bounce notification does not include reason

Reported by Matthew Woehlke on 2009-08-25
6
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
GNU Mailman
Undecided
Mark Sapiro

Bug Description

The posting policy for fedora-devel-list seems to have recently changed from "moderate non-subscribers" to "non-subscribers get a bounce notification". Unfortunately the bounce notification has the helpful text:
"You are not allowed to post to this mailing list, and your message has been automatically rejected."
...which sounds a lot like "you have been blacklisted", especially when occurring due to an unannounced policy change.

The bounce notification should say *why* the mail is being rejected, especially when the reason is "you are not subscribed".

Related branches

Mark Sapiro (msapiro) wrote :

This is not a Mailman bug. The text sent in the rejection notice when generic_nonmember_action is Reject is specified by the list owner as nonmember_rejection_notice. The text you quote is merely the default if the list owner chooses not to provide other text.

You should take this up with the list owner.

Changed in mailman:
assignee: nobody → Mark Sapiro (msapiro)
status: New → Invalid
Matthew Woehlke (mw-triad) wrote :

I disagree. If the above is the default for "nonmember_rejection_notice", then that's a bad default. It should say that it is rejecting you because you are not a list member.

Mark Sapiro (msapiro) wrote :

We could argue forever about whether or not the default is reasonable or not, but that is not the issue as I see it. The Issue is that we provide a way for the list owner to set any message she chooses, and the owner of the specific list in question has not done that. I think your energy would be better spent trying to get the list owner to provide a message you like.

As far as whether the default is appropriate or not, it is true the message is only sent when a non-member post is rejected, but depending on list configuration, it may not be sent for all non-member posts. Thus, a default which says the post is rejected because the poster is not a member could be equally problematic. I don't think the default is bad enough to warrant breaking 35 official Mailman translations to change it.

Matthew Woehlke (mw-triad) wrote :

> I think your energy would be better spent trying to get the list owner to provide a message you like.

If I did this, I would have to do it for *every single mailing list using mailman*.

> Thus, a default which says the post is rejected because the poster is not a member could be equally problematic.

As originally stated, this report was that mailman should distinguish between the reason for rejection. You closed the bug, saying it already does this... now you are saying it doesn't?

> I don't think the default is bad enough to warrant breaking 35 official Mailman translations to change it.

There's no need to break translations. Just add another paragraph (sentence, really) giving the reason for rejection. Even if it isn't translated into all 35 languages immediately, it's an improvement.

Mark Sapiro (msapiro) wrote :

I still firmly believe that the lack of a specific reason is not a bug. It is my opinion that the list owner knows much better than any Mailman guess what the appropriate message is, and we give the list owner the ability to set it.

However, I am considering changing the default message for Mailman 2.2 to "Some or all non-subscribers are not allowed to post to this mailing list, and your message has been automatically rejected. If you think that your messages are being rejected in error, contact the mailing list owner at %(listowner)s."

Changed in mailman:
status: Invalid → In Progress
Matthew Woehlke (mw-triad) wrote :

> "Some or all non-subscribers are not allowed to post [...]"

That would be *much* better. As I said originally, there is nothing in the current message to indicate the problem is "you are not subscribed" as opposed to "you specifically are blacklisted". If you change the message to that proposed in comment #5, I would consider that as fixing this bug.

Mark Sapiro (msapiro) wrote :

Upon further reflection, the "Some or all non-subscribers are not allowed to post ..." wording seems awkward. How about "You are not subscribed to this mailing list, and your message has been automatically rejected. If you think that your messages are being rejected in error, contact the mailing list owner at %(listowner)s."?

Matthew Woehlke (mw-triad) wrote :

IMHO that's slightly worse, but still better than the current message. Also, thanks for reconsidering this.

Alternatively, the existing message plus "You may need to subscribe to the list. You are currently not subscribed." would be okay, or maybe "You are not subscribed to this mailing list." plus the message from comment #5. But neither of those are "great" either. Out of those choices, I'd say go with what you think is best; any are better than the current message. Just trying to think of useful ideas...

Barry Warsaw (barry) wrote :

I agree that "Some or all..." is pretty awkward. I like Mark's suggestion in comment #7, but here's another option (albeit more weasel-y):

"Your message has been rejected, probably because you are not subscribed to the mailing list and the list's policy is to prohibit non-members from posting to it. If you think that your messages are being rejected in error, contact the maling list owner at %(listowner)s"

Matthew Woehlke (mw-triad) wrote :

> "Your message has been rejected, probably because [...]"

FWIW, I think this is my favorite so far.

On Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 08:02:07PM -0000, Barry Warsaw wrote:
> "Your message has been rejected, probably because you are not subscribed
> to the mailing list and the list's policy is to prohibit non-members
> from posting to it. If you think that your messages are being rejected
> in error, contact the maling list owner at %(listowner)s"

Very similar to what I'm using on a couple of the euroburners' lists
(well, it *is* that time of year!):

    you need to be a member of this list to post to it!

    Are you?

    Are you posting from an email address the list software doesn't
    know you by?

    mail the geeks: <email address hidden> if you think you should
    be able to post, but can't.

Seems to work there.

--
''meetings, n.:
    A place where minutes are kept and hours are lost.''

Mark Sapiro (msapiro) on 2009-09-03
Changed in mailman:
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
Mark Sapiro (msapiro) on 2012-06-15
Changed in mailman:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
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