Technical Support Coordinator, BAKA Computers
Although Maury Markowitz’s article on avoiding non-delivery notices (NDNs) on FirstClass systems (see TidBITS #199) has some useful suggestions, a bit more explanation might be in order so that FirstClass administrators can make educated decisions on what’s right for their systems.
- Expiry dates should be set such that the contents of a conference or folder won’t be unwieldy to the new user, but more importantly so that the conference won’t overflow. FirstClass has a limit of 1,024 items in a single conference, so if a mailing list or USENET newsgroup carries heavy traffic, it will fill up quickly, and messages beyond the limit will be rewarded with NDNs sent to the confused message senders. Allowing busy newsgroups’ messages to expire in a couple of days is appropriate. For low-traffic mailing lists such as the TidBITS distribution list, an expiry length of weeks or months is not unreasonable.
- Placing "Internet" and "Contributor" on the first line of the Permissions screen for an Internet conference is a good generalization, but won’t be suitable for every system. If your conferences, by default, allow unrestricted message posting, that’s plenty. If you wish to restrict posting at all, though, your Internet gateway must indeed have posting privileges explicitly assigned, and of course if your Internet gateway has a name other than "Internet" you must use the correct name. The permission list must go from highest privileges to lowest or no privileges.
- If a message comes to a FirstClass server from another FirstClass server that received it from the Internet, both the FirstClass gateway and the local Internet gateway (if the destination server has one) need posting privileges.
- Do indeed make sure you have a conference named "JunkNews" if you are using one of the PostalUnion gateways from Information Electronics. If you are using another gateway product, follow its instructions to accommodate incoming USENET news articles that have no place to go.
- Regardless of your gateway software, you should have a user, mailing list, or conference named "Postmaster" that receives messages sent to that address at your Internet site. (This is a network standard address for sending error reports or administrative messages to a site.)