FAQ
Dear fellow Mailman users,

I have just started using Mailman for a large Society mailing list
(~500 subscribers), and have run into two problems that are
causing a lot of heat on my new list.

Problem 1: when a subscriber replies to a message that is part
of a lengthy thread, their email client is listing the addresses
of all previous respondents to the thread, eg: A thread on
Mickey Mouse on the list disney.example.dom has attracted
postings from minnie at disneyexample.com, mickey at disneyexample.com
and pluto at plutoexample.com. When I come to reply to a message,
my email client is putting the following in the To and CC
fields:

To: pluto at plutoexample.com
CC: minnie at disneyexample.com, mickey at disneyexample.com,
list at disney.example.dom
From: iain at iainbrown.net
Message: Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.

I know munging the Reply-To, to force all responses to be sent
to list at disney.example.dom, is not the done thing. So is there
any way of making Mailman clean up the header information,
perhaps to remove all the names in the CC field except for the
list address?

Problem 2: (which is related to problem 1) when a subscriber
replies to a message, Mailman does not take notice of the
addresses in the To: or CC: fields, and thus some subscribers
are receiving multiple copies of messages, even though their
settings say "No Dupes". To continue the example from above,
poor Minnie, Pluto and Mickey are all receiving duplicates of
the message from me -- once via the list and once from me
direct. What would be causing this?

I am using Mailman 2.1.2 offered by my Web host; they can't
upgrade to 2.1.5 because they have a number of custom
modifications which means an upgrade is not trivial. And they are
not prepared to run a single Mailman instance for every customer
as would not be feasible.

Any suggestions and advice on how to sort out my problems?

Many thanks.

Best wishes,

Iain.

--
Iain Brown
iain at iainbrown.net

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  • Brad Knowles at Nov 3, 2005 at 11:13 pm

    At 7:49 PM +0000 2005-11-03, Iain D.Brown wrote:

    I know munging the Reply-To, to force all responses to be sent
    to list at disney.example.dom, is not the done thing. So is there
    any way of making Mailman clean up the header information,
    perhaps to remove all the names in the CC field except for the
    list address?
    I don't think so -- not within Mailman, at least. But your MTA
    may well be able to be configured to do something like this,
    depending on the MTA.
    Problem 2: (which is related to problem 1) when a subscriber
    replies to a message, Mailman does not take notice of the
    addresses in the To: or CC: fields, and thus some subscribers
    are receiving multiple copies of messages, even though their
    settings say "No Dupes". To continue the example from above,
    poor Minnie, Pluto and Mickey are all receiving duplicates of
    the message from me -- once via the list and once from me
    direct. What would be causing this?
    Mailman does attempt to prevent copies of messages being sent to
    addresses that it can see on the To: and Cc: headers, but if a person
    has multiple different addresses and one is subscribed to the list
    and another is displayed in the headers, there's nothing that Mailman
    can do for you.

    This problem would need to be resolved with a tool like procmail,
    on the recipient system.


    Good luck!

    --
    Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
    temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

    -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
    Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

    SAGE member since 1995. See <http://www.sage.org/> for more info.
  • Mark Sapiro at Nov 4, 2005 at 1:56 am

    Brad Knowles wrote:
    At 7:49 PM +0000 2005-11-03, Iain D.Brown wrote:

    I know munging the Reply-To, to force all responses to be sent
    to list at disney.example.dom, is not the done thing. So is there
    any way of making Mailman clean up the header information,
    perhaps to remove all the names in the CC field except for the
    list address?
    I don't think so -- not within Mailman, at least. But your MTA
    may well be able to be configured to do something like this,
    depending on the MTA.

    Brad is correct. The real problem is that few MUAs/email clients offer
    the option of 'list reply'. Ideally, all MUAs would provide a widget
    to reply to the address in the List-Post: header only, but few do.
    Thus, "the rest of us" are left with the standard two choices - reply
    (to poster) and reply-all (to list, poster and all prior posters in
    the thread). Actually, choice 2 is sometimes desired, since in some
    cases poster is a digest member or not a member at all. It is a good
    thing I think to keep digest members current on the threads they've
    posted to.

    As far as doing this outside Mailman, this may be doable, but is it
    desired. It depends on your list. A person may post to a problem list
    about a current problem and Cc a user or manager and may want them to
    also be Cc'd on replies. Only Mailman would know which Ccs were list
    members.

    Problem 2: (which is related to problem 1) when a subscriber
    replies to a message, Mailman does not take notice of the
    addresses in the To: or CC: fields, and thus some subscribers
    are receiving multiple copies of messages, even though their
    settings say "No Dupes". To continue the example from above,
    poor Minnie, Pluto and Mickey are all receiving duplicates of
    the message from me -- once via the list and once from me
    direct. What would be causing this?
    Mailman does attempt to prevent copies of messages being sent to
    addresses that it can see on the To: and Cc: headers, ...

    if they've selected no dupes. It doesn't supress digest delivery since
    digests can contain other posts. It works in current versions AFAIK.
    (You are addressed in this post. Do you get a duplicate?). This may be
    an issue with 2.1.2 or with your provider's customization.

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

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postedNov 3, '05 at 7:49p
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