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Queen's University

Winter 2011 Newsletter


Let's start with a quiz!


Of the skills listed below, which ones are essential if your faculty, department or office wants to design, create and successfully distribute a high quality, professional looking, online email newsletter today?

  1. Graphics design HTML and CSS expertise
  2. Photoshop (or other) software
  3. Install/test all email clients of subscribers
  4. Motivation
  5. Test content against SPAM detectors
If you said, "only 4) Motivation", congratulations! With the upgrade of the Queen's mailing list server last summer, from LISTSERV version 15.0 to version 16.0, anyone with motivation can create and successfully distribute a quality online email newsletter. Below are some of the highlights of new and improved features of LISTSERV 16.0.



The most significant difference between the two versions is the prerequisite for LDAP support in LISTSERV 16.0.

According to the vendor, Lsoft International,

The inclusion of LDAP support permits LISTSERV to fully participate in "single-sign-on" (SSO) initiatives as well as allow list owners to take advantage of mail-merge based on LDAP data and dynamic queries.

The move of LISTSERV to an SSL-enabled (secure) server represented the most obvious change to list owners and subscribers by necessitating a change in the URL (from "http:" to "https:") to login and access the web interface. In addition to LDAP support, the upgrade also includes a number of exciting new features and enhancements. A few of these highlighted below.


  • Creating HTML Newsletters

It is no longer necessary to know HTML to design and create a newsletter-template307x.jpgquality HTML newsletter.  LISTSERV's  newsletter template gallery, displayed in the image to the right, contains over 20 selectable templates or newsletter editors can customize their own. Once a newsletter profile (with newsletter name, upload of a newsletter logo, etc.) has been completed and a newsletter template selected, creating an HTML newsletter is just a matter of filling in the content. Additional features include:

  1. HTML Editor: With JavaScript enabled, then the HTML Editor Mode button will be available on the Send Message screen. This button opens a WYSIWYG-style editor in place of the HTML source code text box. To preview the HTML newsletter, click on the Preview icon on the HTML Editor toolbar. The message will open in a new window, letting you preview the finished product.
  2. Storage for newsletter drafts (as you create and fine tune a final copy).
  3. The ability to test a newsletter with multiple email clients before sending a newsletter out to a mailing list.
  4. Deliverability assessment: Clicking on the Content Analysis button submits an email newsletter to a service (SpamAssassin)  that will evaluate and report back (for fine tuning) the likelihood that a newsletter will be rejected as SPAM by recipient host systems.

Additional information, including documentation and a newsletter tutorial are available off the Queen's Mailing List Services home page.

  • Updated Message Posting Interface

The message posting interface contains a number of enhancements, new features and advanced options. New features and options that are likely to be very popular include:

  1. The ability to save Drafts of email messages to return to later. Drafts are automatically deleted in 30 days.
  2. Schedule Delivery: When creating an email message, it is now possible to specify a specific Date and Time for delivery to a mailing list.
  3. HTML: The ability to type in HTML code; use the HTML Editor, or upload an HTML file from your PC along with any inline images. Using the Upload HTML applet will automatically check for errors in external links and images will be added as attachments.
  4. RSS Enhancements: Create explicit RSS abstracts, which can be HTML or text of any length, in the RSS Abstract Box. To use your text or HTML part in its entirety for the RSS abstract, click the Use as RSS Abstract icon; the content will be automatically copied into the abstract box.
  5. Attachments: Use the Browse button to attach files from your local drive to outgoing email.
  6. Testing a message: Clicking on the Content Analysis button submits the email to a service (SpamAssassin) that will evaluate and report back (for fine tuning) the likelihood that a message will be rejected as SPAM by recipient host systems. Clicking on the button Send test to self allows you to double-check that the message is rendered as you intended. If necessary, you can make adjustments to your message before posting it to the list.

  • New Mailing List Home Page Preferences (Archives)

In order to accommodate many of the new features available in LISTSERV 16.0, a number of new mailing list archive preferences have been implemented. In order to use these new preferences, the Pulldown Navigation option must be selected as the Navigation Style on the General Preferences tab. The new preferences include the Hovering Descriptions of message abstracts to be viewed when moving a mouse over the Subject of a list message (frequently a quick way to view any reply without having to click on the message); the display of the Latest messages sent to the mailing list and the ability to select how many messages to display on the mailing list home page. In addition, a Default View can be specified for multi-part messages containing HTML and text; the default is HTML.




For a more detailed description of the above new features and options, and view additional changes and enhancements, please view  the LISTSERV 16.0 What's New Manual.






Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6 613.533.2000