[Mailman-Users] excessive bounces bug

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Sat Feb 18 18:34:09 CET 2006

Travis Derouin wrote:
>I run a mailing list for a daily how-to newsletter for eHow.com.
>Today, at least a few of us subscribed to the list, including myself,
>received a false warning:
>"Your membership in the mailing list eHow has been disabled due to
>excessive bounces The last bounce received from you was dated
>18-Feb-2006.  You will not get any more messages from this list until
>you re-enable your membership.  You will receive 3 more reminders like
>this before your membership in the list is deleted."

You say it is a false warning. Does that mean you got the warning but
your subscription delivery wasn't actually disabled, or that delivery
was disabled but shouldn't have been?

>This is definitely in error since I, and other people in our
>organization, have been receiving the daily e-mail that is sent to our
>list successfully. Can anyone explain why this would happen?

Are you the list owner? Do you have the Bounce processing
notifications, particularly bounce_notify_owner_on_disable, set to
Yes? If so, the owner should receive a notice at the same time the
user receives the above notice. The owner's notice will include a copy
of the bounce message that triggered the disable which will help you
see why this is happening.

>Currently, to avoid having a mass panic and unsubscription from our
>list, the best route I see is to include an apology for this false
>warning to our users in our next newsletter and disable automatic
>bounce processing to prevent this from happening again.

Rather than disable bounce processing, you might just alter settings
such as bounce_info_stale_after to be more agressive about discarding
old bounce info.

You can also go through the membership list and see how many members
are disabled by bounce. If you have command line access to your
Mailman, you can use 'bin/list_members --nomail=bybounce' to get this

If you don't have command line access, and the list is too large to
conveniently go through manually on the web, I have a modified version
of the script at
<http://starship.python.net/crew/jwt/mailman/#throughtheweb> which can
screen scrape the web interface and build a "csv" output file
containing the membership data. This modified version will eventually
get to the above site, but in the meantime, you can get it at
<http://veenet.value.net/~msapiro/mailman-subscribers.py> or

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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