[Mailman-Users] incorrect archive time (daylight savings)

David Lee t.d.lee at durham.ac.uk
Wed Jul 12 11:00:21 CEST 2006

On Wed, 12 Jul 2006, Brad Knowles wrote:

> At 12:00 AM -0500 2006-07-12, Chris McKeever wrote:
> >  When an email comes into the list and it gets archived, it is gettings
> >  timestamped as CDT as opposed to CST, which then causes the archive to
> >  be offset by that hour difference.
> >
> >  Is this intended behaviour, or a fixable issue?
> It all depends on where that "Date:" header is being added.  If it's
> coming from the sender's end, then there's probably not much you can
> do to fix that, certainly not within Mailman (at least, not without
> making some source code changes).  If it's being added by your local
> MTA, then you should fix the timezone settings on that machine.
> But since RFC 822 and 2822 specify the "Date:" header as being
> required for Internet messages, odds are pretty good that's coming
> from the remote end.

I wonder whether there might be a deeper and more general problem of which
this CST/CDT is just one surface symptom?

For many people (generators of emails heading towards Mailman and its
archives), having the correct time and date on their PC may not even have
been considered.  Or even if it has (once, at purchase time), it could
have got itself changed without anyone ever noticing (e.g. domestically by
an enthusiastically experimental offspring).

Whatever the cause, the "Date:" field is unreliable, sometimes being days,
months or even a year or so out.  Yes, the majority of PCs will be
reasonably well set up.  But a significant minority (wild guess 5%) will
probably be far enough out for their outbound emails to get significantly
misplaced in (for instance) date-dependent Mailman archives.

Might it not be better, if reasonably possible, for Mailman to base its
archive timings upon the arrival time (suggest UTC-based) at the server,
which we can safely assume to be reasonably good and, more importantly, to
be reliably montonically increasing, rather than upon the unreliable
user-supplied "Date:"?  And the CST/CDT issue would automatically be OK.

(For those who like choice, there could be a Mailman-admin option of which
date (email "Date:" or server arrival-time (or ...?)) to use.  And for
those who really like choice, that could even have a per-list option.)

Just a thought...


:  David Lee                                I.T. Service          :
:  Senior Systems Programmer                Computer Centre       :
:                                           Durham University     :
:  http://www.dur.ac.uk/t.d.lee/            South Road            :
:                                           Durham DH1 3LE        :
:  Phone: +44 191 334 2752                  U.K.                  :

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list