[Mailman-Developers] Re: Bounce removal parameters default values

Greg Stark gsstark at mit.edu
Wed Sep 24 11:57:39 EDT 2003

The problem I described in January is still happening. I find the current
bounce processing of mailman to be inadequate. Something more like the bounce
processing of ezmlm is needed.

I should not be removed from a mailing list purely on the basis of bounces of
uncontrolled messages. The messages that bounced could have been spam or
outlook worms or whatever.

Before removing a subscriber mailman should send a message with known content
testing the address. Only if such a message bounces should a user be dropped.

As it is I'm being removed from mailing lists whenever a new Outlook worm
appears and sends multiple messages in a row. Or a new spammer discovers a
list I'm on and sends multiple messages in a row to the list.

It's especially bad on low-volume lists where it's quite possible for spam or
Outlook worm messages to be the only messages for days.

Greg Stark <gsstark at MIT.EDU> writes:

> I find I am being removed from mailman mailing lists left and right. I believe
> the default values for the bounce removal should be reconsidered. It's
> possible that you haven't had many users in my situation and so haven't really
> had a chance to tune these parameters on the low end yet. But they clearly
> aren't working for me at a few sites.
> My particular situation is that my site has seen fit to filter viruses by
> refusing delivery. This causes a bounce from the remote MTA every time someone
> sends me an Outlook virus. Why my site administrators felt this was necessary
> is a question for another day, it's not like I use Outlook or like my spam
> filters wouldn't have thrown these messages away anyways, but whatever.
> The net result is that some small fraction of messages to me bounce and list
> management software notices this. The only reason I became aware of the
> problem was because ezmlm also does this type of processing but it sends a
> warning message before removing users. It only removes you if the warning
> message itself bounces. In fact it sends two such warning messages and only
> removes the user if *both* bounce. This provides the user with a chance to
> react to the first message and fix the problem -- if they ever see the
> message.
> I could beg for a similar feature in mailman, but I'm not sure it's necessary.
> But I am sure it's necessary to tune the bounce processing parameters. The
> relatively few bounces I'm generating shouldn't be causing me to get removed
> when all the real messages are being delivered fine.
> It seems the legitimate messages that are correctly delivered should reset the
> count of bounces to 0. Reading the source it seems it has to see
> DEFAULT_MAX_POSTS_BETWEEN_BOUNCES such legitimate posts between messages. I'm
> fairly convinced this parameter should always be 0. If any successful delivery
> occurs the user should never be removed due to bounces.
> What I don't understand is how DEFAULT_MAX_POSTS_BETWEEN_BOUNCES relates to
> the parameters I see in the admin. None of the parameters in the admin
> corresponds to this. How is it calculated?
> -- 
> greg
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