Email borked

9 messages
22/04/2008 at 09:55

Email notification, mail to members and member validation emails are all borked. It looks like mails are coming through in batches. For example, last night I had a batch of 8 thread reply mails arrive at my mail server at  22:06, but they were sent at times from 20:38 to 21:53. Looking at the following extract from a typical  mail header:


Received: from [217.169.41.152] (helo=mail2.magicalia.com)
 by exim11.blueyonder.co.uk with esmtp (Exim 4.68)
 (envelope-from <forum@runnersworld.co.uk>)
 id 1Jo002-0006pq-5E
 for xxxxxxxxxxxxx; Mon, 21 Apr 2008 18:40:18 +0100
Received: from mail pickup service by mail2.magicalia.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC;
  Mon, 21 Apr 2008 15:20:49 +0100
From: <forum@runnersworld.co.uk>

That's a delay of over three hours.


I know that it's not the blueyonder servers that are causing the problem, as I changed my email address in my forum profile  to point to my own mail server. Similar delays are seen. Indeed, it took over three hours for the validation email to arrive. I note from my mail logs that when you enter a new email address the domain is checked by the forum software by doing an SMTP connect to the destination mail host. This is done on the fly, so there's no question that the mail server can be reached. 

 Please could someone look into this?

22/04/2008 at 10:09
mine's be the same since the weekend ... thought it was my flakey isp!
22/04/2008 at 10:37

Hi SOG

I have flagged this up with our tech guys - we've been experiencing problems with this since the close of last week. Unfortunately it's the same for our race confirmation emails too. 

Hope to have an update for you soon... thanks for your patience.

22/04/2008 at 10:50

Thanks Catherine. 

25/04/2008 at 02:00
Same thing happening to me. Here's me getting all excited during my night shift seeing notification for a load of posts and then reading them to find they are ones I'd read mid afternoon yesterday!
25/04/2008 at 08:09

Hi guys

Sorry about the continued delays. Our server is just really struggling to keep up with the volume of automated emails at present. Hopefully I'll have news of a proposed upgrade soon to resolve this.  

25/04/2008 at 08:55

Catherine, I have a suggestion for you to pass to the Magicalia gnomes...

The way it works right now is that the number of mail messages generated is the number of subscribers to the thread for each subscriber to the thread. The total must be quite large. Essentially, though, what we really need is to be notified when a post has been made to a thread we are watching since the last time we looked at the thread. We only need to be told the first time. Here's the suggestion:

  1. In the database table that holds the flag indicating that a user is watching a particular thread add an additional column. Call it  something like 'notification_sent'.
  2. If the flag is FALSE then when a new post is made to the thread  then send a notification  mail  to the user and set the flag to TRUE
  3. If the flag is TRUE then do not send a mail
  4. When the user views the thread reset the flag to false.

 The effect of this is that  even if 20 posts have been made to the thread since the last time you looked at it, you will only receive one notification. Surely, though, that is all you need. Having read the thread, the notification is ready to be triggered again.

I hope this idea is useful.

25/04/2008 at 18:26
Ooh, thanks SOG - I'll be sure to pass this on and get some feedback.
25/04/2008 at 18:48

Needless to say, when I typed that suggestion my brain was going faster than my fingers. What I meant to type was:

the number of mail messages generated is the number of subscribers to the thread for each new post to the thread.

Note that there would be an additional DB write for each thread view, and for really busy threads -- the ones that resemble real-time chats -- there would not be as much of a reduction of mail to the currently active participants in the thread. I still reckon it could substantially reduce mail load though. There are potential ways of getting round the real-time chat thing, but they make the solution more complex. They  would be an option if the simple version didn't produce sufficient benefit though.


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