better return-receipt messages

better return-receipt messages

Post by Neil Ricke » Fri, 14 Jun 1991 23:37:02




Quote:>We would like to improve on the return-receipt messages that sendmail
>generates.  The present messages consist entirely of headers, with the
>only clue to the message's purpose being the phrase "Return Receipt"
>hidden in the Subject line.  Many users are confused by these messages.
>Even a simple 1 or 2 line message body explaining what the message means
>would be a great improvement.

 Three points:

  1.  Users really should not be using 'Return-Receipt-To:'.  It does not
      answer the problem of concern to most users.  It is mainly
      useful as a debugging tool for email administrators.  When viewed
      from this point of view, returning the headers is essential.

  2.  You ask for a message body explaining what the message means.  What
      it really means is:  "The message was accepted by a mailer with the
      'l' (local) flag set in the mailer definition."  Is this sort of
      message really going to enlighten your users?  In most cases the
      user sending the message would like to know whether the recipient
      has read it, not merely whether it has been deposited in a mailbox
      on a machine which recipient may or may not occasionally log into.
      (Note that in most setups, delivery to /dev/null will produce a
      Return-Receipt).

  3.  There is a group currently involved in discussions on the general
      topic of email delivery and/or receipt notification.  The administrative

      changes you make may be premature.

--
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  Northern Illinois Univ.
  DeKalb, IL 60115                                   +1-815-753-6940

 
 
 

better return-receipt messages

Post by Steve Campbe » Fri, 14 Jun 1991 21:11:10


We would like to improve on the return-receipt messages that sendmail
generates.  The present messages consist entirely of headers, with the
only clue to the message's purpose being the phrase "Return Receipt"
hidden in the Subject line.  Many users are confused by these messages.
Even a simple 1 or 2 line message body explaining what the message means
would be a great improvement.

Before I start hacking at sendmail, has anyone already solved this problem?
Please reply by email, and I'll summarize.  Thanks.

                                                Steve Campbell


 
 
 

better return-receipt messages

Post by Hans de Jo » Sat, 15 Jun 1991 20:17:13



>  1.  Users really should not be using 'Return-Receipt-To:'.  It does not
>      answer the problem of concern to most users.  It is mainly
>      useful as a debugging tool for email administrators.  When viewed
>      from this point of view, returning the headers is essential.

What I find to be the real big problem with Return-Receipt-To: is that the
respons messages do only say from which system they originate, but not
for which user the message is generated. When sending mail to a single address
that is no problem, but when sending to more people, the Return-Receipt-To:
isn't useful. The same holds by the way for error messages returned by
sendmail. If a user us unknown, it will tell which user was unknown, but when
e.g. the user's program in the .forward crashes, I have found no clue to which
user this message concerns.
Or did I overlook something?

Hans
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better return-receipt messages

Post by Karl Denning » Sun, 16 Jun 1991 01:34:31




>>  1.  Users really should not be using 'Return-Receipt-To:'.  It does not
>>      answer the problem of concern to most users.  It is mainly
>>      useful as a debugging tool for email administrators.  When viewed
>>      from this point of view, returning the headers is essential.

>What I find to be the real big problem with Return-Receipt-To: is that the
>respons messages do only say from which system they originate, but not
>for which user the message is generated. When sending mail to a single address
>that is no problem, but when sending to more people, the Return-Receipt-To:
>isn't useful. The same holds by the way for error messages returned by
>sendmail. If a user us unknown, it will tell which user was unknown, but when
>e.g. the user's program in the .forward crashes, I have found no clue to which
>user this message concerns.
>Or did I overlook something?

I agree.  So I fixed it.  This is what they look like here now....

To: kdenning
From: Postmaster
Subject: Mail delivery confirmation
Status: OR



Your subject was: Test return receipt
Date and time   : Fri Jun 14 11:32:02 1991

I think this covers all that you need to know... it tells you that the mail
was DELIVERED (not necessarially read), the address it was delivered to, the
subject and the date and time of delivery (along with the message ID in case
there's a problem).  And it comes from "Postmaster" so if you reply it goes
to someone who can do something about the problem.

Now that I think about it, I should include the timezone in that receipt....
so people know what the "base" is for the time computation.

--
Karl Denninger - AC Nielsen, Bannockburn IL (708) 317-3285

"The most dangerous command on any computer is the carriage return."
Disclaimer:  The opinions here are solely mine and may or may not reflect
             those of the company.