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  Sophocles Mail Manager FAQ -- "Diagnostics"    

This FAQ is to help explain the Diagnostic Alerts within the Sophocles Mail Manager .

What is a Diagnostic Alert?
A Diagnostic Alert is sent to a List Owner when the mailing list management software determines there is a problem with an incoming message.
Who receives the message when a Diagnostic Alert occurs?
When a Diagnostic Alert occurs the message is NOT delivered to the list subscribers, but to the list owner only.
How do I know that I have received a Diagnostic Alert?
A diagnostic alert adds an X-Diagnostic: mail header which includes a one line summary of the problem, and in most cases text in the body before the message of the form:

Diagnostic from the mail system:
   description of the problem

What are the causes of a Diagnostic Alert?
  1. Message in a Possible Loop. If the mailing list management software detects that a message has already been sent to the list it will not deliver it again to the list.
  2. Message was sent from a daemon or root . If the mailing list management software detects that a message came from a well known address for error messages, such as MAILER-DAEMON , postmaster , root , etc , then it will not deliver the message to the list. Typically these occur when there is a problem with an email address. List owners should review these messages and may need to remove subscribers whose mail is bouncing.
  3. Message has scored above the minimum spam rating threshold for this list. If the spam score for a message indicates that the message is probable spam it is forwarded to the list owner only and not to the list. See the SPAM Control FAQ.
  4. Message appears to contain an attachment or enriched text. This can occur when a list is set not to allow attachments. The list owner will receive this alert including a copy of the original message. The message is not sent to the list. The sender will also receive notification. See the Attachment Control FAQ.
  5. Sender Not on the accept list. If a list is Closed to named senders on a controlling list, or Restricted to subscribers, then if email comes from an address that does not match a known permitted sender address it will not be sent to the list. The list owner will receive a copy, and the sender will be notified. See the Additional Permitted Sender FAQ.
  6. The mail message exceeds the maximum size allowed for messages. In this case the sender will receive a message stating that the message they sent to the list is over the size limit. No message is sent to the list or the list owner. See the Message Size Limit FAQ.
How do I determine that an email address on a list is no longer valid?

The list manager keeps a count of the number of times mail to an address has bounced and includes that on an X-Diagnostic header. For example:
X-Diagnostic: Mail to bounced 12 times
X-Diagnostic: Bounces exceed threshold of 4

15 May 2005








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