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Old 15-02-10, 09:10 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 39
Default Forum Email Delivery

- I think you need a different word than "spurrious,"
- which means "false, bogus, faked, etc., etc."

You are right, "spurious" was a bad choice, I don't think the
e-mail carrying squirrels are being false, they are just confused.

Interestingly, my system received your message (sent 11:32)
at 7:20 UTC, while it got Greg's reply to your message (that
was sent 11:58) 5 minutes earlier, at 7:15 UTC. Seems the
rather long time between message being sent and it being received
by my system was spent on the system "svr2.nsau.net".

Julf
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Old 15-02-10, 10:26 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 39
Default Fair Comparisons

Kevin,

I have indeed looked at the SMTP headers, and the random
delay seems to happen on the host "svr2.nsau.net". Do you
have access to mail logs on that host?

I would love to transfer this discussion to the "About
This Site" forum, but I have no idea of how to do that
from the email interface. And yes, I insist on using the
email format, as experience has shown me that I keep
following email lists, but drop off web-based forums
after a while, as I just can't remember to log in often
enough. Call me an old fart, but if I wasn't one, I
wouldn't be driving a Bristol...

Julf
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Old 15-02-10, 12:59 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,168
Default

Okay Julf, it appears there are sometimes minor delays in mail going through the server, I suspect it is due to messages queued for checking by Mailscanner (all mail, in and out is scanned for viruses, spam and certain nasty content).

When a message is posted in one of the Bristol forums via the web interface, the site immediately sends the message to all people who are subscribed to that forum (and have instant notifications enabled). This may be say 250 people, in which case 250 outbound messages have to be scanned by Mailscanner.

The exact time it takes to do this depends upon how busy the mail server is.

BUT messages are processed in order according to a numerical ID that vBulletin assigns to each subscriber (I don't think you can see this ID number). However, a subscriber who's ID is 40, will always have his message processed before subscriber ID 41.

In one example I looked at you were 25th in the mail queue and the delay between the forum sending the message to you and it actually leaving the server was about 1 minute.

Worse case scenario for that particular message was about 20 minutes (for the subscriber with the highest ID number).

BUT I must stress that I cannot see how messages from the same forum can possibly leave the server out of sequence.

Exactly how this delay appears on the recipient's machine may vary depending on what mail client they use. For example Thunderbird shows the "sent" time by default, so I had a message which appeared to have been sent at 20:26 but which in truth left the server at 20:31. I had never actually noticed it before.

Also, email posts TO the server can be delayed appearing in the forum by a few minutes because they are processed by a CRON job.

There's a lot more I could explain about other little quirks of the system but I just don't have the time.

At the end of the day I included email integration because I thought it would help people who had been accustomed to using the old BEEF mail list transition to the new web based forums. My preference would be that people follow the link in an email notification and utilise the user interface on the web site.

Unfortunately I cannot afford the time or the system resources to make the email integration a priority. In fact your posts have alerted me to a potential issue down the track if the site continues to grow and I can see a time where I may need to turn off email integration or at the very least limit it to the people who are already subscribed.

Regards,
Kevin
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