Re: Overriding reflector settings ?

Jason Williams (
Thu, 13 Nov 1997 20:25:22 -0600 (CST)

On Thu, 13 Nov 1997, Fabio Augusto wrote:
> Is it possible to set the configuration of a reflector to permit some user
> (identified by his/her IP and/or nickname) log in every time he/she wants,
> no matter how many people are already into the ref, and without
> intervention of a ref monitor ? Or is it needed some password or different
> conference ID to extra people ?

That's typically called an allow line. It allows an IP (or a group of
IPs) to be allowed in to a conference regardless of what the limits on the
conference are. That is, assuming the additional person wouldn't go over
the maximum participants (senders,lurkers as well) defined for the overall
So, for a 50 client WP 2.1/MPCS ref, you typically define
something like:
max-participants -c -1 50 "Too many"
max-senders -c -1 50 "Too many"
max-lurkers -c -1 50 "Too many"

Then for the conference (say, 0)..
max-participants -c 0 20 "Too many"
max-senders -c 0 20 "Too many"
max-lurkers -c 0 20 "Too many"

Then anyone with an allow (for either the entire reflector, or just that
conference) can get into ID 0 assuming it doesn't go over 50 clients in
that conference (which would be horrendous for many other reasons)
The same reasoning holds true for White Pine 2.0 reflectors as well..(and
should also for Enhanced Reflectors..though I'm not sure).

As an aside...this is a reason why I don't care for allow lines in
general..I like "temporary allows" which would allow someone in on a case
by case basis. With a lot of allows on a reflector, it's too easy to
shut out any new people since, if the max is normally 15 users, but 5 have
allow lines and there are 20 online, 6 people have to leave to open up one
slot for a non-allowed IP. This also tends to lead to overcrowding of the
reflector. I know the U.S. Online reflector was plagued with this since
everyone abused the telnet into it. There was a limit of 15 people on a
conference, but there were about 30-40 allows so consequently, the
reflector stayed pegged at 25 users (was a 25 client WP that's all
that was allowed on the entire reflector).
Beyond 25 people, and you get into real problems. I've seen an increase
in the number of reflectors selling allow lines to people. That may be a
great way to get money, it's also a guranteed way to end up overpopulating
the reflector and making the max participants setting useless. I've seen
this happen to one reflector and there's no real solution when that
happens. More than about 30 people in a conference generally wipes out
modem users from what I can tell.

I've thought about programming a high tech allow for my reflector that
wouldn't be able to be abused. Basically, it'd take an IP only (not an IP
mask which would let in multiple people potentially) and allow that IP to
the ref only if the conference had less than a maximum of N people on it.
If there is a max participants setting of O, then N is greater than O..and
a total of (N - O) people could be admitted in this way. This would
prevent allowing lots people onto the ref and causing overflows as well as
providing a means of certain people getting into the conference when it's
full. The allows would be done thru a web page (cgi script most likely)
and would be temporary. (So this would limit it to just WP 2.1/3.0
refs..since the Enhanced Reflector has no way to delete allows yet). This
also keeps the allow list down so the operator doesn't have to come along
and clean up 50-60 allows of IPs that are no longer valid.

Anyway...just my thoughts on the subject of allows :) They're great when
used cautiously...but can be a real annoyance to others as well. It's too
bad MeetingPoint's "Grant/Remove floor" doesn't use allows...I haven't
found near as much of a need for admit-sender lines except when using
observer mode.

--    * Jason Williams -- Austin, Tx.  |     |       * University of Texas at Austin  | ___ |         * BS Computer Science             \_|_/
*************** **************|