[Mailman-Developers] FYI -- problems with my new install...
Chuq Von Rospach
Sun, 29 Oct 2000 16:22:57 -0800
This is more a cautionary tale then a real problem, but it brings up
a couple of issues to chew on.
I started having major problems with mailman when I brought
lists.apple.com live (I'll have more to say about this site later,
since there are a couple of things I need to look into more fully
before I core-dump on that install...)
The main problem was that I was getting huge numbers of messages to
the -admin addresses that were blank. Zero. First, I thought it was a
corrupted list database. then I thought it was a corrupted request
database. Then I thought it was a corrupted message in the qfile dir
that was causing corrupted messages to multiply. Then I didn't know
what to think, so I just started taking the syste apart piece by
piece and running qfile messages through ONE AT A TIME to see where
the probelm came from. My favorite way ot spend a weekend, that's for
End result -- one minor configuration error in the mailer. One of the
hostnames I use wasn't set up as a local name, so sendmail kept
erroring out trying to talk to itself in one special case. But the
bigger issue was -- the system was doing exactly what I told it to do.
I use demime to strip incoming e-mail to the text part. this works
really pretty well. At some point, however, instead of just attaching
demime to the posting and -request address, I also added it to the
Most incoming bounces now are in MIME format. End result: they come
to the -admin address, the mime gets stripped, and an empty message
results. Since it's no longer a bounce message, it gets sent to the
admin. load in a fairly dirty subscriber list and start sending
messages -- and you get 10K blank message in your mailbox in the
Cautionary note: after you double-check all your configuration files
for problems, make syure you double-check all the custom stuff you
did that you did it right. The "good" thing about this particular
problem is that while I was busy mailbombing myself and my admins all
weekend fighting this beast, to the end user, the site worked fine...
If you HAVE to have problems, problems that arne't visible to the end
user are preferable...
But it brings up a couple of issues I see with qrunner.
first, it seems like qrunner re-stats the qfiles dir and reloads its
idea of what needs to be run. This creates a problem when you have
lots of messages, since it's not processing things FIFO -- I found
that some older messages were simply NEVER being run, because however
qrunner was choosing messages out of qfiles, it wasn't choosing them.
On a busy system, this can be a problem. I suggest instead that
qrunner start up, grab the list of messages to run, and run them,
oldest first, then exit. Let the next Qrunner handle what comes in in
the meantime. That way, things are run more of a FIFO, and you don't
get into the lost-stepchild queue file problem.
second, qrunner isn't good at letting me know what it's doing. If I'm
trying to figure out what it's processing, it's not telling me. When
trying to debug a possible corrupted file, that's a real hassle. It'd
be nice if it put something in qfiles that told me what fileset it
was working on, just so I can whack at it if I need to.
all in all, it's been a, um, fun weekend. But I now have demime doing
what it's supposed to be doing, and it is working a LOT better. And
it explains (in retrospeect) why, knowing the subscriber lists were
dirty, I wasn't seeing very many bounces... (grumble. That should
have been a hint. Hindsight is fun...)
*now* it's stable... (I think)
Chuq Von Rospach - Plaidworks Consulting (mailto:email@example.com)
Apple Mail List Gnome (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
Be just, and fear not.