[Mailman-Users] Best practices

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Sun Jul 23 18:31:49 CEST 2006

David Gibbs wrote:

>Lawrence Bowie wrote:
>> I have been rejecting messages from non-members but I am
>> not sure that is the best practice. Is it better to "discard"
>> rather than "reject" non-members messages?
>It depends on the message ... if the message is topical, then I reject
>the message indicating that to post a person must be subscribed, and if
>they are subscribed, then they might be posting from a different email
>If the message isn't topical, then I just discard it (for which the
>'discard all messages marked as deferred' check box is a boon), as those
>are usually just spam.

So you have generic_nonmember_action set to 'Hold', and you (or a
moderator) make a decision on each post.

I think Lawrence is asking a different question, namely, should
generic_nonmember_action be 'reject' or 'discard'?

This is a controversial question, and the answer really depends on the
list. The 'good' answer is that spam should be filtered out ahead of
Mailman. Then Mailman and the list owner don't have to worry about
'blowback' and spam forwarding issues, but this solution isn't always

If you have spam reaching Mailman, it is clearly best to discard the
spam without sending any kind of 'reply'. Note that holding and then
discarding the message only does this if respond_to_post_requests is
set to 'No'. Otherwise, by the time the moderator sees the message, a
hold notification reply has already been sent.

Unfortunately, once the post gets to Mailman, Mailman applies the
generic_nonmember_action in every case. I think we all agree that for
spam (if it gets this far), this should be discard, but there are
lists for which this is not appropriate if the message is not spam.

In the past, Brad has posted examples to this list of situations where
silently discarding an attempted post has caused significant problems
for the non-member who thought the post had been received.

In short, this is a list specific decision. Is your list one where you
have non-members attempting to post? What are the consequences if that
post is discarded without notice? How do these balance with spam
blowback/forwarding considerations to the extent that spam gets this

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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