[Mailman-Users] Auto-Responses/Digest Delivery

Greg Ward gward at mems-exchange.org
Fri Nov 16 20:38:00 CET 2001

On 16 November 2001, Camille K. Powell said:
> Thanks for responding.  I am still having the same problem.  I plan to
> contact the postmasters, as suggested.  However, I hope that there is also
> something that I can do, in the meantime, on my end.  I double-checked and
> replies to list messages are indeed directed to the poster, as recommended.

You always have the option of disabling the subscriptions of users with
broken autoresponders.  Or of blacklisting their site entirely; a bit
harsh, but not unheard of. 

> The strange thing that I noticed is that auto-replies to the list are only
> from digest subscribers.  I looked at a digest message to my list.  The "To"
> field is the list address and the "From" field is the admin address, for
> example, listname-admin at ...  When I try replying to the digest message, I
> get the list address!  I would think that a reply to the digest message
> would go to the admin address, since that's where the message originated.  

Why don't you post the *complete* headers for one of these digests?
What MUA are you using?  It may also be useful to know what the SMTP
sender and recipient (aka "envelope" sender and recipient) are -- if
your MTA adds Return-path and Envelope-to or Delivered-to headers, those
should tell you.  If not, watch your MTA's logs as it accepts the digest
from Mailman and delivers it to you; most MTA log the envelope sender
and recipient.  If all else fails, time to learn about packet-tracing
tools like Ethereal: attach one to your MTA while the digest is received
and delivered, and look at the SMTP session.  Loads of fun, that.

> When I reply to a regular posting, I get the poster address.  Is there
> something wrong with the digest delivery?

If this is purely in the MUA, then it's more likely something wrong with
the digest's headers.  MUAs don't generally have access to envelope
sender/recipient, so they have to go by the headers: From, Sender,
Reply-to, etc.

> Also, when I am the poster of a
> message (and I have delivery set to regular), I get the auto-replies (not
> the list).  Is there a way to have all auto-replies to the list sent to the
> listname-admin@ address?

No, because there is no limit to the stupidity of broken autoresponders.
If I wanted to, I could go write an autoresponder that sends you email
every time someone sends me email with the word "foo" in it.  Broken?
Stupid?  You bet.  But perfectly feasible.

Greg Ward - software developer                gward at mems-exchange.org
MEMS Exchange                            http://www.mems-exchange.org

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