[Mailman-Users] Alternatives to having a list own itself

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Fri Feb 23 04:07:58 CET 2007

Kelly Jones wrote:
>We tried to make sysops owned by itself, but ran into problems: a
>spammer emailed sysops, and the mail was held for moderation. However,
>the "sysops post requires approval" message came from sysops-bounces
>and went to sysops: Mailman apparently detected a loop and didn't
>deliver the message (either that, or Mailman automatically rejects
>emails that come from a list itself?)

Actually, I think that the message comes From: sysops-owner with an
envelope sender of mailman-bounces (or whatever the site list is).
This however is irrelevant. What happens is this notice is sent with a

X-BeenThere: sysops at ...

This header is detected when the message is received and processed for
the list, and the message is discarded.

>To be honest, we didn't investigate too deeply: we know that the
>sysops list works great for the most part, but doesn't work when we
>make it own itself. We even tried cheating by using an alias: we had
>"bar at foo.com" forward to "sysops at foo.com" and then made the list owned
>by "bar at foo.com", but Mailman figured out our trickery and somehow
>disallowed it.

Because you didn't remove the X-BeenThere: sysops at ... header.

>My question: what's the best way to handle a situation like this? Have
>a list owned by itself or "effectively" owned by itself. An obvious
>hack is to run "list_members sysops" in a cron job and then dump the
>results into the 'owner' field, but this seems ugly, especially if
>you're using topics (at any given time, only a subset of sysops may
>decide to receive "message pending approval" type messages).
>Is this the Mailman version of Russell's paradox?

I don't think so. I think your alias trick will work if you make
foo at example.com the owner and then process mail to foo at example.com by
stripping any X-BeenThere: headers before forwarding to sysops at ...

I haven't thought through the ramifications however. It's possible that
this could result in a real loop. As I say, I haven't thought it
through and it's possible that there are no loop scenarios, but I
won't guarantee it.

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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