!