Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 1993)

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Subject: Pegasus X-Pmrqc header
From: John Martin <John . Martin @ newcastle . ac . uk>
Date: Tue, 18 May 1993 19:44:09 +0100 (BST)
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM (List Managers)
Cc: nisp-team @ mailbase . ac . uk (Nisp Team)
Reply-to: mailbase-helpline @ mailbase . ac . uk


Sorry for the long post but I think that this is important.

You guys may be interested in this. I would appreciate comments as

I have recently had a problem, (now resolved), which arose from the use
of a combination of the Pegasus X-Pmrqc header (to request confirmation
that someone has read a message) and a Reply-To: field which contained
the address of a list.

Mailbase has a list type called 'reply-to-list'. This means that a
message sent to this type of list will have a Reply-To: field
containing the name of the list added if, (and only if), one does not
exist in the incoming message. The use is for small, busy 'committee'
type lists.

Pegasus has a feature which allows a user to request confirmation of a
message being read by another Pegasus user. It does this by adding a
header 'X-Pmrqc: 1' to the outgoing message. When the receiving Pegasus
mailer sees this, it mails a confirmation message back telling the
original sender that their message has been read. If there is a
Reply-To field, it will send to that, otherwise it will use the From

You can probably guess the rest but...

What happened was this. A person would mail to a Mailbase
'reply-to-list' list using Pegasus, and with the Pegasus feature
'Read Confirmation' switched on. Mailbase would distribute the message
as normal. The person would receive the message back into their
mailbox and use Pegasus to read it. Pegasus would see the 'X-Pmrqc: 1'
header and send a read confirmation message to the contents of the
Reply-To field... which contained the name of the list... so the
confirmation went out to the list... (and so on).

This was allowed to happen because I don't remove 'X-' headers - do you
do this? Do you think I should? (I don't!)

I have agreed to remove the 'X-Pmrqc' header as it goes through in the

I have also agreed to add the following header to messages distributed
(which some of you already add I think):

X-Listserver: Your list server.

I have been in contact with David Harris at Pegasus about this and he
is as keen as I am to find a solution. We agreed that the 'X-Pmrqc'
header should contain the address to which the confirmation would be
sent. (We disagreed about whether Mailbase should remove 'X-' headers
:-) )

I also agreed to contact this list to try to achieve a consenus for
identifying mail which has come from a mailing list.  David will try
to make provision for this in future versions of Pegasus if we can

(Dictator hat on)

I think it would be nice if we all agreed on the format of a header to
be added by our various list servers - would this be acceptable to the
group? I prefer the 'X-Listserver:' form but I'm open to suggestions.

Comments? flames?


AKA: postmaster @
 mailbase .
 ac .
 John Martin                                  Computing Laboratory
 091 222 8087                    University of Newcastle upon Tyne
 John .
 Martin @
 newcastle .
 ac .
 uk              Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

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