Real Analysis List
Frequently Asked Questions

by Lee Larson 5-March-05

As the caretaker for the real analysis list, I get many questions about the list by private email. (In fact, I get more questions by private email than messages posted to the list itself!) This is my attempt to answer some of them before they are sent. Below is general information about things related to the real analysis list, as well as some information of interest to the real analysis community. I plan to keep this information up to date, and I will post the latest copy of this message to the list at the beginning of every month. In addition, a recent version is always available at the WWW address

http://www.math.louisville.edu/~lee/rae/rafaq.html

If there is anything not included below which you feel should be included, tell me about it.

The questions which are new, or have answers differing from last month's version are marked with a * preceding the number.

  • *(01) How do I post a message?
  • *(02) How do I remove myself from the list?
  • (03) What topics are appropriate for this list?
  • (04) Why am I not receiving messages from the list?
  • (05) How do I subscribe?
  • (06) How do I get the LaTeX style files for the Real Analysis Exchange?
  • (07) How can I read messages which were posted to the list months ago?
  • [01] How do I post a message?

    To post a message to the real analysis discussion group, just send an
    ordinary email message to real-analysis@e-math.ams.org. This message will
    be automatically distributed to all 300+ subscribers. Only subscribers are
    allowed to post messages, so be sure to send the message from the same
    email address you use to receive messages from the list. If the return
    address on the message is not in the subscriber list, the message will be
    rejected.

    There are a few nuances to posting that are sometimes nuisances.

    First, the list management software, Majordomo, is set to look for certain key words in the subject of messages to avoid administrative commands being posted to the list. These include words such as subscribe and unsubscribe. Messages posted with these key words in the subject are likely to be rejected.

    Second, only those subscribed to the list may post to the list. All other messages are rejected. The way Majordomo determines membership is from the sender's e-mail address. So, if you want to post to the list, you should probably send the message from the same account at which you receive mail from the list. (Or set you mail software to have an appropriate return address.)

    An interesting fact is that I get many more messages asking me how to post
    to the list than actual messages which appear on the list.

    [02] How do I unsubscribe?

    Send email containing only the one line in the body

    unsubscribe real-analysis

    to the address Majordomo@e-math.ams.org. Make sure your mailer does not
    automatically append anything else to the message. The return address on
    your message must be in the database of subscribers, so send the message
    from the same account you use to receive mail from the list. You should get
    an acknowledgement from the Majordomo software a short time after you
    unsubscribe. If this acknowledgement does not appear, something went wrong.
    More information about unsubscribe and other commands is available by
    sending e-mail containing the single word "help" to
    Majordomo@e-math.ams.org.

    If you change e-mail accounts, please remember to unsubscribe from your old one and subscribe under your new address.

    [03] What topics are appropriate for this list?

    Anything even peripherally related to real analysis. Some of the topics which have appeared are questions about finding references, open problems, conference announcements, opinions on textbooks and historical comments. You can think of this list as a way to tap into a massive reservoir of knowledge accumulated by over 200 people from all over the planet who are interested in real analysis. There's unlikely to be a topic about which everybody knows nothing. (Finding one could be the most difficult open real analysis question.)

    When you answer a posted question, it is generally considered good "nettiquette" to stay "above ground" with your answer. By this I mean, don't send your reply only to the person who asked the question, but, rather, reply to the list as a whole. The reason for this is that there may be many other people who are interested in the answer, or who may be able to expand upon your comments.

    It seems that many people, especially those new to the Internet world are quite nervous about posting to lists such as this. It's really pretty hard to do anything wrong, so my advice is to just jump in and do it!

    [04] Why am I not receiving messages from the list?

    The most likely reason is that no messages have been posted to the list recently. If you received the acknowledgement messages that are automatically sent after a subscription request, then it's very unlikely there is a problem. The real analysis list is a low volume list which has been averaging about twenty messages per month, and those messages seem to appear in spurts, usually started by a question or comment which has been posted recently.

    [05] How do I subscribe?

    Send an email message to the address Majordomo@e-math.ams.org containing only the single line in its body

    subscribe real-analysis

    You should get an acknowledgement from the Majordomo software a short time after you subscribe. If this acknowledgement does not appear, something went wrong. More information about subscribe and other commands is available by sending e-mail containing the single word "help" to Majordomo@e-math.ams.org.

    [06] How do I get the LaTeX style files for the Real Analysis Exchange?

    Send Lee Larson an email message asking for them, or get them yourself at the following address

    ftp://erdos.math.louisville.edu/pub/rae/

    There are two versions of the style file, depending upon whether you are using the old LaTeX 2.09, or its replacement, LaTeX2e. The LaTeX 2.09 version is called rae.sty. The LaTeX2e version is called rae.cls. The documentation file, which works with either version, is called raedoc.tex. The final version of rae.sty was done on 4-MAY-93, and the current version of rae.cls is 11-NOV-97. We will continue to improve rae.cls to support modern LaTeX. The version for the obsolete LaTeX 2.09 will no longer be supported.

    [07] How can I read old messages which were posted months ago?

    All the messages posted to the real analysis list are archived in month-sized pieces. Most names of the pieces look like real-analysis.9602. To get all the messages posted in, for example, November 1995, send an email message containing the single line

    get real-analysis real-analysis.9602

    to the address Majordomo@e-math.ams.org. A list of all the files available is retrieved with the command

    index real-analysis.

    Some of the older archives are compressed, and have names like real-analysis.9411.Z. When retrieving such a file, make sure your mailer can handle binary data, and you have an appropriate utility to unstuff the file.