Mailing Lists -- Majordomo History

The first version of Majordomo was written by Brent Chapman, who was at the time an independent software developer in San Francisco, California.

Brent Chapman wrote the Majordomo software to handle some mailing lists for the System Administrators Guild (SAGE), a USENIX Technical Group. The first version took him about 20 hours, consisted of about 600 lines of code in the Perl language, and was deployed in June, 1992.

Brent modeled majordomo functionality on the Listserv program, which was then being used to manage mailing lists on the BITNET, in order to provide a similar capability for the Internet.

John Rouillard improved the software and managed it from version 1.62 to 1.93. In an interesting arrangement, since then it has been worked on by a free open source software group of developers across the Internet, and maintained by Chan Wilson. The current release is 1.94.4.

Chapman’s original research paper describing the development of majordomo is listed in the section on more information.