[Mailman-Developers] Handling non-fatal "bounces"

Barry A. Warsaw barry@digicool.com
Mon, 18 Jun 2001 17:21:19 -0400

>>>>> "CG" == Carson Gaspar <carson@taltos.org> writes:

    CG> So we converted the firewalls mailing list to mailman, and
    CG> we're now being inundated by bounce messages that mailman
    CG> isn't handling. I'm going to write bounce modules for the
    CG> actual bounces, but I can't figure out how to handle non-fatal
    CG> errors (message could not be delivered, will retry soon,
    CG> etc.).

    CG> What I want to do is ignore the bounce (don't flag the list
    CG> member), but _not_ forward the message to the list admins. The
    CG> current API seems incapable of doing this. Am I missing
    CG> something?

First off, I consider it very bad manners for a side to send non-fatal
warnings (i.e. retries) for messages coming from a list.  IOW, if the
message has "Precedence: bulk" a site should /not/ send a try
notification.  Most MTAs I believe either suppress these by default,
or can be configured to do so.  I seem to remember a discussion
concerning an Exim configuration variable to control this a while back
(perhaps Nigel can elaborate).

In general, I haven't added bounce handlers to detect these kinds of
messages, and you're correct that the interface in BouncerAPI.py
doesn't really support an "ignore this, they're bogus" return value.
Usually when I'm bombarded by these, I send a, er, nicely worded
message to the postmaster and the warnings usually stop.

It'd be fairly easy to extend BouncerAPI.py to handle ignorable
bounces, so I'll try to add something for 2.1.

One question: should Mailman support doing an (optional) auto-kvetch
back to the site's postmaster?