L-Soft also markets a “Lite” version of Listserv (the full version is called “Classic”). The Lite flavor is free for noncommercial use for 10 mailing lists with up to 500 subscribers each; beyond that, a pricing scheme applies. Among its limitations, the Lite version lacks some of the advanced management features of the Classic, such as spam filters, per-list templates, and database support.
Like ListProc and unlike Majordomo, Listserv is a full-sized monolithic application. Unlike ListProc, Listserv does not include source code but rather precompiled binaries, even for Unix platforms. Also unlike ListProc and Majordomo, Listserv is available and easily installed on Windows machines in addition to those sporting Unix.
In addition to real-time and digest delivery, Listserv supports Web-based list archives with sophisticated searching and an “index” delivery mode, which is similar to the periodic summaries of a digest mode, except without full message bodies (these can be retrieved on demand).
Windows installation does, like its Unix counterparts, require a number of prerequisites. L-Soft notes that the user must have administrator privileges and strongly recommends running Listserv from an NTFS formatted partition. Configuration of Listserv under Windows is begun with an amenable graphical interface from which the user can set up vital data, as well as advanced features, including a Web-based searchable list archive.
Listserv also provides Web-based tools for subscribers, making it easy for individuals to point and click to subscribe to available lists and make choices, such as which delivery mode to use.
For list owners, there is a list management Web interface through which owners can manage subscriber information, modify the layout and appearance of the subscriber Web interface, and execute batch (or bulk) operations, for example adding or removing lists of subscribers.
Server administrators can use Listserv’s Web-based administration page to modify sitewide issues, including creating new lists and default Web templates for all lists.
Listserv’s heavy reliance on Web-based access for nearly all management tools makes it very amenable to remote administration, whether from a server admin several floors down or a list owner on another continent. On the other hand, Listserv relies on an external Web server (e.g., Microsoft IIS or Apache) to serve the administration functions, and L-Soft recommends that the Web server and Listserv server run on the same machine. This may raise resource or security concerns in certain environments.
L-Soft also provides an outsourcing service for Listserv through which the vendor will host a customer’s list server. The organization can manage Listserv remotely via Web-based administration tools. Outsourcing, while an added cost, can entirely relieve an organization of having to install and maintain a server for its mailing lists.
|Platforms Supported||Unix-based systems, VMS, VM, Windows NT/2000, Windows 95/98/ME|
|Status||Commercialware: Downloadable evaluation version available; a “Lite” version is also available, with a feature subset, free for small list volume; prices go up to $2,000 for heavier list volumes|