error messages on the list...

Clyde Smith-Stubbs clyde at
Sun Jul 20 13:31:42 PDT 1997

On Sun, Jul 20, 1997 at 12:58:16PM -0400, Greg Stark wrote:
> The reason error messages appear on the list is because you've set the
> Reply-To header to point to the list. This is flatly incorrect. It fixes a
> minor problem that som people's MUAs don't respect the Mail-To: never header,

I can find no mention of a "Mail-To" header in RFC822. However, RFC822 is
quite clear about the intended uses of "Reply-To", as shown by this excerpt:

4.4.3.  Reply-To / Resent-Reply-To

        This field provides a general  mechanism  for  indicating  any
        mailbox(es)  to which responses are to be sent.  Three typical
        uses for this feature can  be  distinguished.   In  the  first
        case,  the  author(s) may not have regular machine-based mail-
        boxes and therefore wish(es) to indicate an alternate  machine
        address.   In  the  second case, an author may wish additional
        persons to be made aware of, or responsible for,  replies.   A
        somewhat  different  use  may be of some help to "text message  <-- NB
        teleconferencing" groups equipped with automatic  distribution
        services:   include the address of that service in the "Reply-
        To" field of all messages  submitted  to  the  teleconference;
        then  participants  can  "reply"  to conference submissions to
        guarantee the correct distribution of any submission of  their

The *real* problem is that some MTA's do not use the SMTP envelope return
address when sending delivery error messages - the SMTP envelope has
kaffe-approval at as the return address, and it's repeated in
the message as the "Return-Path". This is where error messages should go,
not to the "From" or "Reply-To" addresses.

Mind you, the mailing list software should be smart enough to filter
out error messages.

Clyde Smith-Stubbs  |HI-TECH Software,      |Email: clyde at
Ph:  +61 7 3354 2411|P.O. Box 103, Alderley,|WWW:
Fax: +61 7 3354 2422|QLD, 4051, AUSTRALIA.  |PGP: finger clyde at
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