[Mailman-Users] Gmail "features"

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Tue Aug 7 20:26:28 CEST 2012

Lucio Crusca writes:

 > Feel free to try subscribing to the above list and try posting from
 > gmail.

OK, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.  I need to sleep after
that last goal by Mexico. :-(

 > Like I said, I suspect it depends on the list. My current best guess is
 > that older lists (i.e. the ones that had been created before some time in
 > the past) don't hit the infamous feature, while newer ones do.

That's definitely wrong.  I've been a gmail user for at least 5 years,
occasionally posting to various mailing lists of which some have been
in existence for more than 20 years, with the oldest Mailman
installation being 13 years old (but Mailman has been upgraded
regularly, of course).

 > What's more against standards than throwing messages away like
 > gmail does?  I wouldn't care too much if the patch concerned only
 > gmail subscribers.

Sorry, but you're wrong.  Gmail is an MUA, there are no RFCs for what
it should do with messages it receives, only for the wire format to
use when sending and interpret when receiving.  If users don't like
what it does, there are plenty of other MUAs.

To the extent that the RFCs apply, Gmail is perfectly within the
standards.  Two messages that have the same Message-ID are presumed to
be the same message by the RFCs.

Gmail also provides MTA services.  If someone uses a different MUA to
send via Gmail's SMTP server, I believe they would receive that
message via the list as the Gmail MUA wouldn't have a copy.  Is that a
possible explanation?

 > Please elaborate. That would be the solution. I imagine something fairly
 > simple and not very intrusive, like adding something like this somewhere
 > in the mailman code:

If you're willing to do it for all recipients but only for posts from
Gmail users, you can do it in a Handler, pretty much anywhere in the
pipeline.  I consider that non-intrusive and relatively benign because
everybody's copy will have the same Message-ID for threading, Gmane
searching, and the like.

If you do it only for the Gmail-using subscriber, you'll probably
screw up his threading because his copy of the message will have a
different Message-ID from what everybody else refers to.  I find that
to be pretty intrusive.

Also, as far as I know, doing that would require doing surgery on the
personalization code, after the handoff to the outgoing queue runner.
I'm not willing to advise you on that, I don't know that part of the
code at all.

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