Email Discussion Lists

Email discussion lists can be created for any department-related purpose. Course lists are created and retired at the start and end of each semester, so each class starts fresh each year.

Each list is assigned an administrator who can tweak the many options that are available such as archiving, bounce processing, content filtering, and spam filters.

These options, and many more, are explained in the online documentation.

    Note about archiving:  Although rarely used, there is an option to have archiving turned off for a list.  This is something that can not be done by the list administrator, but must be done by one of the list masters (email problem with this request).  If we have turned off archiving for you it is possible, by mistake, for the list administrator to turn it back on.  If you edit anything on the admin/edit list config/archives page and then click "update" it will turn archiving back on.  If this happens just mail problem and we'll reset it for you. This is a know bug... You can tell if archiving is off if, on the page mentioned above, the "Web archives/access right" is set to (). 

The list server

The CS Department list server is http://lists.cs.brown.edu/.

To request a discussion list, visit http://lists.cs.brown.edu/ and log in (on the right and very top of the page) with your cs username or email address and LDAP password. Click on "Create List" and fill in the form (or send an email message to problem@cs.brown.edu).  Don't request course lists, mail problem instead.

You are your email address

To the list server, you are your email address.  Perhaps you forward your @cs.brown.edu email to your @brown.edu account, and you also have an @gmail.com account.  To the list server, those are three separate people.  You can subscribe to lists using any of the three, but you'll have to manage each address individually.

Unsubscribe vs No Mail Delivery

CS account holders automatically have their CS email address (which is forwarded to their Brown email or some other account of their choosing) automatically added to certain lists.  This is a feature within the department to ensure that certain communications can be sent to these restricted lists by Faculty and Staff.  For example, the Syspost, Announce and Course lists are set to have users subscribed to them without the user's interaction.  The downside to this being that if the user decides they no longer wish to receive messages from these lists, they cannot simply unsubscribe to stop the incoming messages.

If you have tried unsubscribing from a list, but you are still receiving emails, first check to make sure that you are unsubscribing the email address that is listed in the "To:" field of the message.  Most users find that they have registered both their CS and their Brown accounts on multiple lists and as such must unsubscribe both addresses in order to stop the incoming messages.

If you are sure you have unsubscribed the corresponding email address and yet are still receiving mail, then you are likely being added to that list automatically.  In that case you would need to log in at lists.cs.brown.edu and then choose the list that you are trying to stop mail delivery for from the list of lists you are subscribed to on the left side of the page. Then edit your Subscriber Options to have your Receiving Mode set to "No Mail".

Hint: If you log in, but do not see the list you are trying to mute listed on the left side of the page, then you are logged in using the wrong account/email. Check the "To:" field in the original message for the original recipient address the message was sent to.

Steps to mute a list you are subscribed to automatically:

  1. Log in at lists.cs.brown.edu with the email address that is receiving the messages
  2. Select to list from the list of lists on the left side of the page
  3. Select Subscriber Options from the menu on the left side of the page
  4. Choose "No Mail" from the drop down menu next to "Receiving Mode"
  5. Click update

If you've forgotten your password or continue to receive mail after following the steps above, please email problem@cs.brown.edu for further assistance.

Logging in with LDAP

The list server recognizes Brown CS people, and allows them to use their LDAP passwordto log in.  It does this when you log in in any of three ways:

If you forward your CS email to a non-Brown address, and you wish to use that address to subscribe to lists, then you'll have to set up a list server password as though you were a non-CS person.

Changing your email address

You can subscribe to CS lists using any email address (or addresses) you like.  You can also change your email address for all your list subscriptions from the preferences menu.  But note that if you switch from a CS address (as described in the previous section) to a non-CS address, then the next time you log into the list server, you will be prompted to create a new list server password - you will effectively be a new non-CS person.

Course lists

Because there are so many of them and because they are created and destroyed each semester, course lists are managed as a group by the technical staff.