FAQ
Hey, mailman gang - longtime listener, first-time caller, here.

I run a whole bunch of mailman lists (several hundred; and they're on
a private server on which I have full root access as needed, yay) and
have automatic bounce processing turned on for pretty much all the
lists. And, mostly, it works beautifully.

But every now and then I get a list member whose deliveries start (and
keep) bouncing, but whose mail host sends unrecognizable bounces.

I would very much like to find a way (command-line is fine) to start
those list members' accounts off into the automated bounce processing
system somehow; in other words, I want to change their status to
"nomail-because-of-bounces" and I want the rest of the automated
system to know that that account is now starting down the path to
account removal and act accordingly, without requiring further action
from me, just as it would have if the bounces had been processed by
the system in the first place.

(If I change the user's status via the web interface as admin, they
get "nomail-because-of-admin" status and then they just sit around on
the lists forever, or I have to remember sometime later to remove
them, and that's just annoying. So please don't suggest that route, I
can always do that if nothing else works!)

I think I can figure out enough Python (Python newbie, would prefer to
stay that way, thank you, I have enough stuff cluttering up my brain
already) to do something using "withlist" to change an account to the
"nomail-because-of-bounces" state, but I don't know where to look or
what to do to get the automated bounce thingy to notice them. (I am
assuming that there must be more state associated with the user than
just their nomail status, as there's the whole date-related logic of
how many times they've been contacted, did a response fail to come
back to the system's messages, etc. I just don't know where all of
that state lives, and/or whether I can get at it from the outside,
somehow.)

I tried to find stuff in the list archives about this, but so far have
failed (I have lousy search karma.) Surely someone else has this
problem and has come up with a way to do something like this?

Thanks for any pointers,

Anne

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  • Stephen J. Turnbull at Mar 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm
    Anne LaVin writes:
    But every now and then I get a list member whose deliveries start (and
    keep) bouncing, but whose mail host sends unrecognizable bounces. >
    I would very much like to find a way (command-line is fine) to start
    those list members' accounts off into the automated bounce processing
    system somehow; in other words, I want to change their status to
    "nomail-because-of-bounces" and I want the rest of the automated
    system to know that that account is now starting down the path to
    account removal and act accordingly, without requiring further action
    from me, just as it would have if the bounces had been processed by
    the system in the first place.
    This is probably not feasible, as you have stated it. If the bounce
    is not recognized the first time around, it won't be recognized the
    next time, either. In other words, you know such a bounce when you
    see one, but Mailman doesn't -- it needs your help. So you can't just
    start the process; you have to help Mailman out on every unrecognized
    bounce.

    What needs to be done is to teach Mailman to recognize the previously
    unrecognizable. :-) I don't know how to do it myself, so I think your
    best bet is to file a bug with the unrecognized bounces so that they
    can become recognized.
  • Mark Sapiro at Mar 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
    Anne LaVin writes:
    But every now and then I get a list member whose deliveries start (and
    keep) bouncing, but whose mail host sends unrecognizable bounces.

    I would very much like to find a way (command-line is fine) to start
    those list members' accounts off into the automated bounce processing
    system somehow; in other words, I want to change their status to
    "nomail-because-of-bounces" and I want the rest of the automated
    system to know that that account is now starting down the path to
    account removal and act accordingly, without requiring further action
    from me, just as it would have if the bounces had been processed by
    the system in the first place.
    This is probably not feasible, as you have stated it.

    Actually, it is if I understand correctly. See the script at
    <http://www.msapiro.net/scripts/set_nomail.py> (mirrored at
    <http://fog.ccsf.cc.ca.us/~msapiro/scripts/set_nomail.py>).

    If you set a member to "no mail by bounce" with this script, they will
    then be send the normal bounce_you_are_disabled_warnings messages at
    bounce_you_are_disabled_warnings_interval and eventually be removed.

    However, if you do as Stephen suggests and file a bug with the
    unrecognized bounce attached or just send it to me, I'll try to
    recognize it in the next release.

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

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postedMar 22, '10 at 5:43p
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