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Forum Mailing Lists

There are six forum mailing lists:

programming - - the main forum, covering J programming from beginner to expert, and announcements
beta - current beta (bugs, problems, suggestions)
chat - all other discussions on computer languages and J - messages welcomed from both J and non-J programmers
database - discussions on Jd, the J database
general - installation, support, forums, wiki/website and other infrastructure topics
source - J engine source

Serious J users should subscribe to at least the programming forum, and the other forums depending on your level of interest.

The forum email addresses are the name as below:

programming forum
beta forum
chat forum
database forum
general forum
source forum

See also Mail Routing below.

Important.png Do not use an address.

Which forum to use

To decide which forum to post to:

  • if the message is specific to the current beta, then the beta forum
  • if the message is specific to Jd, then the database forum
  • if the message is specific to the J source, then the source forum
  • if the message is in some way related to programming in J, i.e. "How do I solve problem x in J?", then the programming forum. Such messages should be short and contain some J sentences or an explicit request for help in using the J system. Announcements should also be posted to programming.
  • if the message is related in some way to J, but on a topic of interest to a wider community, then the chat forum
  • if the message concerns bug reports, installation, support, forums, wiki/website, or other J-specific topic, then the general forum

Please avoid off-topic posts to these forums, and reply to the right forum if a post is misplaced. Cross-posting is discouraged.


The programming, beta, database, general and source forums are core forums. Posting messages to the core forums is restricted to active J users. Anyone is welcome to read these forums, but please do not send a message unless it is relevant to your J learning or programming.

The chat forum is an open discussion group, covering computer languages as long as there is some connection to J: array programming, aspects of other computer languages, historical tidbits, random questions about J, wish lists, etc. You don't need to be a J programmer to post to chat, and we welcome messages from outside the J community.

Many people will see your message. It is basic courtesy to take the time to compose carefully and be as concise and clear as possible. Also, ensure that messages have non-trivial content. For example, it is rarely necessary to send simple 'thank you' messages, since these can be taken for granted, or could be posted off-forum.

In answering questions, remember that teaching fishing is better than giving a fish. Rather than 'this is how' say 'these docs show you how'.


The core forums are moderated and posters of inappropriate messages will be directed to chat.

Jsoftware will remove any member that, in Jsoftware's sole opinion, sends messages that are abusive or inappropriate to the purpose of the forum.


To subscribe, follow the above links to the Forum Mailing List pages and enter your email address and password in the Subscribing to ... section. An email will be sent to you to confirm the subscription.

Once subscribed, you will receive forum postings from then on, and not any earlier postings.

You can set options after you have subscribed.

The email address you use to post to the forum must be enrolled in the mailing list. Posts from email addresses that are not subscribed are discarded. If you only want to post from a given address, subscribe it, then alter it to not receive traffic. If you change your email address, you need to update your forum subscription.

Subscriber email addresses are kept confidential from other subscribers, and are only visible after posting an email to a forum.


To change your forum options, get your password emailed to you, or to unsubscribe, follow the above links to the Forum Mailing List page. Then at the bottom of the page, enter your email address and click the "Unsubscribe or edit options" button.


The above links to the Forum Mailing List pages also point to the forum archives. They are updated every 5 minutes and can be checked to verify that a post has been received.

The archives can be searched here. Just press Search for the most recent messages.

See also Archives.


Some messages sent to the forums are not accepted, and instead simply discarded.

If you sent a message and it does not appear in your forum inbox, first check whether the message was accepted by going to Forum Search and pressing the Search button. This shows the last 100 messages on the forum, and is updated every 5 minutes or so.

If your message was not accepted, the most likely causes are:

  • It was sent from an email address not subscribed to the forum. Most often this is because the member has more than one email address and posts with an address not subscribed. However, sometimes the member's email administrators change the format of an email address without notifying the member, and the message bounces even though the member is posting from the usual email account.

    Whatever the reason, forum posts are only accepted from a subscribed email address. Note that you can subscribe more than one email address, and mark all but one as not receiving forum posts - this enables you to post from more than one email address.
  • The message size was larger than 100KB, usually because of an attachment.

    We discourage attachments as causing too many problems with email. A better alternative is to make files available somewhere on the web and link to them in the email. The J wiki can be used for this. If necessary, create an account on the wiki and upload your files to your wiki home page, or a subdirectory of that.
  • Your message has been treated as spam by the Google spam filter, see Mail Routing below.

Bug Reports

See Bug Reports.


Forum messages may be received as digests, usually one per day.

This method is appropriate when you only want to read posts and do not want to participate in discussions. For one thing, any replies do not follow the original message thread, and the digest needs to be edited down to the original message. Also, for digests, mailman does not follow the default reply-to rules - instead the reply-to is to the mailman server and this will not work, see Mail Routing below.

If you just want that posts not appear in your regular inbox but do want to participate in discussions, then it may be better to filter the regular posts into a separate folder. You could also sign up with two accounts, one receiving digests into your inbox, and the other receiving regular posts into a separate folder that by-passes the inbox.


The mailing lists send out emails in plain text format. For best results, please send messages to the forum in this format.

When copying J session output to an email, first set box-drawing characters to Ascii. The IDEs have a menu item for this, e.g. in J8 Qt, select View|Toggle Ascii Box Drawing.


If you post a message from a gmail account, it will not show in your gmail inbox, even though the message is properly delivered to, and distributed by, the mailing list. This is a gmail feature - gmail recognizes it already has a copy of the message and does not show it again.


Mail Routing

The forums are routed via the jsoftware google app. Each forum is a google group which forwards to our mailman server.

There are a couple of quirks:

1. A message posted to is forwarded to, which is the address of the mailman server. The address will appear in the email header, but the reply-to address will still be

Important.png Messages sent directly to an address (e.g. will be ignored.

Note that for digests, mailman does not follow the default reply-to rules, see Digests.

2. The initial spam filtering is done by google. If a message is rejected at this stage, you will get a response of the form:

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

Technical details of permanent failure:
Message rejected by Google Groups. Please visit to review our Bulk Email Senders Guidelines.

After this response, you could try again with a simpler message, e.g. with fewer urls and truncating copied messages. If this still fails, please contact the forum administrator.


Some core forums (not chat) are mirrored at Gmane and the The Mail Archive:

  • Gmane (you can browse this using web interfaces or a news reader)


  • The Mail Archive


Some forums are also mirrored at mail-list service. It has abilities to browse,search,rate and post messages via lightweight web interface.


J forums group


The Mailman archives preserve message threads, so if you reply to a post, it will maintain the original thread, even if you change the subject.

If you want to start a new thread, create a new message, rather than reply to an earlier post.

Forum Administrator

For any admin issues using the forums, please contact <<MailTo(cburke AT SPAMFREE jsoftware DOT com)>>.