CHESHIRE-L ArchivesArchiver > CHESHIRE > 2002-02 > 1014734100
From: (Carl Rogerson)
Subject: [CHS] LIST ADMIN: Missing Messages
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 14:35 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
James is not correct in suggesting that the List sees more messages than
the Digest. *All* messages go to both List and Digest. The only difference
is method of distribution.
There is a reason for missing messages. ISPs and the Internet are not 100%
reliable. This is a good opportunity to air the subject.
Some emails are never delivered, but are returned to sender. There are
many reasons, the most common being:
- mailbox full,
- the internet equivalent of "gone away",
- incompetent ISPs,
- Rootsweb messages being mistaken for spam,
- occasional glitches on the internet.
The list has a thousand subscribers. Multiply by a thousand postings each
month makes a million individual messages. Even a small percentage of
bounces causes quite a workload. Bounces are handled automatically
according to rules.
The main rule is that a lister will be unsubscribed after twelve
consecutive messages have bounced. So, when there is a complete blockage
to a subscriber, he/she will soon be an ex-subscriber. There is no point
in sending messages that do not reach their destination. Thirty-five
subscribers were removed in January, an average month. They are welcome to
re-subscribe when mail is flowing again, and many do so.
More often though, only occasional messages bounce. In these circumstances
a lister may not realise that he/she has not seen all the postings. I hope
James will excuse me if I use him as an example. Analysis of bounces
indicates that he missed two digests this month. Digests 92 & 143 were
returned "read error from pip2.pipcom.com".
Most ISPs have a good track record. A few bounce repeatedly.
The current HALL OF SHAME includes:
(I have been aching to do that for a long time.)
I am not sure what we can do about the problem, other than understand that
it happens, and make allowances for it.
It is possible (but impractical) for listers to check that they receive
all messages. (Each message and each digest has a serial number in its
header. Extract these numbers and make sure none are missing).
Perhaps, to remind listers, each month I could publish the number of
bounced messages, just over a thousand in January. Not a high percentage,
one in a thousand, but it causes work and confusion.
Carl, Listowner, Cheshire List.