[Mailman-Users] MAIL FROM envelope header query.

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Sat Mar 17 03:58:25 CET 2012

John Fitzsimons wrote:

>On Fri, 9 Mar 2012 19:18:53 -0800, Mark Sapiro wrote:
>>They are telling you that there is a Gmane address which is a member of
>>your list that is how gmane receives messages posted to your list.
>Well, I know that that is how it is meant to work BUT the post I asked
>about shows a "from" address like someone at tormail.net . My mailing
>list doesn't have anyone with that address on it.

We are not talking here about the From: header in the message. See

>>When someone posts to your list on Gmane, Gmane sends that post to
>>your list with the envelope sender (SMTP MAIL FROM address) equal to
>>the Gmane address that's a member of your list. 
>That doesn't appear to be happening.

Again, see below.

>>It is not clear to me whether this post was held as a post from a
>>moderated member or just went to the list. 
>He/she doesn't appear to be a member at all.

Yes, but what happened to the post? Did it go directly to the list or
was it held for moderator action for some reason? If the latter, for
what reason?

>>If it just went to the list
>>and you want it to be held, just set the mod flag on the subscribed
>>Gmane address and it will be held as a post from a moderated member.
>It doesn't appear to be a subscribed address.

I'm talking about the Gmane address that is subscribed to your list,
not some address that happened to be in the From: header of the
particular message.

>The problem is that this is on a hosted site so I cannot change the
>main Mailman files.


>IF I understand things correctly you/Gmane seem to be saying that
>somewhere in the envelope header is the address of someone on my list.
>Not necessarily in the 'from', 'reply-to', 'sender' areas.
>Is that correct ?


>In any case what does "envelope header" mean ? Does it mean in the
>sender's header in areas other than 'from', 'reply-to', 'sender' ?

Imagine for a moment that you are sending a letter by postal mail. The
letter is typed on your stationery which has your name and address at
the top, and you type the recipient's name and address and the date
below that, and then type your message.

Your name and address on the paper are analogous to the From: header in
an email message. The recipient's name and address and the date on the
paper are analogous to the To: and Date: headers in an email message,
and the message that you type following these is analogous to the body
of an email message. The other headers you may see at the top of an
email message are not analogous to things in this paper mail example,
but they aren't what we're talking about.

The paper letter and the email message are analogous in another way.
Neither of them go anywhere until you put them in an envelope and mail
them. Just as in the paper postal mail case, the email is sent "in" an
envelope and the envelope has a recipient address which may or may not
be the same as the To: address in the message and a from or return
address which may or may not be the same as the From: address in the
message. In the email case, this return address is called the envelope

What I and Gmane are telling you is that the envelope sender address is
the Gmane address that is a member of your list. As a user or admin of
your list, you don't see the envelope that the message came in, you
only see the message. If the message should be held for approval, the
moderator may see the envelope sender reflected in a Return-Path:
header in the admindb moderator interface, but generally, by the time
the message is delivered to the list members, any envelope information
from the original, incoming message is gone because the message is put
in a new envelope to be delivered to the list members.

>In any case it looks like changing things in the SENDER_HEADERS in
>mm_cfg.py will enable me to better restrict posters to those on my
>"registered" posters list and/or make it so that posters have to put
>their "approved" address in eg. the 'from', 'reply-to', 'sender'
>slots, so to speak.
>So can I make this change via my GUI in Windows XP ?

No, you can't make that change through the Mailman web UI.

What you need to do is go to the web admin Membership List pages for
your list and find the Gmane address that is a member of your list and
make sure its "mod" box is checked. That way, any "non-member" posts
from Gmane, regardless of who they are From: should be held for
moderation and you can accept them or not as you see fit.

You said in your original post that your list was "moderated". What
does that mean to you? Does it mean all the member's "mod" boxes are
checked and Privacy options... -> Sender filters ->
default_member_moderation is set to Yes so that new members are also
have their mod boxes checked by default, or does it mean something
else? Also, what do you mean by "registered" posters? Is this just the
list membership, or is it something else? If I knew exactly, I might
be able to suggest other things.	

Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net>        The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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