Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(October 2001)
 

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Subject: Re: Automated bounce recognition
From: "John R Levine" <johnl @ iecc . com>
Date: 20 Oct 2001 20:55:05 -0400
To: "J C Lawrence" <claw @ kanga . nu>
Cc: "list-managers @ greatcircle . com" <list-managers @ greatcircle . com>
In-reply-to: <11133 . 1003622792 @ kanga . nu>

> > For purposes unrelated to mailing list administration, I have
> > developed a C language program whose purpose is to automatically
> > differentiate automated response e-mail messages (e.g. bounce
> > messages) from other types of e-mail messages.
>
> Bounces have the unique quality of have a null return envelope.
> Filter on that and you'll have no problem.  (

In theory, you are entirely correct.  In practice, the variety of broken
bounces staggers the imagination, and you need to catch all sorts of
garbage and do complex pattern matches to try and figure out what
happened.

Also, it's legitimate for vacation messages to have null envelopes since
there's not much point in sending bounces back to the vacation program.

Regards,
John Levine, johnl @
 iecc .
 com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Information Superhighwayman wanna-be, http://iecc.com/johnl, 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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