Test messages to -questions

Bart Silverstrim bsilver at chrononomicon.com
Fri Jul 1 22:20:59 GMT 2005

On Jul 1, 2005, at 6:02 PM, Nikolas Britton wrote:

> On 7/1/05, Bart Silverstrim <bsilver at chrononomicon.com> wrote:
>> [deleted]
>> While proposing ways to stop people from sending test messages to
>> lists, can someone find a way to filter out top posting as well? :-)
> I'm not trying to stop anybody. I'm purposing ping for SMTP, The
> construct is like an echo request. So when you send a blank message
> with a subject such as test or ping the mail server replies to the
> email saying it got the email. The mail server that acknowledges this
> email would be whatever was listed in the DNS MX record of the email
> address that was entered in the to: field. So if I ping the email
> address questions at freebsd.org then {mx1,mx2}.freebsd.org replies back
> to say it got the message. I think this could be a useful diagnostic
> tool.

First, I was just semi-jesting to the group in general, not singling 
you out...
Second, I think it kind of goes against the spirit of simplicity to add 
a form of "ping" to the SMTP protocol.
Third, while it may work in this particular case with this particular 
setup, there are many variations of mailing lists and servers where 
this might break...i.e., this setup, to me, sounds very 
situation-specific.  I.e., people who have servers that accept mail 
before actually delivering it...your diagnostic proposal adds some 
layer of complexity that in the end may not tell the entire story just 
for some people to see if their test message "works", when 9 times out 
of 10 they wouldn't sit and read directions in the first place to do 

>> Actually, fbsd_user is right; wouldn't sending tests only test if you
>> can send test messages to the test group while not at all verifying
>> that membership and configuration is correct for posting and getting
>> messages to and from the FBSD-questions list?
> No the mail all goes to the same server. When you subscribe to the
> group the mail server send you a confirmation email that you must
> reply to and then it sends a welcome email.

That alone should be enough to tell you that you're subscribed and 
should be working.

What exactly is the poster trying to test?  That messages appear in 
their inbox on sending, that other people can read their message?  In 
those cases, your ping proposal wouldn't work.  If they got to the 
point where they confirm joining, that tells you it should all be 
working.  The "test" message is more like a tentative "anybody out 
there?" message...which could be better served, in my opinion, by 
actually sending a question or sitting back to see when a message comes 
in from other people to your inbox.

>> I think the more intelligent approach to "test" the connection would 
>> be
>> to actually send some kind of question a new user would have about
>> FreeBSD to the list as a sly way of testing the configuration, but
>> that's just me.
> What about this?

Um...sure...what about what about it?  (your reply here means...what 
are you trying to say here?)

Happy holidays to anyone on the list who happens to have a holiday 
coming up, by the way... :-)

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