Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(October 2001)
 

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Subject: Re: Automated bounce recognition
From: "Ronald F. Guilmette" <rfg @ monkeys . com>
Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 18:42:51 -0700
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: Your message of Sat, 20 Oct 2001 17:06:32 -0700. <11133 . 1003622792 @ kanga . nu>

In message <11133 .
 1003622792 @
 kanga .
 nu>, J C Lawrence <claw @
 kanga .
 nu> wrote:

>On Sat, 20 Oct 2001 12:06:30 -0700 
>Ronald F Guilmette <rfg @
 monkeys .
 com> wrote:
>
>> 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.

In an ideal world, yes.

In this one however, the truth doesn't even begin to approach that ideal.

>Filter on that and you'll have no problem.  (

Believe me, I've tried.

If you try to differentiate mail message into two piles, just based on
whtehre the envelope sender was null or not, then in one pile... the null
envelope sender pile... you will have a lot of bounce messages, but also
a fair amount of spam, and also quite a few auto-responses from badly
implemented autoresponders.  In the other pile... the non-null envelope
sender pile... you will have a lot of normal messages PLUS a lot of
non-deliverable bounces PLUS a lot of autoresponses.

Life, in practice, just isn't as simple as we would wish it to be.



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