[Mailman-Users] What "To:" address to use on a posting (was Re: help)

The List Server Administrator at UNH listadm at metaphor.unh.edu
Wed Jun 2 22:12:08 CEST 1999

   Jose Travieso recently asked if Mailman could do the following:

> ... I need to make the list send an email message like this:
> Example: "TO: someone at someplace.com FROM: mylist at listhost..com 
> To make the e-mail message look like if it was specifically written
> for them.

    Interesting.  I've always thought it was a good feature of MLMs
    like Mailman and ListProc that it used the list name for the TO:
    in order to make it clear that the message was *not* sent to 
    the subscriber personally but as part of a list distribution.
    I suppose there are situations where you might want to have 
    the fiction that it was sent directly to the subscriber, as with
    a form letter.  Although nobody is fooled by paper form letters
    so I don't think many will be fooled by an electronic version.

  The inimitable Harald replied

> Sorry, but as that wouldn't scale very well (i.e. Mailman would have
> to submit one new message to the MTA per list member), there is no
> such functionality in Mailman.

    I would have agreed.  Which is why I was surprised to receive a
    posting from what I assume was a *very* large commercial list that
    actually had a bit of customization in the copy of the particular
    message I received.  At the very bottom of the message was a
    notation as to the actual subscriber address that that particular
    copy of the message had been sent to. 

    While I would expect this little trick to be expensive in terms of
    processing time, and mailer overhead, I would think this would be
    an invaluable feature when faced with that most vexing of

    A subscriber that complains about being on your list, but you
    can't find their return address anywhere on it.  This is often
    caused by forwarding being done from an old account that was used
    for the original subscription.  Worse still is when the old
    forwarding mechanism forwards to a recycled address on the target
    machine.  The new account owner has no idea why they are receiving
    the postings and of course would not know about the forwarding
    being done on behalf of that account's former owner!  A similar
    problem occurs when the final destination of the forwarding goes
    bad.  You get bounces but often the necessary information for
    tracing the route back gets lost so you have no idea which
    subscriber address to remove.

    Ain't lists fun?

                                           The List Server Admin
                                           list.admin at unh.edu
                                           (currently Bill Costa)

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