[Mailman-Users] Monthly Reminder Bounce Mail Bomb

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Sun Jan 2 09:57:21 CET 2000

On Sun, 02 Jan 2000 00:06:40 -0500 
John A Martin <jam at jamux.com> wrote:

> How do folks get list owners to delete bad addresses rather than
> just mark them "no mail"?

I have the list configured to remove them itself.

> How do experienced mailman-owners handle bouncing reminders?

I use a procmail rule which matches bounces, shovels them off to
their own folder, and then have a couple bits of script foo-ery to
delete all but the possibly interesting ones (ie almost all of

> Do experienced mailman-owners encourage reminders?

I certainly do.

> Is the subscriber account mechanism mentioned on this list likely
> to show up any time soon and will it make the bouncing reminders
> more manageable?

I suspect that it won't change bounce handling in the slightest.  

Aside: I suspect your real problem is that you were not prepared
either personally or at a software level for large mail volumes and
did not have built and were not ready to built tools to automate
your bounce handlingg for you.  If you change that and get yourself
into the position where you can handle a couple thousand messages a
day (my normal load) as easy as you would handle a couple dozen
thousand messages -- which is areally just a question of software
automation -- these sorts of problems aren't problems any more but
just nudges that you need to tweak things a bit more.

Now in your case I suspect that you were manually processing the
bounces and unsubscribing them.  I had a similar situation on one of 
my lists where I ran the list as NOMAIL-on-bounce while I got used
to MailMan's bounce handling, and then later wanted to move over.
My process was simple:

  1) I posted to the list that everybody who was set nomail
  (typically done so that they could post from multiple accounts),
  to also set themselves as HIDDEN.  (Aside: I don't expose the
  membership lists, ever, so the HIDDEN flag is meaningless).

  2) A week later I removed all NOMAIL flags that weren't
  accompanied by HIDDEN flags and set the list to unsubscribe

  3) A few days after taht I watched all the automatic unsubscribes
  roll in and paid them no mind other than letting procmail autofile
  them to a folder on a per-list basis.

Were I not to have hat the ability to mess with the membership base
that way (ie I wasn't the list owner, just thge list host), I
suspect I would have begged a "pain of a software upgrade" (a white
lie), and just removed everybodies NOMAIL flags, posted to the list
that this had happened, and then let the MailMan handle it as per
normal with unsubscribe-on-bounce.

Note: I currently get around 250-300 bounces per day that MailMan
doesn't handle yet.  I ignore 'em and let procmail file and delete
the old ones automatically.
J C Lawrence                                 Home: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                              Other: coder at kanga.nu
--=| A man is as sane as he is dangerous to his environment |=--

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