Great Circle Associates Majordomo-Users
(October 1996)
 

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Subject: Re: Fwd:Important fix for majordomo email list users
From: Dave Barr <barr @ math . psu . edu>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 1996 14:20:54 -0400
To: majordomo-users @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: Your message of "Fri, 18 Oct 1996 10:01:36 +1200." <199610181659.JAA10728@sparkie.osl.state.or.us>
References: <199610181659.JAA10728@sparkie.osl.state.or.us>

In message <199610181659.JAA10728@sparkie.osl.state.or.us>, chris writes:
>
>The problem is that a mailer does not properly follow the "Errors-To:"
>header and bounces messages to the elist. Moreover, the Subject: header
>does not conform to the "usual" mailer error message (Unix sendmail is the
>"standard" behavior used by nearly all Internet email systems), thus
>majordomo can't catch this bug.

This is of course wrong.

If any mailer bounces to the Errors-To: address, it is non-compliant.
The Errors-To: address is not legal and must not be used nor honored.

Bounces go to the out-of-band envelope FROM address.  Not to the Reply-To:
address, not to the From: address, and not to the Errors-To: address.
Some mail systems copy this out-of-band envelope FROM address into
the "Return-Path:" header or "From " mbox separator.

This is also the #1 reason why setting Reply-To: to point to the list is
BAD BAD BAD!  As soon as you run across a non-compliant mailer, BOOM.  You
got yourself a huge mail loop.

List admins: Do not set Reply-To: to point to the list.  The #2 reason
why setting Reply-To: to point to the list is bad is that it undoubtedly
causes people to unintentionally send personal replies to the list, often
with very embarrassing results.  Along the same lines, with some mail
readers it makes it impossible for a user to send a personal reply without
manually changing to To: line.  Mail readers have two "reply" buttons for
a reason!  (or should have)  Expect your users to know or find out the
difference!  Don't coddle them!

--Dave



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