The Enrol Pageboy

Enrol pageboy

The Enrol pageboy provides a flexible method of sending email to students enrolled in any particular year and session in any specified combination of courses, programs, and/or plans. It is triggered when the CSE mail server receives an email address of the form: enrol_spec-enrol-program@cse.unsw.edu.au or enrol_spec@enrol.program where enrol_spec is the string that specifies the combination of courses, programs, plans, years and sessions to be expanded. The first address should work if the email is sent from anywhere, while the second address will only work if you have set up your mailer to send the email directly to CSE's mail server. As most people (CSE students and staff included) will either be directly using, or going through unsw's mail system, the first form of email address is the one almost everyone should use.

The CSE email server sends such addresses to the enrol pageboy subsystem which:

  • Checks that the email was from an authorised sender and/or was forwarded by a suitably constructed CSE mail alias;
  • Parses the enrol_spec incorporated in the "To:" address header, and expands it into a list of addresses based on the official enrolment data from the University's central enrolment system (see the section below on Enrolment Files ).
The enrolment pageboy program may also be invoked by the priv command: priv enrol enrol_spec This priv command is only available for use by CSE Employees on CSE machines, and does nothing more than list the students matching enrol_spec on standard output. This is useful to check the list of students specified by enrol_spec before sending your email to enrol_spec@enrol.program, or to list course field values before using them in another enrol_spec. What follows is a few examples of enrol_specs with informal descriptions of what they expand to, followed by a more formal and comprehensive description of their syntax and semantics.

Examples

1999s1.COMP1021
Addresses all students who were enrolled in the COMP1021 course for session one of 1999. Note: The default option -cse-unsw applies here, which means that CSE addresses are generated for those who have CSE accounts, and UNSW address generated for students with no CSE account.
COMPB13645-unsw
A list of UNSW addresses is generated for all students enrolled in the COMPB13645 plan in the current year and session. Note:
  • The current session may be a summer session which does not usually have many official enrolments.
  • If the current session is undefined (ie: we are between sessions) then the previous session is used instead. This might be a summer session.
  • UNSW addresses are generated for all students meeting this criteria, regardless of whether they have a CSE account.
curr.1650-cse
Generate CSE addresses for all students who are enrolled in the 1650 program in the current major year and session. Note:
  • The current major year and session will be either session one or two of the current (or previous) year. Major year/sessions usually have the most numerous and complete set of official enrolments.
  • If we are actually between sessions, or if the current session is a summer (non-major) session, then "curr." refers to the last major year/session.
  • CSE addresses are only generated for those students with CSE accounts. Those without CSE accounts do not receive the email.
pgc.yr3
CSE/UNSW addresses of all students currently enrolled in a CSE postgraduate program by coursework, AND who were also enrolled in any third year CSE course. Note that the conjunction (the AND) is implied and inserted by default.
2008s2.COMP.SENG.BINF.or.or.
5.6.7.8.9.or.or.or.or.and.
COMP3.SENG3.BINF3.or.or.and
-cse-unsw
A fully specified equivalent to the previous example. The components: COMP.SENG.BINF.or.or selects students enrolled in a CSE plan; 5.6.7.8.9.or.or.or.or selects students doing a postgraduate by coursework program; while COMP3.SENG3.BINF3.or.or selects students enrolled in a third year CSE course.
ug.stage=2
All students enrolled in the second stage of an undergraduate CSE program
2007S2.COMP.1
CSE/UNSW addresses of all students enrolled in a COMP plan, in a phd program (a program number starting with 1), in session 2 of 2007. Note the difference with the next example.
2007S2.COMP1
CSE/UNSW addresses of all students enrolled in a COMP1 course (ie: any course starting with COMP1) in session 2 of 2007. Note the difference with the previous example.
2008s2.comp1911.cse.
2008s1.comp1910.cse
All students who in session 1 of 2008, were enrolled in a CSE plan, and were enrolled in COMP1910 AND who in session 2 of 2008 were enrolled in a CSE plan and enrolled in COMP1911.
comp1911.cse.not
CSE/UNSW addresses of all students currently enrolled in COMP1911 who are enrolled in any plan that is not a CSE plan.
comp1911.COMP.SENG.BINF.or.or.not.and.
Equivalent fully specified enrolment expression to the previous example. Note that in this example the NOT operator follows immediately after a binary OR operator, and not, as has been recommended elsewhere in this document, immediately after a PATTERN (like BINF). This is because the parser delays its evaluation of the enrolment specification for as long as it can, in the hope that it can join related patterns together (like COMP.SENG.BINF.or.or) and optimise the eventual evaluation. If this makes no sense to you, don't worry - just make sure that you normally use the NOT operator only after PATTERNs (or risk getting sent the cryptic error message: 'Cannot negate an evaluated expression').
comp1011.not
All students that are enrolled in any course other than COMP1011. Note that this is not the way you select those students that are not enrolled in COMP1011 because a student who is enrolled in COMP1011 and at least one other course, is obviously enrolled in a course other than COMP1011, and will therefore be selected by this enrolment specification. See the next two examples for how to select students that are not enrolled in a course (or combination of courses).
COMP1011.not.COMP1011.sub
This enrolment specification first selects the set of all students enrolled in any course other than COMP1011, and then subtracts from this the set of all students enrolled in COMP1011. This final set of students is usually what is informally meant by "all students not enrolled in COMP1011", although the size of this final set of students will depend on what other course enrolments are recorded in the enrolment files used by this pageboy. A better defined example follows.
ug.COMP1011.COMP1021.or.sub
This first selects all students enrolled in a CSE undergraduate program, then subtracts from this the set of all students enrolled in either COMP1011 or COMP1021.
ug.csecourse.sub
Subtract from the set of all students enrolled in a CSE undergraduate program, the set of all students enrolled in any course run by CSE. This effectively selects all CSE undergraduates not enrolled in any CSE course.
COMP1911.tut=M14A
All students enrolled in the M14A tutorial in COMP1911 in the current year and session. Note: the central enrolment records relating to tutorial and lab allocations are not always kept up to date by students, and so mailing lists that rely on these sorts of course enrolment records may not always be accurate.
COMP1911.tlb=?
This is an example of a field query that will email to the sender a list of all the COMP1911 tutorial or lab groups that students have enrolled in the current year and session. This inhibits the calculation of any address lists and the delivery of any accompanying non-empty email. An example of the list of values returned would be: M10A:18, H12A:19, H12B:18, F09A:15 (See the section on listing course field values)
2011s1.COMP3411.type=?
This field query emails a list of all field types that students were enrolled in session 1 of 2011 for the course COMP3411. An example of the list of values returned would be: LEC, TUT

Restrictions and Operation

  • Permitted users: Only members of the following netgroups are permitted to send to an enrolment pageboy address: Employee, Subject_Utility, CSE_Utility, Subject_Lecturer, Subject_Supervisor.

    Other (non CSE) users may be permitted to send email to enrolment pageboy addresses indirectly via CSE's mail alias system (mlalias). See the section below on Links with mlalias

  • Error messages: An error message is emailed to the sender, and no email is sent to any other recipient, if:
    • The user is not authorized to send to the enrolment pageboy;
    • There is an error in the enrolment address specification;
    • The enrolment specification expands into an empty list (ie: there are no recipients)
  • The To: address list.
    • The enrolment pageboy address appearing in the To: address is retained in the email header that is finally sent to all recipients.
    • The resulting expanded address list is hidden from all recipients.
    • There can only be one enrol pageboy address in the To: address list.

      If you want to send the same email to two or more different groups of student enrolments, then you should:

      • Send the email separately to each different enrol pageboy address
      • Join the different groups of student enrolments into the one enrol pageboy address using the ".or" Binary operator
  • The BCC: address list.

    Email cannot be directed to the enrol pageboy via a BCC:. This is because the BCC: address is stripped out of the email header by the time the enrol pageboy receives the email, and the enrol pageboy cannot extract the pageboy address to evaluate it.

  • Sending an empty email message to an enrolment pageboy address, causes:
    1. The list of email addresses of the students matching the enrolment specification to be sent back to the sender,
    2. No email to be sent to the recipients at all.
  • Listing Options. If the sender uses any of the listing options, then the list of addresses and/or registration numbers will be sent back to the sender.

Address Specification

Syntax

address = enrol_addr '@enrol.program' enrol_addr = enrol_spec {options} [back_ref] enrol_spec = enrol_spec '.' enrol_spec '.' binaryop | enrol_spec '.' unaryop | [ yrsess '.' ] ( course | plan | program ) binaryop = 'and' | 'or' | 'sub' # requires two preceeding operands unaryop = 'not' # requires one preceeding operand yrsess = year session | 'curr' | 'next' | 'prev' year = num{4} # eg: 2008 session = ('s'|'x') ('1'|'2') # eg: s2 course = unit courseno | 'course=' prefix | coursefield '=' ( fieldvalue | fieldquery ) | 'hons' | 'thesisA' | 'thesisB'# course shortcuts | 'csecourse' # course shortcuts | 'yr1' | 'yr2' | 'yr3' | 'yr4' # course shortcuts courseno = num{1..4} # one to four course numbers # eg: 1091, 109, 10, 1 coursefield = 'type'|'id'|'school'|'lec'|'lab'|'tut'|'tlb' fieldvalue = alphanum+ # field value fieldquery = '?' # field query plan = unit [plan_id] | 'plan=' prefix | 'cse' | 'pv' # plan shortcuts plan_id = alpha [ alphanum num{0..5} ] # eg: A13645, AM3, A program = prog_no | 'program=' prefix | 'stage=' ( num | 'f' | 'na' ) # program stage | 'ug' | 'pgc' | 'pgr' | 'phd' # program shortcuts | 'be' | 'bsc' # program shortcuts prog_no = num{1..4} # one to four program numbers # eg: 3645, 364, 36, 3 unit = alpha{4} # four alphabetics # eg: COMP, SENG, BINF, SOLA, MATH options = addr_option | list_option addr_option = '-unsw' | '-cse' # default: '-cse-unsw' list_option = '-addr' | '-regno' | '-confirm' # default: none back_ref = '.alias=' mlalias_name alpha = 'A'..'Z' # any alphabetic character num = '0'..'9' # any numeric character alphanum = alpha | num # any alphanumeric

Parsing

  • The enrolment specification is read, parsed and evaluated from left to right.
  • Case is not significant.

Plans

Plan enrolments may be specified by:
  • At least the first FOUR letters of the plan prefix on their own. eg: COMP, COMPA1, COMPA23645
  • plan=prefix where prefix is at least one character.
  • One of the plan shortcuts (described here)

Programs

Program enrolments may be specified by:
  • At least the first number of the program on its own. eg: 1650, 72, 3
  • program=prefix where prefix is at least one character.
  • The stage of the program. This may be one of:
    • stage=N for a particular stage (usually 1..6)
    • stage=f for any of the final stages: 4, 5, or 6.
    • stage=na for any program without a stage
  • One of the program shortcuts (described here)

Courses

Course enrolments may be specified by:
  • At least the first FIVE letters of the course prefix on their own. eg: COMP1, COMP39, COMP4911
  • course=prefix where prefix is at least one character.
  • One of the course shortcuts: 'hons', 'thesisA', 'thesisB' or 'csecourse' (described here).
  • field=value where field is the name of a course enrolment field, and value is the value that this field should have in the enrolment record of the selected student. The basic fields are:
    • TYPE: This field defines the type of enrolment being recorded. It's values include: LAB (laboratory), LEC (lecture), TUT (tutorial), TLB (tutlab)
    • ID: This field defines the identifier assigned to this particular course enrolment type (eg: T13A)
    • SCHOOL: This identifies the school (or "Organisational Unit") that is responsible for running this particular course enrolment type. ie: the school responsible for running the tutorial, lab, or lecture (eg: COMPSC, ELEC)
    Thus an enrolment record for COURSE=COMP1234 with TYPE=TUT and ID=T13A, records a student's enrolment in the COMP1234 course tutorial T13A. Such enrolments might be specified by: COMP1234.TYPE=TUT.ID=T13A The next section tells you how to obtain a list of the actual valid values assigned to any particular course's fields.
  • typevalue=idvalue where typevalue is the value of TYPE, and idvalue is the value of the ID. This short cut allows both TYPE and ID to be specified together, such that:
    LAB=value
    is equivalent to "TYPE=LAB.TYPE=TLB.or.ID=value.and."
    TUT=value
    is equivalent to "TYPE=TUT.TYPE=TLB.or.ID=value.and."
    TLB=value
    is equivalent to "TYPE=LAB.TYPE=TUT.TYPE=TLB.or.or.ID=value.and."
    XXX=value
    is equivalent to "TYPE=XXX.ID=value.and."
    Thus the enrolments fully specified by: COURSE=COMP1234.TYPE=TUT.ID=T13A, could also be specified by: COMP1234.TUT=T13A. The next section tells you how to obtain a list of the actual valid values assigned to any particular course's typevalue fields.
Of course, if you want to apply more than one of these course specifications to the same student, you will need to specify them consecutively, and join them with appropriate operators (see Operators below).

Listing course field values

If you want to obtain a list of values assigned to any particular course field in which are any students enrolled, then you should include a course field query in the enrolment spec of the form: coursefieldname=? where coursefieldname is the name of the course field whose values you wish to list. For example, the field queries:
  • 2011s1.COMP5678.TYPE=?@enrol.program would return a list of all the COMP5678 enrolment TYPEs in which there are any students enrolled in session 1 2011. eg: LEC:396, TUT:396, SEM:396
  • 2011s1.COMP1234.TUT=?@enrol.program would return a list of all the COMP1234 tutorial IDs in which there are any students enrolled. eg: M10A:18, H12A:19, H12B:18, F09A:15
Note:
  • Each list value is returned, one per line, in the form: string:number, where string is the value of the course field or shortcut, and number is the number of students whose enrolment record have this field value.
  • If the enrol_spec is being expanded by the mail system, then the list of values is sent back to the sender with the subject line: "Value expansion of pageboy address".
  • Tutorials, labs, and seminars are usually given names of the form: day time id, where M,T,W,H,F represent Monday to Friday, time is given in a 24 hour format, and id is an alphabetic character which is unique when there is more than one type assigned to the same day and time.
Thus in the example above, once you have established the name of the Friday COMP1234 tutorial, you could send email to all 15 students officially enrolled in this tutorial by sending email to: 2011s1.COMP1234.TUT=F09A@enrol.program.

Operators

Operators may be used to combine enrolment specifications into arbitrarily complex boolean enrolment expressions.

There are four operators:

  1. The AND operator selects students that match both the previous two enrolment expressions. ie: If a student matches one enrolment expression but not the other, then the student is not selected.
  2. The OR operator selects students that match either one of the two previous enrolment expressions.
  3. The NOT operator reverses the sense of the previous enrolment expression. It selects students enrolled in any course, plan, or program other than the one(s) specified. In general, the NOT operator should immediately follow a pattern or shortcut (rather than a binary operator) as the negation of an arbitrarily complex enrolment expression is not well defined. See the note below on the combined use of NOT and SUBTRACT.
  4. The SUB operator subtracts the last set of students from the second to last set of students. ie: if the students that match the last expression are in the set B, and the students that match the second to last expression are in the set A, then (A B SUB) is the set of students that are in A but not in B. This operator is generally used to define disjoint enrolment sets in conjunction with the NOT operator. See the note below for an example and explanation of this.
Operators are used in POSTFIX order. This means that the patterns (or pattern expressions) are specified before the operators which apply to the patterns (or pattern expressions). This simplifies parsing of the expression, and eliminates the need for brackets. If insufficient operators are specified to combine all specified patterns or pattern expressions, then the remaining patterns (or pattern expressions) are AND'ed together. This is appropriate in many cases, and can be used to dramatically simplify the final enrolment expression (see the Examples section above).

Year and Session

The year/session specification determines the year and session of the enrolment records to which are applied the subsequent enrolment specifiations. The enrolment year and session may be changed as many times as necessary to specify your final set of target students. If the year and session are not specified, the current year and session is assumed to apply. If the current session is undefined (ie: we are between sessions), then the previous session is used instead (which may be a summer session). Year/session may be specified in two ways:
Absolutely
A specific a year and session may be specified by year session where year is a four digit year (starting from 1999), and session may be s1, s2 or x1.
Relatively
All relative year/session specs refer to major sessions. Major sessions are sessions one or two, and exclude all other sessions (currently only summer session).
curr
Refers to the current year and session if we are currently in a major session, or to the previous major year and session at any other time.
prev
Refers to the previous major year and session.
next
Refers to the next major year and session.
Note:
  • Relative year/session specifications are typically used in automated scripts and/or aliases.
  • There are currently very few official non-major session enrolment records.

Back_ref

The optional backward reference allows the local mail alias database mlalias to forward email to the enrol pageboy. For more details, see this description below.

Shortcuts

Shortcuts are used as an easier alternative to specifying a longer (although equivalent) series of course, program, or plan descriptions. They are generally given names that reflect their more intuitive use or interpretation.

Course Shortcuts

ShortcutDescriptionEquivalent
honsEnrolled in an undergraduate CSE honours courseCOMP491.COMP493.or. SENG491.BINF491.or. BIOM590.BIOM592.BIOM593.or.or. BIOM594.BIOM595.BIOM596.BIOM597.or.or.or. or.or.or
thesisAEnrolled in a CSE honours thesis A courseCOMP4910.COMP4930.or. SENG4910.BINF4910.or. BIOM5909.BIOM5920.BIOM5930.or.or. BIOM5940.BIOM5950.BIOM5960.BIOM5970.or.or.or. or.or.or
thesisBEnrolled in a CSE honours thesis B courseCOMP4911.COMP4931.or. SENG4911.BINF4911.or. BIOM5904.BIOM5921.BIOM5931.or.or. BIOM5941.BIOM5951.BIOM5961.BIOM5971.or.or.or. or.or.or
csecourseEnrolled in any course run by CSE. (ie: Any course controlled by the 'COMP' organisational unit)SCHOOL=COMP
yrNEnrolled in a year n CSE courseCOMPn.SENGn.BINFn.or.or (See notes below)

Plan Shortcuts

ShortcutDescriptionEquivalent
cse Enrolled in a CSE plan COMP.SENG.BINF.or.or
pvEnrolled in a PV plan SOLA

Program Shortcuts

ShortcutDescriptionEquivalent
phdEnrolled in a CSE PhD program 1.cse.and
pgrEnrolled in a CSE postgraduate research program 2.cse.and
pgcEnrolled in a CSE postgraduate coursework program 5.6.7.8.9.or.or.or.or.cse.and
ugEnrolled in a CSE undergraduate program3.4.or.cse.and
beEnrolled in a CSE BE program3645.3647.3648. 3651.3652.3653. 3703.3704.3715. 3722.3726.3728. 3749.3755.3756.3757. 4776. or.or.or.or. or.or.or.or. or.or.or.or. or.or.or.or.cse.and
bscEnrolled in a CSE BSc programug.be.sub.cse.and

Options

Options are used to determine the types of addresses generated and used by the pageboy, and to email back to the sender the generated lists of selected students. If no options are specified, the default option is: -unsw.

Address Options

Whereas the enrolment address selects students who are, were, or will be enrolled in a course, plan, or program, many of these selected students may not have an active account at CSE either because their account may not have been created yet, or their account may have expired. Address options are used to control the types of addresses that are generated by the pageboy depending on the students' CSE account status. These addresses are then used as the recipients of the email sent to the pageboy. The effect of these options depend on whether they are specified on their own or in combination with each other:
-cse
On its own, this option generates addresses for only those students that have active CSE accounts. The addresses used are the students' CSE addresses. Students who are selected by the enrolment specification that do not have CSE accounts, have no addresses generated, and will not receive the associated email.
-unsw
On its own, this option generates UNSW addresses for all students selected by the enrolment specification regardless of whether or not they have a CSE account. UNSW addresses are of the form: z1234567@unsw.edu.au, which depend only on the uniwide central account and email system, and not on the CSE account and email system. Note that the generation of a UNSW address for the student does not imply that a UNSW address or account exists for the student yet (or that it might ever have existed). This is the default address option if none are explicitly given.
-cse-unsw or -unsw-cse
When used in combination these options causes the pageboy to generate and use CSE addresses for those students with CSE accounts, and UNSW addresses for those students without CSE accounts. Note that the generation of a UNSW address for the student does not imply that a UNSW address or account exists for the student (or that it might ever have existed).

Listing Options

The following options are used to send lists back to the sender (in addition to any email that may be sent to the recipients). The lists returned depend on the addresses generated, which will depend on the address options used (described above).
-addr
Email the address list back to the sender with the subject line: "Address expansion of enrol_addr@enrol.program". The address list returned is the same as the one that is automatically sent back to the sender if an empty email message (ie: with no body) is sent to the pageboy.
-regno
Email back to the sender the list of student registration numbers corresponding to the enrolment address. The list is sent back with the subject line: "Student number expansion of enrol_addr@enrol.program". Note: the list returned corresponds to the list of addresses selected by the enrolment address, including any address options. In particular, an address option of only -cse, would send back to the sender the list of student registration numbers of only those students meeting the enrolment specification who also had an active CSE account.
-confirm
This sends confirmation email to the sender with the subject line: "Confirmation of email sent to ENROL_ADDR@enrol.program" (where ENROL_ADDR is the pageboy address used). The email includes a copy of the email sent preceded by the header line: "Email contents:", followed by a full list of the email recipients preceded by the header line: "Email recipients:". If the pageboy failed to resend, the subject line is changed to: "Failed to send email to ENROL_ADDR@enrol.program".
The listing options are independant of each other, and may be used together (causing separate lists to be returned to the sender).

Enrolment files

The enrolment pageboy is entirely reliant on the accuracy and integrity of the underlying enrolment data files. As such, there are several things you might need to know about these enrolment data files that may effect the extent and accuracy of the address lists that can be produced by the enrolment pageboy.
  1. Enrolment data files only record official student enrolments. Any student that has/had made private or unofficial arrangements with the school to enrol in any course, program, or plan will not be able to be contacted via these addresses.
  2. Enrolment data files only extend back to session 1 of 1999.
  3. The course enrolment data for the previous, current and next session is updated daily from the University's central enrolment system and consequently may change from day to day. The full set of program and plan enrolment data for the current session is updated weekly, although a subset of these enrolments may be obtained and updated from the daily updates. No other enrolment data files from previous years or sessions are routinely updated. These data files remain static and archival from the time that the last update was obtained for these enrolments (generally one session after the session in question has ended).
  4. The enrolment files are also used as the basis of student UDB course/program class membership. However, you generally cannot rely on UDB membership being an accurate reflection of current enrolment. This is because the UDB enrolment based class expiry dates will usually extend beyond the end of the enrolled session and into the following session or, depending on the course or program, possibly well into the following year.

    For this reason, the enrolment pageboy will always provide a more accurate list of students enrolled in particular courses and/or programs in particular years and sessions than will the virtual addresses that rely directly on current UDB class membership (see virtual aliases. Although the sets of addresses produced by both methods should coincide very closely when they are produced for current enrolments anytime from the middle to end of the current session, you cannot and should not rely on this.

  5. These enrolment files are the only local source of data refering to enrolments in CSE plans (the UDB does not store any information relating to CSE plans).

Inspecting the expanded address lists

Although the program mlalias can be used to inspect the list of addresses derived from virtual addresses based on the UDB, mlalias cannot be used to inspect the list of addresses derived from the enrolment pageboy. However, the list of addresses produced by the enrolment pageboy will be emailed back to the sender if:
  • The sender uses any of the Listing Options, or
  • The sender sends an empty email message to an enrolment pageboy address. This is equivalent to using the -addr listing option, except that no email at all is sent to the resulting recipients, and the address list is sent back with the subject line: "Empty email address expansion of enrol_addr@enrol.program".
See the section on Listing Options for more details.

Links with mlalias

By default, the enrol pageboy system only permits users who are members of the CSE UDB classes: 'Employee' or 'Subject_Utility' to use its virtual aliases. However, other users may be allowed to use enrol pageboy aliases using CSE's mlalias system. To do this, a mlalias needs to be created which redirects email to the desired enrol pageboy address(es), and which abides by the following conditions:
  1. The non-standard senders must either be:
    • Explicitly named as an owner of the mlalias.
    • Explicitly named as an authorized sender to the mlalias
    • A local user who is a member of one of the explicitly named group owners of the mlalias. Group owners start with a '@'.
  2. The mlalias must redirect to an enrol pageboy address of the form: 'enrol_spec@enrol.program' (and not of the form: 'enrol_spec-enrol-program@cse.unsw.edu.au')
  3. The enrol pageboy address must include a backward reference to the forwarding mlalias of the form: enrol_pageboy_spec.alias=mlalias_name@enrol.program. The enrol pageboy uses this back reference to look up the mlalias in order to perform all the additional checks of the sender (as described above), and of the mlalias itself (as described below). These mlalias checks are intended to ensure that no unauthorised user can create a mlalias that redirects to any enrol pageboy address. Note: The backward reference .alias=mlalias_name must occur immediately before "@enrol.program". Any address or listing options must be included at the end of the enrol_pageboy_spec, immediately before the backward reference.
  4. The mlalias must be closed. This ensures that noone can add themselves to the mail alias that can send to the enrol pageboy alias;
  5. The mlalias must be public. This allows the system user that actually implements the enrol pageboy to examine the mail alias definition.
  6. The first owner of the mlalias must be a member of 'Employee'. This ensures that non-employees cannot create their own mlaliases permitting them to forward to an enrol pageboy aliases.
  7. There can be only one enrol pageboy address per mlalias. This may seem unduely restrictive, but in practice, it is a simple matter to use the .OR operator to join two separate enrol_pageboy_specs together into one
Note: It is possible to have the address list (generated by the enrol pageboy spec that is referenced by the mail alias), sent back to the sender, by sending an empty email to that mail alias (as detailed in: Inspecting the expanded address lists). However, if the mail alias also forwards to any other (non-enrol pageboy spec) address, then these non-enrol pageboy recipients will be sent an empty email, even though those address associated with the enrol pageboy spec are not sent the empty email.

Mlalias Examples

If CSE employee "sue" wanted to allow "karen@external.site.com", and CSE members of the UDB class "Random", to send email to "3927@enrol.program", then sue might create a mlalias called "XYZ" which:
  • Was owned by a CSE employee (typically sue herself);
  • Included "karen@external.site.com" as an additional owner;
  • Included "@random" as an additional owner;
  • Redirected its mail to "3927.alias=XYZ@enrol.program";
Karen could then send mail from external.site.com's mail server to current 3972 students by sending her email to "XYZ@cse.unsw.edu.au". If "XYZ" redirected its email to "3927-regno.alias=XYZ@enrol.program" instead (ie: the listing option "-regno" was included), then those users permitted to send to "XYZ" would also be sent back the expanded list of the students who were sent the email (listed as student registration numbers, not usernames). See Listing Options above.

Overview of Plans, Programs, and Courses

This section attempts to give a short explanation of the relationship and differences between programs, plans, and courses. In doing so, it also attempts to explain why there are so many different ways of classifying students, and how these different classifications may be specified and selected with the enrol pageboy.

The highest level of study is the PROGRAM. UNSW offers a large number of programs of study, each of which leads to a specific degree. For example, 3970 is a general science program leading to a BSc, while 3715 is program leading to a general BE/BComm double degree. Programs of study may also be classified into undergraduate programs (starting with a 3 or 4) and postgraduate programs. Postgraduate programs themselves may be further classified into postgraduate research programs (starting with a 1 or 2) or postgraduate coursework programs (starting with the remaining numbers).

Programs may have different areas of specialization, or majors, that are offered by different school within UNSW. Each of the schools participating in a program will offer a related PLAN of study in that program. Thus the School of Maths offers the MATHM13970 plan leading to a BSc majoring in Maths, while the School of Psychology offers the PSYCA13970 plan leading to a BSc majoring in Psychology. Note that the plan name includes the id of the school offering the plan, another two identifying characters, and the program number of which the plan is a part.

A COURSE on the other hand is a distinct units of study usually lasting one session, (although occasionally lasting a full year), which typically specializes in the study of one distinct or particular domain of knowledge associated with the school offering the course. Course names all start with the id of the school offering the course, followed by a unique four digit number which (depending on the school) might identify the stage, level, or domain that the course is associated with. (eg: COMP3231).

Thus a program of study may be satisfied by enrolling in, and successfully completing, one (or more) different plans of study, while plans themselves are satisfied by enrolling in, and successfully completing, a minimum number of units of study.

Many of the units of study (or courses) that comprise a plan are mandatory, and these are referred to as the core units or the core courses of the plan. However, core units will not always make up the minimum number of units of study for that plan, and students enrolled in these plans of study will often have to choose from a wide variety of optional non-core course units to make up the remaining minimum number of units. Often these units will be made up from courses that are offered by schools that are different from the school offering their plan of study.

Thus:

  • Two students may be enrolled in the same program but in different plans. One of these plans may be offered by CSE, while the other may not. The student enrolled in the CSE plan is generally considered to be a CSE student administered by the CSE school office, and is (for example) entitled to a CSE account, regardless of whether or not they are currently enrolled in a CSE course. The pageboy plan specification shortcut 'cse' is specifically intended to select all such CSE students regardless of their current course enrolment.
  • It is of course quite possible for students who are not enrolled in a CSE plan, to be enrolled in a CSE course. So when you are selecting subsets of students enrolled in a course or combination of courses, you need to be wary of not unintentionally restricting your selection to students enrolled in a CSE plan as well. This is particularly the case when using the pageboy program shortcuts ('ug', 'pg', 'phd', 'pgc', etc) that refer to the classification of programs into undergraduate, postgraduate, phd, postgraduate by coursework, etc. These shortcuts also implicitly select for only those students doing a CSE plan, because this was seen to be the most commonly required selection of program classifications. If however you need to select (say) ANY undergraduate (ie: not just CSE undergraduates) enrolled in course COMP1234 (in which postgraduates can presumably also enrol), then you should not use the builtin pageboy program shortcut 'ug' but instead use the underlying equivalent selection without the cse restriction (ie: use '3.4.or.COMP1234' instead of 'ug.COMP1234'
Last edited by zain 26/09/2017

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