[Mailman-Users] Bounce message confusion

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Sat Nov 19 02:54:53 CET 2005

Robin Rowe wrote:
>According to our ISP Hostforweb.com, the mail backlog is supposed to 
>catch up later. I think that's not happening. Haven't researched MTA 
>issues myself yet. Do you know what docs I should read on that?

It depends on what the MTA is and how it's configured, and I don't know
much anyway. I suspect that the MTA is actually refusing the excess
recipients and Mailman is informed during the sending process.
Otherwise, the MTA would be accepting all recipients and just delaying
delivery to some.

Mailman's 'smtp' and 'smtp-failure' logs would have more info. So too
would the member disabled bounce notification you receive. I know you
can't see the logs (maybe you can convince the ISP to look), but what
do the notices say?

The MTA should be returning a status code with the refusal. If it's a
500 series code other than 552. it will be treated as a bounce. If it
is 552 or a 400 series code, Mailman will retry delivery later.

> > Did you receive a bounce action notification for the
> > second unsubscribe?
> >
> > If this happened, it's a bug.
>I don't know. It happened before I was monitoring closedly.
> > The real issue is that Mailman sends to the same list in the same
> > order
> > each time, so if the host's MTA bounces all but the first 500 recips,
> > those at the end of the list will never get mail and will always be
> > bouncing. This is what needs to be fixed with the host.
>We're trying, but my ISP doesn't seem to understand what's wrong. It's 
>frustrating that I can't tell what's happening firsthand. Is there a way 
>I can add an email address of my own that will definitely be at the end 
>of the send list and therefore get the bounce? For instance, are mailman 
>emails sent alphabetical by address that I could add a zzz at mydomain.com 
>address that would be sure to get sent last?

No. You can't do this. The recipient list is in a 'hash table' order
which is subsequently grouped into bins by top level domain. bin 1
contains all .com, bin 2 - all .net and .org, bin 3 - all .edu, .us
and .ca, and bin 0 - all the rest. These bins are also processed in a
hashed order, so you can't make an arbitrary address be at the end.

Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net>       The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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