More on situation

From: Dan Knight <dan_knight_at_email.domain.hidden>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 21:21:25 -0400

I just put subscribers back on a half-dozen different lists -- all @home users. This is getting old fast.

I'm also changing the way the list server handles bounces. The way it has been set, when it is unable to deliver a message due to a full mailbox or downed server, it temporarily unsubscribes an account for 12 hours, then tries again. It then sends an email to the subscriber asking you to reset the bounce counter.

If you don't reset the bounce counter, after 20 bounces the server will unsubscribe an address permanently. That's at least 10 days worth of bounces.

On the other hand, if it attempts to deliver a message and the receiving mail server says "no such recipient" or generates some other type of fatal error, the list server takes their word for it that there is no such address and unsubscribes it from the list.

That's a logical way to proceed, but @home is apparently sending fatal errors back to the list server, which is why it has been unsubscribing so many @home users. (The odd thing is, none of this seems to be happening to digest subscribers -- go figure!)

I'm changing the list server so that it will no longer assume that a fatal error message really means what it says. Instead, a fatal error will be the equivalent of three regular bounces, so it will take 20 regular bounces, 7 fatal errors, or some combination thereof before the list server removes subscriptions.

It shouldn't have to be this way, but as long at the mail server is sending out fatal errors when the errors aren't fatal, we'll do what we can to compensate. (For the record, I still recommend @home users set up at least one alternative email address on a free server and use that instead of their regular @home mailbox for the lists. In all the years I've been running lists, nobody matches @home's level of mail server problems. Nobody.)

Dan the listmom

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Received on 2001-08-14 18:23:36

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