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En réponse à Christophe Grandsire <[log in to unmask]>:

>
> They would make something up. No, there *is* a way to receive the list
> of
> members of the list, by sending "review CONLANG" at
> [log in to unmask]
> (in the body of the message, and with no title). I didn't check it
> myself, but
> if it doesn't work I think John could make it work with his Strange
> Powers.
> Now, the list changes probably everyday, but it should be possible with
> good
> programming to get the database to receive such a list and to refresh it
> for
> instance everyday. Since the list would be used only at the moment of
> the
> subscription itself, I don't think it would be that heavy.
>

OK, I just checked it, and it worked! I sent the command "review CONLANG by
NAME" (without quotes) to mailto:[log in to unmask], and received back
two mails, one with "Output of job..." stating that the command had been
processed, and one entitled 'File: "CONLANG LIST"' containing first some info
on the list itself, all those lines beginning with an asterisk *, and then the
list of subscribers, one per line, e-mail address first, with the name
afterwards when available. And at the end of the list after an empty line, the
amount of subscribers.

I think it could be very easy to set up an automatic system to get this list
daily and process it in the database, and use the e-mail address as a way to
check whether the person is on the Conlang list or not at subscription (NOMAIL
people are listed too). So putting the email address would be mandatory (with
the possibility of hiding it from the rest of the world of course).

As for Peter's explanation that he wants the database to be available for all
conlangers, it's a nice idea, but the original idea was to provide Conlang list
subscribers for a way to get info on one another (especially photos), and as
such is of interest mainly for us, not for all conlangers in the world. Still,
you're right that it would be probably a nice idea to authorise conlangers not
on the list to subscribe. So, what I propose is to use the list given by the
listserv as an automatic check on the e-mail address. If the person trying to
subscribe is *not* on the list, the subscription program would ask on a text
field the person to explain why s/he wants to be subscribed to this database,
and would send you this information, so that you can choose whether to allow
this person to subscribe or not (by sending him/her a password or something).
The advantage of this system is that whatever happens, you will never get to a
state where everyone has to send you an email to get subscribed, as most of the
time, it will be genuine list members who will try to subscribe, and those will
be automatically checked anyway. Laziness is a virtue remember? :)))

So, I don't think this should be such a difficult system (I guess you just need
an e-mail address subscribed to the list that the program will use, just like
Yahoo uses an address called [log in to unmask] to get a
copy of each conlang post in the Yahoo archive) and would provide a good (far
from perfect but probably good enough for our purpose) security. Of course, it
means discriminating between list-members and non-list-members, but since the
idea is of a database for *us* to know who we're talking to in our discussions
on the list, it's a discrimination which is reasonable.

Christophe.

http://rainbow.conlang.free.fr

It takes a straight mind to create a twisted conlang.