Using the W3 mailing robot

This robot maintains the W3 mailing lists, and allows W3 documents to be retrieved on request.

You can subscribe or unsubscribe to any of the various WWW mailing lists by sending email to the robot "" -- see the commands listed below.

If you have any problems, requests or questions for a human being, mail "". Lists are:

Anyone interested in WWW, who would like information about new releases or new online data available. Please refrain from posting administrivia to this large list !
Developers of WWW code, or those interested in discussions of technical details
You can also find information on WWW (as well as many other things!) by telnetting to (no username, no password).

If you want to pick up the WWW software, then use anonymous FTP to and look in directory /pub/www. Subdirectories are src for the latest source packages, bin for executables for various machines, doc for "paper copies" of articles on WWW in PostScript and ASCII forms, and also the "WWW book" which is a compendium of the hypertext documentation of the project. To read the latest documentation, use WWW !


The commands understood by the listserv program are:
lists this file. This is also sent whenever a message to listserv is received from which no valid command could be parsed.
HELP groupname
lists a brief description of the group requested.
ADD listname
Add yourself to the list
DELETE listname
take yourself off the list
ADD address listname
Add yourself with a given mail address to the given list. The address must not contain spaces!
DELETE address listname
Remove the given name from the given list. For all ADD/DELETE commands, mail is sent to the address given to confirm the add or delete operation.
SEND document-address
returns a document with the requested W3 address.
Stop processing requests: ignore the rest of the message. Needed if you send a signature on the end of your message (or if some gateway adds one). If in doubt, use it.
A command must be the first word on each line in the message. Lines which do not start with a command word are ignored. If no commands were found in the entire message, this help file will be returned to you. A single message may contain multiple commands; a separate response will be sent for each.


add www-announce add www-announce delete www-talk send


If you are not sending mail from your preferred mail address, then you can use the second form of the command to give your mail address. If you are not on the internet, please convert your address into arpa stye. (For example, UK users please use international ordering Just speficy the mailbox, without any spaces.

If you omit the 'address' the command will assume the mailbox that is in the From: line of the message. Note that SUBSCRIBE is a synonym for ADD; UNSUBSCRIBE for DELETE.

Please note that is IS possible to add or delete someone else's subscription to a mailing list. This facility is provided so that subscribers may alter their own subscriptions from a new or different computer account. There is therefore some potential for abuse; we have chosen to limit this by mailing a confirmation notification of any addition or deletion to the address added or deleted including a copy of the message which requested the operation. At least you can find out who's doing it to you.

Note that although you would mail submissions to a mailing list by addressing mail to e.g.,, in a subscription request you specify the name of the list simply (without the @hostname part) as in the first example above.

Retrieving documents

The SEND command (or the WWW command which is equivalent) returns the document with the given W3 address, subject to certain restrictions. Hypertext documents are formatted to 72 character width, with links numbered. A separate list at the end gives the document-addresses of the related documents.

If the document is hypertext, it links will be marked by numbers in brackets, and a list of document addresses by number will be appended to the message. In this way, you can navigate through the web, albeit only at mail speed.

If you don't know where to start, try asking for one of for lists of futher pointers.


As the robot gives potential mail access to a *vast* amount of information, we must emphasise that the service should not be abused. Examples of appropriate use would be: Examples of INappropriate use would be: There is currently a 1000 line limit on any returned file. We don't want to overload other people's mail relays or our server. We reserve the right to withdraw the service at any time. We are currently monitoring all use of the server, so your reading will not initially enjoy privacy. End of cautionary note.


The W3 team at CERN (