Mailing List Importer

  1. Overview
  2. Setting Up
  3. Usage
  4. Caveats


The OAT Mailing List Importer allows you to subscribe to internet mailing lists from a custom TeleFinder BBS account and have the resulting mail messages converted into a TeleFinder-style topic area. This means that you can easily have a wide range of discussion topics available for your users to view.

Setting Up

The first stage in setting up the mailing list importer is to subscribe to the mailing list.

Step One

To do this, you must first create a special user account for the mailing list. It is recommended that you name all your mailing list users in a generic manner (eg prefix them with the word 'List'). Once this account is created, you must then send mail from that account to subscribe to the desired mailing list. For details on how to subscribe, see the instructions for a particular mailing list.

If you are using Mail Filtering, you may send mail from your normal BBS account but readdress it using the Mail Aliases feature, provided that your account is set up to allow any outgoing address (using an asterix [*] in the Mail Aliases configuration file).

Step Two

Once you have created your user account and subscribed to your mailing list, the mailbox for the user should begin collecting mail items that have come from the list.

The next stage is to tell OAT to begin converting these messages into a Topic file.

In order to tell OAT about your Mailing List users, you must add lines to the 'Mailing Lists' configuration file, found inside the Configuration Files folder in the OAT folder.

The first item on each line is the user name for your list. The second item (separated by a tab) is the name of the Topic file that should be created.

For example:

List Semperfi <tab> Apple Semper Fi
List Evangelist <tab> Evangelist
List Appledev <tab> Apple Developers
List Applescript User <tab> AppleScript Users
Note: there are no no spaces between each item and the tabs, the spaces above are purely aesthetic.

In the above, 'List Semperfi' is the name of the user that has been created in User Manager. The topic file for the 'List Semperfi' will be called 'Apple Semper Fi'.


Once OAT has begun importing mail messages, it will create and update the topic file. The topic file is created in the list user's mailbox. In order to make it available to your BBS users, you should place an alias to it somewhere in your BBS directory tree.


Messages posted to a OAT-managed topic file will not be sent back to the list.

In order to manage the size of the topic file, you should establish a Mail Server link to it and place a restriction on the number of messages allowed in the file.

An additional extra: if you wish, you can actually deliver messages arriving at the list to any BBS systems that call your system for TFNet email by sharing the topic as you would any other shared topic.

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