[Mailman-Developers] Mailman headers roundup

C Nulk CNulk at scu.edu
Thu Nov 10 23:17:05 CET 2011

On 11/10/2011 12:33 PM, Patrick Ben Koetter wrote:
> * Barry Warsaw <barry at list.org>:
>>> X-Mailman-Version
>>> 	The version of Mailman that sent the message.  It can lose the X-
>>> 	prefix.
>>> 	Modify to: List-Agent, Mediator
>>> 	Next Step: Discuss
>> I like List-Agent much more than User-Agent, since Mailman is only tenuously
>> under any control of the user.  I like having this header under the List-
>> prefix, so I Mediator doesn't appeal to me.
> Here's why I would prefer "Mediator":
> What we want is a header field name that indicates the message has been
> accepted, modified and forwared by a program.
> The header field name 'List-Agent' does that, but it is specific to mailing
> lists. The term 'Mediator' describes the same, but it is general in meaning.
> Any instance modifying and forwarding a message can use it.
> If we use List-Agent others will have to register another header field name -
> 'Mediator' would fit for all.
> p at rick

I understand what you are saying.  To me "Mediator" doesn't describe the
same information specifically because it is too general in meaning.
"List-Agent" as the header makes sense to me.   Mailman manages whatever
email distribution lists I create or manage, dealing with "lists" and
the message traffic back and forth to it and subscribers.  To me, it
acts as a agent, thus "List-Agent" makes more sense.  In addition, when
I am or have to look through a messages headers to see what is
happening, I want to be able to group common headers together.  All the
"Received" headers, all the "List-" headers so I can get a sense of
things faster.  The "Mediator" header doesn't lend itself to doing so.
It is out on its own.

This header discussion, to me, is about identifying and registering
common headers useful for Mailman in particular and Mailing List
Managers in general.  The "List-Agent" header works best and working
with other MLMs to register the common headers is for the best.

I don't think we are trying to solve all the issues associated with
email processing, only a little piece.  If other software packages that
may have some small interaction with email need a header, then let them
build a consensus around their header and then register it.  If, later
in time, it turns out there is a need for a super-set of headers that
includes MLMs, then maybe the "Mediator" header is appropriate which
wouldn't conflict with "List-Agent".

For now, I think "List-Agent" is the best solution to provide a
descriptive header for Mailman and other MLMs which when used with other
proposed "List-" headers allows one to easily identify a MLM and its
interactions with a message.

Sorry for the long post.


More information about the Mailman-Developers mailing list