FAQ
Hello,

I have seen on this mailing list a few posts on the thread of
"Uncaught bounce notifications" but have not found the answer I need.
One of our user's received one of these notifications and the list owner
wants to know why the user received it. She believed that if
"Should Mailman send you, the list owner, any bounce messages that
failed to be detected by the bounce processor?" is set to Yes in the
Bounce Processing Section, the list owner should only get the bounces
and not the sender. If my understanding is correct, and please tell me
if I am wrong, sendmail (our MTA) will send a bounce notification to the
sender regardless of this mailman setting?

Also, is there a way to avoid user's replying to
listname-bounce at list.odu.edu? We would, of course, prefer that
subscribers to reply to listname at list.odu.edu but the bounce address is
the one that mailman uses when sending the mail out.

Darren
Old Dominion University

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  • Brad Knowles at Dec 1, 2005 at 10:33 am

    At 9:34 AM -0500 2005-11-30, Darren G Pifer wrote:

    Also, is there a way to avoid user's replying to
    listname-bounce at list.odu.edu? We would, of course, prefer that
    subscribers to reply to listname at list.odu.edu but the bounce address is
    the one that mailman uses when sending the mail out.
    The user can do whatever they want, or whatever their software
    allows them to do. It sounds like some misconfigured software is
    setting them up to reply to listname-bounce instead of listname, but
    short of setting a reply-to header (see
    <http://www.python.org/cgi-bin/faqw-mm.py?req=show&file=faq03.048.htp>
    for why this is strongly discouraged), I don't think you're going to
    be able to "fix" a user problem by making changes on the server.


    In short, if a patient goes to the doctor and complains that it
    hurts when they do a certain thing in a certain way, it is not at all
    unusual for the doctor to inform them to stop doing that thing in
    that way.

    --
    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 Dec 1, 2005 at 4:46 pm

    Brad Knowles wrote:
    At 9:34 AM -0500 2005-11-30, Darren G Pifer wrote:

    Also, is there a way to avoid user's replying to
    listname-bounce at list.odu.edu? We would, of course, prefer that
    subscribers to reply to listname at list.odu.edu but the bounce address is
    the one that mailman uses when sending the mail out.
    The user can do whatever they want, or whatever their software
    allows them to do. It sounds like some misconfigured software is
    setting them up to reply to listname-bounce instead of listname, but
    short of setting a reply-to header (see
    <http://www.python.org/cgi-bin/faqw-mm.py?req=show&file=faq03.048.htp>
    for why this is strongly discouraged), I don't think you're going to
    be able to "fix" a user problem by making changes on the server.
    Also see
    <http://www.python.org/cgi-bin/faqw-mm.py?req=show&file=faq02.003.htp>.

    --
    Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net> The highway is for gamblers,
    San Francisco Bay Area, California better use your sense - B. Dylan
  • Mark Sapiro at Dec 1, 2005 at 5:25 pm

    Darren G Pifer wrote:
    I have seen on this mailing list a few posts on the thread of
    "Uncaught bounce notifications" but have not found the answer I need.
    One of our user's received one of these notifications and the list owner
    wants to know why the user received it. She believed that if
    "Should Mailman send you, the list owner, any bounce messages that
    failed to be detected by the bounce processor?" is set to Yes in the
    Bounce Processing Section, the list owner should only get the bounces
    and not the sender.

    This is correct.

    If my understanding is correct, and please tell me
    if I am wrong, sendmail (our MTA) will send a bounce notification to the
    sender regardless of this mailman setting?

    What is the sender (original poster) receiving, and why do you think it
    is coming from your sendmail and not, for example, the bouncing
    recipient's MTA?


    When Mailman receives a bounce at listname-bounces at ... and the bounce
    is 'unrecognized' and listname's
    bounce_unrecognized_goes_to_list_owner attribute is set to Yes,
    Mailman will send an "Uncaught bounce notification" to the owner(s)
    (but not the moderator(s)) of the listname list. This is the only way
    Mailman sends an "Uncaught bounce notification", and the only
    addresses it is sent to.

    This message has specific charastics as follows:

    It is From: sitelist-bounces at grizz.org
    'sitelist' is normally 'mailman'

    It is To: listname-owner at ...

    It has Subject: Uncaught bounce notification

    It is multipart/mixed with the text/plain body -
    The attached message was received as a bounce, but either the bounce
    format was not recognized, or no member addresses could be extracted
    from it. This mailing list has been configured to send all
    unrecognized bounce messages to the list administrator(s).

    For more information see:
    http://www.example.com/mailman/admin/listname/bounce

    It has a message/rfc822 attachment which contains the unrecognized
    bounce message as received by Mailman.

    If a user other than an owner of the list received such a message, it
    was most likely relayed to that user outside of Mailman. You need to
    analyze the Received: headers and other information in the message
    received by the unintended recipient to see how it got there.

    Note that is is not at all unusual for users to receive _other_ bounce
    messages. There are apparently many non-compliant MTAs in use that
    will return a bounced post to the poster rather than to the
    listname-bounces address, but these messages will not have the
    charastics of an "Uncaught bounce notification".

    --
    Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net> The highway is for gamblers,
    San Francisco Bay Area, California better use your sense - B. Dylan
  • Darren G Pifer at Dec 1, 2005 at 5:57 pm
    Hello,
    On Thu, 2005-12-01 at 12:25, Mark Sapiro wrote:
    Darren G Pifer wrote:
    What is the sender (original poster) receiving, and why do you think it
    is coming from your sendmail and not, for example, the bouncing
    recipient's MTA?
    Here is the message, as forwarded to me by the list owner on behalf of
    the sender. I have changed the listname with LIST. This could be the
    case where the sender was using a MS Outlook client, as pointed out by
    the FAQ. If more information is needed, I will have to get the sender to
    provide the full headers of the message.

    mailman-bounces at l
    ist.odu.edu

    To
    11/27/2005 11:30 LIST-owner at list.odu.edu
    PM cc
    Subject

    Uncaught bounce notification

    The attached message was received as a bounce, but either the bounce
    format was not recognized, or no member addresses could be extracted
    from it. This mailing list has been configured to send all
    unrecognized bounce messages to the list administrator(s).

    For more information see: http://list.odu.edu/admin/LIST/bounce

    ----- Message from ... <user at odu.edu> on Sun, 27 Nov 2005
    23:30:28 -0500 -----

    To: LIST-bounces at list.odu.edu

    Subject: Re: [LIST] We need new officers for the spring semester!

    [BODY REMOVED]

    Thanks,
    ===== Original Message =====
    Date: Nov 25, 2005 12:30 PM
    From: LIST at odu.edu
    To: LIST at list.odu.edu
    Cc:
    Subject: Re: [LIST] We need new officers for the spring semester!
  • Mark Sapiro at Dec 1, 2005 at 6:53 pm

    Darren G Pifer wrote:
    Here is the message, as forwarded to me by the list owner on behalf of
    the sender. I have changed the listname with LIST. This could be the
    case where the sender was using a MS Outlook client, as pointed out by
    the FAQ. If more information is needed, I will have to get the sender to
    provide the full headers of the message.

    mailman-bounces at l
    ist.odu.edu

    To
    11/27/2005 11:30 LIST-owner at list.odu.edu
    PM cc
    Subject

    Uncaught bounce notification

    The attached message was received as a bounce, but either the bounce
    format was not recognized, or no member addresses could be extracted
    from it. This mailing list has been configured to send all
    unrecognized bounce messages to the list administrator(s).

    For more information see: http://list.odu.edu/admin/LIST/bounce

    ----- Message from ... <user at odu.edu> on Sun, 27 Nov 2005
    23:30:28 -0500 -----

    To: LIST-bounces at list.odu.edu

    Subject: Re: [LIST] We need new officers for the spring semester!

    [BODY REMOVED]

    Thanks,
    ===== Original Message =====
    Date: Nov 25, 2005 12:30 PM
    From: LIST at odu.edu
    To: LIST at list.odu.edu
    Cc:
    Subject: Re: [LIST] We need new officers for the spring semester!


    Although some of the header info is garbled, possibly by a copy and
    paste operation, this is clearly a copy of an "Uncaught bounce
    notification". The original "bounce" appears to be a post erroneously
    sent to LIST-bounces at ... instead of LIST at ...

    My question now, is are we sure there isn't some miscommunication
    between you, the list owner and the original user? Do we even really
    know that the original user (or anyone other than the list owner)
    actually received this specific message?

    --
    Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net> The highway is for gamblers,
    San Francisco Bay Area, California better use your sense - B. Dylan
  • Darren G Pifer at Dec 14, 2005 at 7:26 pm
    Hello,

    This one is a little bit old but I thought I would add to
    this thread anyhow. It appears that the problem with the "uncaught
    bounce notifications" was with the mail client the user had been using.
    The mail client that had this issue is named "Compoze" and is available
    through our Web portal. When the user hit the "reply" button in Compoze,
    the To: field was listname-bounces at list.odu.edu address.

    As a test case, I sent some mail to a test list serve I created
    "odutest at list.odu.edu" that had 2 email addresses (my own and a
    colleague) subscribed to it. I gathered results from 3 mailers: Lotus
    Notes (which is the school's supported mail client), Compoze and
    Evolution (my mail client) and what was returned when I clicked on the
    "Reply" button and on the "Reply to all" button for each mail clients
    after receiving mail. It is surprising how 3 mail clients came up with
    different results by clicking on these buttons.

    Lotus Notes

    => Reply
    To: dpifer at odu.edu

    => Reply to all
    To: dpifer at odu.edu
    Cc: odutest at list.odu.edu, odutest-bounces at list.odu.edu
    Compoze

    => Reply
    To: odutest-bounces at list.odu.edu

    => Reply to all
    To: odutest-bounces at list.odu.edu, odutest at list.odu.edu
    Evolution
    => Reply
    To: dpifer at odu.edu

    => Reply to all
    To: odutest at list.odu.edu

    I am going to work with our Web portal people to see why compoze is
    working the way it is and see if this is resolvable.

    -Darren

    Old Dominion University
    Norfolk, VA
    On Thu, 2005-12-01 at 13:53, Mark Sapiro wrote:
    Darren G Pifer wrote:
    Uncaught bounce notification

    The attached message was received as a bounce, but either the bounce
    format was not recognized, or no member addresses could be extracted
    from it. This mailing list has been configured to send all
    unrecognized bounce messages to the list administrator(s).
    ===== Original Message =====
    Date: Nov 25, 2005 12:30 PM
    From: LIST at odu.edu
    To: LIST at list.odu.edu
    Cc:
    Subject: Re: [LIST] We need new officers for the spring semester!
    Although some of the header info is garbled, possibly by a copy and
    paste operation, this is clearly a copy of an "Uncaught bounce
    notification". The original "bounce" appears to be a post erroneously
    sent to LIST-bounces at ... instead of LIST at ...

    My question now, is are we sure there isn't some miscommunication
    between you, the list owner and the original user? Do we even really
    know that the original user (or anyone other than the list owner)
    actually received this specific message?
  • Mark Sapiro at Dec 15, 2005 at 4:47 am

    Darren G Pifer wrote:
    This one is a little bit old but I thought I would add to
    this thread anyhow. It appears that the problem with the "uncaught
    bounce notifications" was with the mail client the user had been using.
    The mail client that had this issue is named "Compoze" and is available
    through our Web portal. When the user hit the "reply" button in Compoze,
    the To: field was listname-bounces at list.odu.edu address.

    Because Compoze is replying to the envelope sender or possibly the
    Sender: address instead of the address(es) in Reply-To: or From:.
    Compoze is not doing the right thing.

    As a test case, I sent some mail to a test list serve I created
    "odutest at list.odu.edu" that had 2 email addresses (my own and a
    colleague) subscribed to it. I gathered results from 3 mailers: Lotus
    Notes (which is the school's supported mail client), Compoze and
    Evolution (my mail client) and what was returned when I clicked on the
    "Reply" button and on the "Reply to all" button for each mail clients
    after receiving mail. It is surprising how 3 mail clients came up with
    different results by clicking on these buttons.

    Lotus Notes

    => Reply
    To: dpifer at odu.edu

    => Reply to all
    To: dpifer at odu.edu
    Cc: odutest at list.odu.edu, odutest-bounces at list.odu.edu

    I don't think the Reply to all should include
    odutest-bounces at list.odu.edu. This is unusual, but not strictly WRONG
    because it is not covered by the standard.


    Compoze
    => Reply
    To: odutest-bounces at list.odu.edu

    => Reply to all
    To: odutest-bounces at list.odu.edu, odutest at list.odu.edu

    This is clearly wrong. Compoze is completely overriding the From: in
    favor of Sender: or envelope sender.



    Evolution

    => Reply
    To: dpifer at odu.edu

    => Reply to all
    To: odutest at list.odu.edu

    I suspect the only reason that dpifer at odu.edu is not included in the
    Reply to all is that it is you <dpifer at odu.edu> doing the replying and
    Evolution knows it. I suspect if your colleague posted and you did a
    Reply to all, it would go to odutest at list.odu.edu and the colleague,
    or better, To: the colleague with Cc: to the list. Assuming this is
    correct, I would say that Evolution is the only user agent that is
    doing the right thing.

    I am going to work with our Web portal people to see why compoze is
    working the way it is and see if this is resolvable.
    From RFC 2822, sec 3.6.2
    The originator fields also provide the information required when
    replying to a message. When the "Reply-To:" field is present, it
    indicates the mailbox(es) to which the author of the message suggests
    that replies be sent. In the absence of the "Reply-To:" field,
    replies SHOULD by default be sent to the mailbox(es) specified in the
    "From:" field unless otherwise specified by the person composing the
    reply.

    And from RFC 2822 sec 3.6.3
    When a message is a reply to another message, the mailboxes of the
    authors of the original message (the mailboxes in the "From:" field)
    or mailboxes specified in the "Reply-To:" field (if it exists) MAY
    appear in the "To:" field of the reply since these would normally be
    the primary recipients of the reply. If a reply is sent to a message
    that has destination fields, it is often desirable to send a copy of
    the reply to all of the recipients of the message, in addition to the
    author. When such a reply is formed, addresses in the "To:" and
    "Cc:" fields of the original message MAY appear in the "Cc:" field of
    the reply, since these are normally secondary recipients of the
    reply. If a "Bcc:" field is present in the original message,
    addresses in that field MAY appear in the "Bcc:" field of the reply,
    but SHOULD NOT appear in the "To:" or "Cc:" fields.

    Note: Some mail applications have automatic reply commands that
    include the destination addresses of the original message in the
    destination addresses of the reply. How those reply commands behave
    is implementation dependent and is beyond the scope of this document.
    In particular, whether or not to include the original destination
    addresses when the original message had a "Reply-To:" field is not
    addressed here.


    Two other notes from me:
    Bcc fields will normally not appear in a message being replied to if
    the message was received from someone else, as the Bcc will normally
    have been removed.

    Although the RFC declines to address the operation of automatic reply
    commands, I note that this is in the area of which destination
    addresses might be included in the reply. I don't thing it
    contemplates substituting Sender: or envelope sender for From: or
    Reply-To: addresses.

    --
    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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