[Mailman-Users] Disabling VERP

Richard Barrett R.Barrett at ftel.co.uk
Fri Feb 7 14:55:35 CET 2003

At 09:25 07/02/2003, Simon White wrote:
>07-Feb-03 at 01:58, Barry A. Warsaw (barry at python.org) wrote :
> >     TM> My users don't like the new From: format, and I am trying to
> >     TM> get it back to the way it was, which seems like such a small
> >     TM> and simple thing to do but evidently is not.  Also, getting

Against my better judgement, I had a look at the issue of what some FUMUA's 
from MS display on their GUI as the "From" field.

One of my users has Outlook 2002 on his machine and I looked at some 
messages he has that have passed through our list management system under 
MM 2.0.x, MM 2.1 no-VERP and MM 2.1 with-VERP.

It appears that Outlook 2002 conflates either of the values of the Sender 
or Return-path headers (both being the same, I couldn't determine which is 
was taking) with the value of the From header and displays that in the From 
field of its GUI for the user's benefit.

Nowhere on Outlook 2002's GUI interface, could I find a way of changing its 
behaviour in regards to what it displays in the From field of its GUI. 
Maybe it can be done by hacking the registry or some other means but I'm 
not that keen to solve the problem that I'll step into that tar pit.

The only difference I could see between messages distributed by MM 2.0.x 
versus MM 2.1 are the changes from the -admin to -bounces suffix in the 
Sender/Return-path header value that Outlook 2002 conflates into what it 
displays in its GUI From field. If MM 2.1 was set to VERP outgoing messages 
then what is conflated from Sender/Return-path into the From display field 
is just that much more verbose. But the display field From was always of 
the form:

     From <Sender: header value> on behalf of <From: header value>

for any mail where the Sender and From headers were not the same; which 
just happens to be the case for all mail sent out by both 2.0.x and 2.1 
versions of Mailman.

Note that Outlook 2002 will present a dialogue window that shows the 
_actual_ mail headers for an email but it is manipulating what it normally 
shows the user in its GUI From field.

Looking at another user's system, where he is using Outlook Express 6, 
rather than Outlook 2002 (only the names are nearly the same to protect the 
guilty), I found that Outlook was unaffected by the MM 2.0.x to MM 2.1 list 
suffix changes and use/non-use of VERP'ing, because it just displays the 
value of the From header in its GUI From field.

The post to this list at 23:18 05/02/2003, by Tom Maddox that set this hare 
running said:

>Prior to my "upgrade" (oh, bitter irony!) to Mailman 2.1, mail sent via a
>list had the following characteristics:
>From: User Name [user at domain.com]
>To: <listname at domain.com>
>Reply-To:  <list|user> depending on list setting
>Now, the mail looks like:
>From:  listname-bounces at domain.com on behalf of User Name [user at domain.com]
>To: <listname at domain.com>
>Reply-To:  <null>
>Additionally, sometimes Outlook will insert the "short description" of the
>list into the To: field when replying, but I'm willing to believe that's a
>bug in Outlook.

This implied a change caused solely by the change from -admin to -bounces 
alias suffix in the Sender/Return-path headers on e-mail from Mailman. But 
I could not reproduce that with either Outlook 2002 or Outlook Express 6.

Go figure.

btw: I found some references to this problem being raised previously when I 
did a google search. For instance :



 From the post at kanga.nu it looks as though this Outlook behaviour was 
introduced by the release of a new and exciting version of Outlook loaded 
with interesting new features.

Always remember, if it ain't broke it ain't Microsoft.

> >     TM> rid of the text attachments in Outlook when the footer has a
> >     TM> different character set than the message body (also due to a
> >     TM> new "feature" introduced in 2.1) would be delightful.
> >
> > ...this is an Outlook problem.  I tested this with my colleague Tim
> > Peters, Window user extraordinare and even with Content-Disposition:
> > inline clues, Outlook[*] still insists on displaying them as
> > attachments.  Standards are for other people, I guess.
> >
> > Next time I see him, I'll try to convince Tim to subscribe to a
> > personalized list and look over his shoulder while he views the
> > messages.
>I have seen too much software with specific Outlook / OE requirements
>and workarounds. It is sickening.
>Outlook / Outlook Express are *not* mail user agents (MUAs) they are
>pseudo-mail unaware-user agents (PMUUA, kinda like the noise horrid
>tasting food makes when I spit it back out).
>Sadly changing MUAs is not a possibility for a lot of people, and some
>people thing Outlook Expressly-made-to-annoy *is* email.
>I will never lose the energy to keep telling people to run PC-PINE,
>Eudora, Mulberry, Pegasus, or something else (even a webmail app). The
>best argument is simple - you will get 95% less viruses JUST by changing
>your mail application.
>|-Simon White, Internet Services Manager, Certified Check Point CCSA.
>|-MTDS  Internet, Security, Anti-Virus, Linux and Hosting Solutions.
>|-MTDS  14, rue du 16 novembre, Agdal, Rabat, Morocco.
>|-MTDS  tel +212.3.767.4861 - fax +212.3.767.4863

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