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

Nigel Metheringham Nigel.Metheringham@InTechnology.co.uk
19 Jun 2001 09:42:06 +0100

On 18 Jun 2001 17:21:19 -0400, Barry A. Warsaw wrote:
> 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).


Exim can send delay warning messages out at configurable intervals - see

A condition variable also controls what types of messages do get delay
warnings sent out.  By default this does not send warnings out in
response to messages with Precedence: set to bulk, list or junk.

Older versions of exim (I guess pre-3.x - which are prehistoric now) did
not have the defaults appropriately set.  If you are using a version of
exim that old then you should upgrade, or if this is impossible then set
delay_warning_condition appropriately - documentation for this (from the
3.2x documentation - but this hasn't changed since its original
introduction) is at

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

That would be good.  Is there a way of hacking it now?  [return an
impossible address for example]

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

My evil twin says yes to this... however since those people that have
their systems so badly configured that they send bounce messages for
list mail also don't respond to postmaster mail - one site that is
causing me particular problems in that respect currently I now blacklist
completely.  Autoresponses in error conditions are a good way of
building serious mail loops.


[ Nigel Metheringham           Nigel.Metheringham@InTechnology.co.uk ]
[ Phone: +44 1423 850000                         Fax +44 1423 858866 ]
[ - Comments in this message are my own and not ITO opinion/policy - ]
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