[Mailman-Users] Target individual list member with sub-addressing when sending?

Grant Taylor gtaylor at riverviewtech.net
Thu Apr 30 19:22:00 CEST 2009

On 04/29/09 19:43, Charles Rosenberg wrote:
> Thank you for this suggestion, Brad.  I did take a look around to see 
> what was out there.  To be honest, the ones I saw seemed to be a bit 
> overkill for what I need.  After thinking about the setup a lot more, 
> I determined that contrary to my original post, it is OK if the 
> "designated poster" sees and knows the list member's e-mail addresses 
> when they use the "reply-to" mail address.  What can NOT be known by 
> the list members is the "designated poster's" direct e-mail address. 
>  I will look some more on this topic, thank you.

Ok...  This helps in that the requirements are a bit clearer.  I think 
this also helps by making the requirements a bit easier to fulfill.

> I'm sorry that I wasn't clear in the beginning.  There is only ONE, 
> maybe two(besides me the admin) "designated poster(s)" to the mailing 
> list.  The "reply-to" address is completely different from the list 
> address.  It is one specifically created for replies to this specific 
> mailing list.  It is not used anywhere else.


(I think I have what I think is a fairly simple and elegant solution, 
one which you sort of touch on before.)

> To be honest, I think what you are talking about here is one 
> potential solution that I was originally thinking about.  What I was 
> thinking about was creating the list as an "umbrella" list and 
> creating mailing lists for each specific recipient I want.  This 
> would mean that if I wanted to make it as seamless as possible, I 
> would have to have Postfix do some work too.  To summarize:

I'm also thinking two differently behaving mailing lists that are 
closely linked to each other.

> 1.  Create the "main" list, austrailia at lists.domain.com as an 
> umbrella list.

I don't know if it will be an "umbrella" list or not, but that is more 
syntax than any thing else.

> 2.  Create an individual mailing list address for each member we want 
> to get e-mail.  i.e. KenYamaguchi at lists.domain.com, 
> JoeTanaka at lists.domain.com, etc. and have each individual mailing 
> list have only one subscriber, namely the person we want getting our 
> e-mails.

I don't think you will want to create a separate list for each 
subscriber, that would be way over kill.

> 3.  Subscribe each of the "individual" mailing lists to the umbrella 
> list.


> 4.  Continue to rewrite the mail headers to show the "designated 
> posters" messages as coming from the "reply-to" address.
> 5.  Configure Postfix to rewrite the from headers on the replies to 
> the "reply-to" address so the "designated poster" automatically sees 
> the associated "individual" mailing list for that list member.  i.e. 
> Postfix will rewrite kyamaguchi at docomo.ne.jp --> 
> KenYamaguchi at lists.domain.com when kyamaguchi at docomo.ne.jp replies to 
> the "reply-to" address.

I'm thinking that Mailman may be able to do what you are wanting to do 
after all.  That is /IF/ we are very careful with what we do.

> 6.  Once the "designated poster" gets the reply, she only has to hit 
> her "reply" button to reply to the reply which should go to the 
> "individual" mailing list.(e.g. KenYamaguchi at lists.domain.com)


Can the "designated poser" reply (from his/her ""public address) 
directly to the recipient that replied to the original post?

> 7.  Configure Postfix to then rewrite our "reply-to-the-reply" header 
> to strip out our "designated poster's" address and replace it with 
> the "reply-to" address we want all replies to go to. i.e. [From: 
> designatedpostersaddress at softbank.ne.jp] --> [From: 
> reply-to-address at domain.com]


Now let me lay out what's in my head:

  - Create a "designated posters" list.

  - Create a "subscribers" list.

  - Create a "reply" list.

  - Subscribe all designated posters (including admins) to both the 
"designated posters" and the "reply" list.

  - Subscribe the "subscribers" list to the "designated posters" list.

  - Subscribe the subscribers to the "subscribers" list.

  - Configure the "designated posters" list to fully hide the identity 
of the real sender and make messages appear as if they came from the 
"designated posters" list.

  - Configure the "subscribers" list to direct replies to the "reply" list.

This is where I'm not 100% what to do.  So here's how I see things 
working up to this point.

  1) Designated posters send from what ever address they want to the 
"designated posters" list.

  2) The "designated posters" list hides all personal information and 
sends the post to all subscribers including all designated posters and 
the "subscribers" list, thus including all real subscribers.

  3) The "subscribers" list sends the message on to all real subscribers.

  4) Subscribers reply to the message they received from the 
"subscribers" list which is sent to the "reply" list.

  5) The "reply" list will send the message on to all designated posters 
unmodified.  This will allow the designated posters to see the real 
email address of the subscriber which they can reply to.

  6) This is where my I'm stuck.  How to have replies from the 
designated poster be sanitized and sent back to the subscriber that is 
replying.  I wonder if a two way anonymizer would help here.

> First question about this is that it seems like it would work.  Would 
> it?

I don't know for sure, but I think you are going to get stuck at the 
same point that I am, namely hiding the reply from the original poster 
back to the subscriber that replied.

> Second question, is there an easier way?  This way I have to manually 
> "fix" and configure addresses in Mailman and Postfix and while I 
> don't anticipate more than about 20 or 30 list members at most, it 
> does mean I have to do it all by hand.

I don't know.

> Good side is that the list will only be active for a week or so. 
>  After that, all data gets wiped.

Yesh.  That makes me question if this is worth the effort.

> I guess since you are not the only one to mention that this would be 
> very difficult in Mailman as-is, I should think about my idea I just 
> posted above this paragraph using the individual lists idea.  As for 
> your conditionally sending messages to the list or individual 
> members, how powerful is Mailman in setting up something like that? 
>  Just for future reference.

Let me share the key points in my head to see if it will spark any one 
else in to helping solve this puzzle.

  - The "original posters" mailing list is used to sanitize the original 
poster's address and to make sure that all original posters are kept in 
the loop.

  - The "subscribers" list is responsible for doing the mass delivery.

  - The "reply" list is used to make sure that all original posters are 
kept in the loop with out sending the message back to the subscribers.

I will do some more thinking about ways to allow the original posters to 
reply to replies that come in to the "reply" list from subscribers while 
hiding the original posters address.

> Thanks again.


Grant. . . .

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