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Disable the X-Mailer header #417

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merged 1 commit into from Nov 8, 2018

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da2x commented Oct 15, 2018

It’s adding no value and yields a negative spam score.

Disable the X-Mailer header
It’s adding no value and yields a negative spam score.

@samtuke samtuke requested a review from michield Oct 16, 2018

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michield commented Oct 16, 2018

I'm not sure this will do anything. Don't we set the X-Mailer later on?

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da2x commented Oct 16, 2018

It’s set by the PHP Mailer library. This patch removes the header in my testing, at least.

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samtuke commented Oct 17, 2018

@michield Any objection to merging?

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michield commented Oct 17, 2018

Well, It's similar to the powered-by-phplist footer in every message. It's debatable whether it's good or bad for the project. This one is a little more obscure, as it will only be noticed by techies who will press ctrl-U. And by automated filters of course.

So, I'd prefer to allow removing it with a config option, but not by default. If people think it helps deliverability, fine, they can switch it off, but I think it's good for the project to have a presence in the world of email.

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samtuke commented Oct 20, 2018

@da2x Any idea why this header would harm a spam score? Seems innocent enough, and the technology used to send a message, especially a php library, does not connote particular content or sending behaviour in my view.
Which spam rating system provided the spam score used in your testing?

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da2x commented Oct 20, 2018

It's probably only seen in other emails classified as spam and only rarely if ever in non-spam classified emails.

Which spam rating system provided the spam score used in your testing?

I got a friend who works at a unnamed email provider run a few test messages through their internal filters. It's a bayesian filtering system based on their customers' emails.

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samtuke commented Nov 7, 2018

I see that others have reported this setting as impact deliverability as well, including users of Drupal and Wordpress. Deliverability is critical to phpList; more important than voluntary attribution, in my view. Proliferation of config options is undesirable: we should aspire to utilitarian defaults that 'just work' in most use cases.

Therefore I recommend the following: enable the x-mailer header when phpList is in development / debugging mode, and disable it in production (inspired by this Drupal issue). This has some technical value, but avoids negative impact on deliverability to sensitive spam filters.

@da2x If you agree, would you consider adapting this PR in that direction?

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michield commented Nov 7, 2018

Yes, fair enough. Things change, as they do. I'd say, it's fine to merge this PR.

@samtuke samtuke merged commit 7e6a046 into phpList:master Nov 8, 2018

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