[Mailman-Developers] list throttling, handling auto responders

Chuck Moss cmmm@mossc.com
Thu, 19 Jul 2001 14:21:19 -0400

I recall a discussion a while ago about ways to handle autoresponder
mail loops but I can't find the thread at the moment.  

Not sure what the resolution was but I remember some of the ideas/issues.

How can the software automatically handle mail loops caused by broken

Option 1:  detect loops by frequency of posts from an individual
account.  Throttle the list to a certain number of messages/user in a
given time frame.

Advantages: easy to implement? relatively robust?

Disadvantages: can impact lively productive discussions if limit is set
too low.  Useless if too high.
Some mail loops may be too slow to be caught by this.  Assume mail
corporate mail queue only cycles every 15 minutes or so.
Lots of moderator work.


Option 2: detect loops by type of content in messages.  try to
bounce/moderate bad posts.

Advantages:  if functional no impact on lively discussions.  

Disadvantages: complex implementation, difficult to catch every instance


This happened on another list the other day and I had an idea.
I am hoping brain storm but maybe brain drizzle.

How about using option 1 with a modification.  If the user hits a
threshold their postings would become self-moderated.  A post could
result in an email message to the sender similar to the message they get
when awaiting moderator approval.  It would allow them to apporve their
own message either by email or web interface.  If the web interface was
used they could approve several pending posts at once.
The email self-moderation would need to be complex enough that a simply
autoreply could not trigger the approval.

This "self-moderation" feature could be extended to allow for postings
from unsubscribed addresses etc.  

Sorry for the term self-moderation.  It is really just a confirmation
similar to subscription.  Hopefully the code could be re-used.

Has this been done before?
What major pitfalls to this approach am I overlooking?

Chuck Moss