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An automatic mailing list server, initially written to run under IBM's VM operating system by Eric Thomas.
Listserv is a user name on some computers on BITNET/EARN which processes electronic mail requests for addition to or deletion from mailing lists. Examples are firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Some listservs provide other facilities such as retrieving files from archives and database search. Full details of available services can usually be obtained by sending a message with the word HELP in the subject and body to the listserv address.
Eric Thomas, has recently formed an international corporation, L-Soft, and has ported Listserv to a number of other platforms including Unix. Listserv has simultaneously been enhanced to use both the Internet and BITNET.
Two other major mailing list processors, both of which run under Unix, are Majordomo, a freeware system, and Listproc, currently owned and developed by BITNET.