Gateway to python-list is generating bounce messages.
steve at REMOVE-THIS-cybersource.com.au
Fri Sep 12 14:29:12 CEST 2008
On Thu, 11 Sep 2008 17:27:33 +0200, Sjoerd Mullender wrote:
> When mail messages bounce, the MTA (Message Transfer Agent--the program
> that handles mail) *should* send the bounce message to whatever is in
> the Sender header, and only if that header does not exist, should it use
> the From header.
Who makes up these rules, and why should we pay the least bit of
attention to them?
It's one thing to say "right or wrong, that's what list admins do and you
have to deal with their behaviour whatever way you can". It's another
thing altogether to take the legalistic attitude of "never mind the
consequences, the standard is the standard and must be unthinkingly
obeyed". If the standard does more harm than good, then ignoring the
standard is the right thing to do. (Better would be to change the
standard, but that probably won't happen until there's a critical mass of
people who ignore the existing broken standard and form their own de
A standard isn't "correct" just because it's a standard, it's merely
something that a committee has agreed to do. In other words, it's a
compromise. Now, such compromises might be good and useful, or they might
combine the worst of all opinions. Just because something is standardized
doesn't make it the right thing to do. If you want proof of this, I give
you the recently approved ISO standard for Microsoft's so-called "Office
Open XML" OOXML file format.
The standard behaviour of sending bounce and out-of-office messages to
the sender works well when sending email to individuals, but for mailing
lists it is pointless and counter-productive. Pointless, because the
sender can't do anything to fix the problem he's being notified about.
And counter-productive, because it is an anti-feature, something that
makes the mailing list more unpleasant and less useful. Anyone who has
regularly emailed to a large mailing list has surely experienced the
frustration of receiving bounce messages from perfect strangers.
To anyone who wishes to defend the process of sending mailing list
bounces back the sender, ask yourself this: what do YOU do with such
bounces when you receive them? If you ignore them or delete them (whether
manually or via a procmail recipe or some other automatic system) then
what benefit does the standard behaviour offer?
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