[Mailman-Users] Complaining Outlook users

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Sat Aug 2 23:14:44 CEST 2008

Andrew Hodgson writes:

 > The question is: Do many listadmins get similar questions, and is
 > there any merit for requesting that Mailman uses the list address
 > only in the Sender header?

I've never seen it on my lists ;-), but it's definitely a FAQ.

I'm opposed to putting the list address in the Sender field as a
matter of principle.  I'd want to see LIST-owner there, but
LIST-bounces isn't a bad compromise.  The idea is that the From field
presents the author(s) of the content, while the Sender field is the
agent who actually handles the mail.  Think "boss" and "secretary".

So suppose you get a memo signed "The Boss/ts" (ts = the secretary).
If you want to explain to the boss why you'd like to do things a
little bit differently, you write a reply to the boss.  But if an
attachment was missing, you don't bother the boss (unless you want to
get the secretary in trouble :-), you get in touch with the secretary.
From/Sender is supposed to work the same way.  Since Mailman can and
does strip attachments and HTML (depending on configuration), having
Sender be a list manager address is useful.

This usage is an Internet standard (STD 11) going back decades (to RFC
724 of May 12, 1977, to be precise).

To be honest, that's exactly what "on behalf of" means, anyway, so I
don't understand why there's a problem here unless Outlook defaults to
reply-to-Sender rather than reply-to-From.

However, Mailman is a Python shop, so practicality beats purity.  If
there really are that many users who have this problem, I'd personally
be happy enough with defaulting to the list-post address and an option
to set ti to something RFC-conforming.

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