[EM] Mail Problems (fwd)

Rob Lanphier robla at eskimo.com
Sat Mar 16 23:22:35 PST 1996

I'm going to be switching over our mailing list to listproc shortly.  
Listproc is just another way of doing mailing lists.  It won't change the 
addresss of the list, but it will change the commands to subscribe and 
unsubscribe and such.  I'll explain this more when it happens.
Anyway, here is a message that explains this past week's goofiness on EM, 
in case you tried to post.

Rob Lanphier
robla at eskimo.com

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996 02:27:21 -0800 (PST)
From: Joel Boring <dwild at eskimo.com>
To: robla at eskimo.com
Subject: Mail Problems

People have been asking why their lists haven't received much traffic over 
the last week or so.  Well, I just found out today that sprintlink has 
been messing with things in California which affect us.

OK, first the canned response:

We've been having some problems with sprintlink, one of their fddi rings 
is acting up and running about 5% packet loss at best.  As a result, many
connections are getting dropped.  I'm running the mailqueue now,
hopefully we can take advantage of the lower network load at night and
get a lot of this through.  Sprint says they have their best people
working on the problem, along with a team from Cisco.  They couldn't tell
me when it would be fixed, but hopefully this will be soon, they 
tell me they've been working on it for about a week and a half.

Now the listproc plug ;)

Because of the way majordomo sends mail, it is affected MUCH more 
strongly by random disconnects than listproc is.  For example, say you 
have a list of 100 users...majordomo sends this message out as one big 
message with 100 recipients.  If anything goes wrong anytime during the 
sending of the message, it just aborts where it left off and the 
remaining people don't get tried again until the next time the mailqueue 
is run, an hour later.  Now, if the host the send chokes on happens to be 
a REAL problem host, the message could go unsent for quite some time.

Listproc, on the other hand, splits these up into individual messages, 
which has two advantages.  First, the send goes faster because sendmail 
handles these outgoing messages in parallel.  Second, if a message does 
get queued or aborted because of a bad address or disconnect, it only 
affects the one user the message is intended for.

One last thing, many people have mailed me re: switching their lists.  I 
have been working on this, today I haven't been able to get any lists done 
because I've been working on getting the existing mail flushed out of the 
queue.  Please give me until Sunday on this, it will probably be done 
sooner, but if you mailed me and haven't received a confirmation that your 
list has been moved by Monday morning, please email me again.  If you 
want your list to be moved and haven't mailed me yet, please don't hold 
back =)  The more lists we can get moved all at once the better!

Once again, this change will be transparent, I will be hacking majordomo 
tomorrow (was going to do it tonight but the mailqueue is taking longer 
than expected to process) to include a reference to listproc with its 
"list not found" error message.

    Joel Boring aka Derek Wildstar <dwild at eskimo.com>
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