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Re: Received header field for special processing, such as "held for moderation".

2011-10-25 10:12:48

Dave CROCKER wrote:


Occasionally, the Other Crocker ventures into email space and he chose to be more thoughtful about a brief thread that was just on the IETF listthat noted a message delay due to being held for moderation.

Currently, nothing in the message (or smtp responses, of course) signals this reason for delay. (For those who haven't seen the thread, the person initiating the the thread thought the delay was due to DKIM processing...

It would be quite simple to add a Received header field, when a message is placed into a moderation queue, noting that fact.

Given the history of trying to get mailing list software to support common mechanisms (standards?) this might be challenging to pursue, but I thought it worth raising to the group.

Any thoughts?

I think you need to double check exactly whats going on because I asked specifically the list administrators in IETF-SMTP and IETF lists, plus specific chairs why there were delays and I was uncategorically told by every one of them that the mail was not being moderated.

In one case, it was indicated the software was customized, old and they had no clue what the queuing algorithm was but to indicate there was unexplained backlog. The mail was pushed, finally posted after days. In this case, I was also told that he would be traveling and any technical issue to be address would be 2-3 weeks later.

After that contact, new postings were immediately posted. However, soon enough it was delayed once again. So this point:

   - Immediate posting
   - Eventually more delays

tells me this is more than just moderations issues. Honestly, sometimes a posting from a specific address will be almost immediate, at least within 1-2 hours. But then it can days.

This was 100% solved by using a different account and in my view, if an email domain is used that is popular with others, I believe the queuing software is grouping them by domain and sending out by domain amount factor, leaving the single domain emails at the bottom of the queue.

It could be a matter of how random the "moderator" gets to the separated queue, and just pushed a button to forward it into the list queue. Well, is so, the delays in the group are too long and it would not be an issue to "highlight" if it was not so ridiculous to hold mail over 1 day if that.

In any case, for our mail system, we add a Received: line by most of the mail bots that move the mail from point to point:

   SMTP Receiver
   SMTP Router
   MAIL Importer
   LIST Processor

and once upon a time, for the POP3 users, a pickup Received stamp. This was done to explore of various MUA can allow the display of one or two distinct timestamps in its GUI display:

   Authorship date
   Sender Date

and for sorting reasons vs world wide time synchronization it can make a difference. But if I recall, the MUA was using the top receive line for something and the sorting was not "perfect."

For the idea of a Received time stamp for moderated mail, I think it is important to first cover how they is separated by the various systems. For some, the queue is separate and don't need a special header to detect the moderated ones.

Personally, while it may be ok to add a normal trace for internal mail processing path tracking, in my strong opinion, this is not public material to expose if it has any sort of individual labeling or tort factor, especially when its done on an isolated basis and not a total moderated group basis.