[pmwiki-users] list serve functions (was: Re: FAST Data possibilities)

Neil Herber nospam at eton.ca
Wed Sep 20 14:06:08 CDT 2006

At 2006-09-20  02:03 PM -0400, Crisses is rumored to have said:
> > 1)  how robust is PHP for doing something like mailing out emails to a
> > list of 100 or 200 emails?  Or more?
>It's not a limit for PHP or sendmail et al but if you're sending a CC
>list that big, the ISP is going to be ticked off.  It can classify
>you as a spammer.  If you do this, you must allow opt-out features,
>follow CAN SPAM procedures, et al.  To PHP it's one single mail with
>a cc or bcc list.  To the mail server (SMTP) that has to split it
>into individual emails -- it's a hassle.  So no, it won't bog the
>sending server, but the SMTP server may be, and your mailhost/ISP may
>come down on you.
>Unless you're sending 100 individual mails.  that's another issue.

Some of my thoughts as a long time listserve and mail server admin ...

Many ISPs set a CC limit, but it is often 50 or more. It is usually 
impossible to find out what the rules for your ISP are because they 
change daily and the mail admins don't necessarily share details with 
phone support.

Opt-out features are not nearly as important as double-opt-in. That 
is, someone attempting to join a mailing list is sent a confirmation 
request asking them to go to a web page or reply to a coded address 
to confirm their subscription. (To see an example, send an email to 
rac-bulletins-join at eton.ca.)

SMTP servers can be quite clever about BCC or CC lists and they will 
group mails to one domain so that they only need to open a single 
connection to that domain. So if you are "chunking" the mail, do it 
in domain order.

Handling bounces from spoofed addresses (spammers) or changed 
addresses can be a nightmare. Even retry notices can be tricky (we 
can't send the mail to X but we will keep trying for Y hours more ...).

My gut feel is that such activities should be kept out of your wiki 
and left to a dedicated listserve process. Less coding too. ;-)

Neil Herber
Corporate info at http://www.eton.ca/ 

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