Sender header change to improve Outlook

Bug #736849 reported by Joseph Brennan on 2011-03-17
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
GNU Mailman
Mark Sapiro

Bug Description

FAQ 2.3 describes problems with Outlook's ugly display of Sender "on behalf of" From, giving the example as "From <email address hidden> On behalf of <email address hidden>". But Outlook prefers to show the real name and hide the Internet address, when a real name is present. Most commonly the From would be "From: Fred Example <email address hidden>" and as a result Outlook would display "From <email address hidden> On behalf of Fred Example".

If Mailman wrote the Sender header with a real name Outlook would show the name there too. For example, if the list name (local part) were inserted, thus "Sender: listname <email address hidden>", then Outlook would display "From listname on behalf of Fred Example" which is much better in appearance and still complies with using a Sender header.

RFC 2822 allows Sender to contain a real name.
sender = "Sender:" mailbox CRLF
mailbox = name-addr / addr-spec
name-addr = [display-name] angle-addr

Mark Sapiro (msapiro) wrote :

This seems like a great idea. Why didn't someone think of this years ago?

Changed in mailman:
assignee: nobody → Mark Sapiro (msapiro)
importance: Undecided → Medium
milestone: none → 2.1.15
status: New → Triaged
Mark Sapiro (msapiro) on 2011-03-21
Changed in mailman:
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
Mark Sapiro (msapiro) on 2012-06-15
Changed in mailman:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
mathias gebbe (mgebbe) wrote :

after an update of mailman the sender in header is now:

Sender: "Svntest-26072012-2" <email address hidden>

before it was

Sender: <email address hidden>

can i switch that on/off somewhere, because of some procmail rules i need the old state

mathias gebbe (mgebbe) wrote :

found it in:


Line: 378
#msg['Sender'] = '"%s" <%s>' % (mlist.real_name, envsender)
msg['Sender'] = '%s' % (envsender)

mathias gebbe (mgebbe) wrote :

I think many people use the sender-field in the simple format with the
addr-spec address alone (without "<" and ">") for filters in their
mailclients (i know that there is a listid)...

With this "fix" the mailman-admin has no chance to set this option on or off
and many people will wonder why the filter is not working anymore.
i think both is legal with RFC2822 -- i just want to keep that in mind because in my setup
i had some problems with the new sender field

Mark Sapiro (msapiro) wrote :

While I am sympathetic to the fact that this change impacted some user defined filtering settings in procmail or your MUA, at least this was something that you had set up yourself and were able to fix yourself. The underlying issue of the display of From: information by MS Outlook in the presence of a Sender: header is not something that a user can control other than by changing to a different MUA which may not even be an option.

In any case, the change has been released, and changing it back at this point could be just as disruptive.

Also, I'm not sure that a list or site admin is in any better position than I am to determine how much user impact this change might have, and I'm not about to start adding a whole list of "make this feature work the old way" list settings or list-member settings as I think that would be even more disruptive in the long run, and since Mailman is open source, the site admin always has the option to back out the change.

Do you have any actual statistics on how many people's procmail recipes or MUA filters are impacted by this change. I suspect it may not be nearly as many as you imply.

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