Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(August 1999)

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Subject: Re: Useless NDRs [Was: Nondeliverable mail]
From: John R Levine <johnl @ iecc . com>
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 11:39:07 -0400 (EDT)
To: Miles Fidelman <mfidelman @ civicnet . org>
Cc: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <Pine . GSO . 4 . 05 . 9908250849160 . 13536-100000 @ ntcorp . dn . net>

> this is a new one on me - what's VERP?

Variable envelope return paths, a unique envelope sender on each message, 
so the address to which the bounce is sent identifies the bouncy address.

If your list is foolist @
 list .
 org, and the recipient is bounce @
 boing .
 org, the
VERP address would be something like foolist-owner-bounce=boing .
 org @
 list .
 org .
It works very well.

The main reason that some people don't like them is that it requires that
each copy of a message be sent separately, rather than sending one message
per site with a bunch of addresses, which is alleged to be slower.  If you
have very large messages, a very slow connection, and lots of recipients at
the same placee (AOL maybe), that's probably true.  But for normal list
traffic, sending all of the messages in parallel is usually faster because of
decreased latency. 

Note that some MLMs like Lyris both do VERPs and modest per-message
customization with a tag at the bottom saying "this message was sent to
bounce @
 boing .

John Levine, johnl @
 iecc .
 com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Information Superhighwayman wanna-be,, Sewer Commissioner
Finger for PGP key, f'print = 3A 5B D0 3F D9 A0 6A A4  2D AC 1E 9E A6 36 A3 47 

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