Great Circle Associates Majordomo-Workers
(September 1995)
 

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Subject: Welcome message reply-to is Majordomo
From: dwolfe @ risc . sps . mot . com (Dave Wolfe)
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 10:46:56 -0500 (CDT)
To: majordomo-workers @ greatcircle . com (Majordomo developer's mailing list)
Reply-to: David Wolfe <david_wolfe @ risc . sps . mot . com>

Sorry if this has been discussed and I missed it -- please refer me to
the appropriate archive if so.

In majordomo.pl, &sendmail inserts the following headers in messages
sent by it:

-   To: $to
-   From: $from
-   Subject: $subject
-   Reply-To: $from

where $to is the 2nd argument to &sendmail and $subject is the
3rd. $from is either the 4th argument (optional), the value set by
&set_mail_from (if previously called), or "Majordomo" (by default).
There is also a $sender value used for the sendmail -f option, which is
either the 5th argument (optional), the value set by &set_mail_sender
(if previously called), or "Majordomo-Owner" (by default).

Majordomo (the script) initializes $from via &set_mail_from to
$whoami from majordomo.cf, which is usually "majordomo@$whereami".
When &welcome calls &sendmail, it explicitly sets $sender via
&set_mail_sender to the list config file 'sender'@$whereami but $from
remains "majordomo@$whereami", which becomes the reply-to address. Now
along comes an auto-responder that honors the reply-to header and sends
some cutesy message back to "majordomo@$whereami", which dutifully tries
to parse if for commands and, if everyone is lucky, only sends back a
help message, to which the auto-responder replies, which majordomo
parses, etc.

I suppose one could argue that the auto-responder is broken, but it
was only replying as it was told to, i.e. to the reply-to address. It
doesn't make sense that anyone should *ever* want to reply to majordomo,
so it seems to me that the reply-to header should use the $sender
address instead of the $from address. In every instance where &sendmail
is used that I could find, $from is Majordomo and $sender is a person,
i.e. majordomo-owner or list-owner.

Any comments, history, patient explanations, brickbats, etc?

-- 
 Dave Wolfe    *Not a spokesman for Motorola*  (512) 891-3246
 Motorola MMTG  6501 Wm. Cannon Dr. W. OE112  Austin  TX  78735-8598

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