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06 September 2007 @ 12:08 pm
So are other people still getting email notification of LJ comments?

I can't figure out if LJ isn't sending them or if they're being eaten by one of the spam filters on my end.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
jon_leonardjon_leonard on September 6th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
I'm still getting them (as of a few days ago; I don't get a lot of comments) when I get comments. One thing I've noticed is that they're not actually in synch with the messages in LiveJournal. It's as if there is a subsystem for sending the email, and a subsystem for LJ viewing, and they can get a few hours behind.

If you don't get the messages you're expecting fairly soon, suspect a problem on your end, but if they show up after a while that seems to be normal.
DonAithnendonaithnen on September 6th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
Well one of the comments i'm waiting for is over 24 hours late. Also some of the test emails i've sent myself from yahoo and gmail seem to have gone astray. It seems like either the email server is having intermittent difficulties or the greylist utility has gone berserk.
jon_leonardjon_leonard on September 6th, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
Graylisting is problematic that way. It delays the message, but how long it delays it is up to the sending computer. Big ISPs don't like it, because it leads to a lot of mail stuck into their queue. So I wouldn't be too surprised to see long delays or even drops from them. Also, depending on your greylist implementation and their SMTP strategy, you could be subjecting messages to multiple delays. If they use a different IP address (different machine) for each delivery attempt, then it could be rejected again, and eventually they'll give up.

I'd recommend explicitly whitelisting the email servers of the big sites that send you email... (Or even all sites with valid-looking DNS, actually)

Anyway, I got the email notification for your comment promptly, so it is at least sometimes working.
DonAithnendonaithnen on September 6th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but greylisting is supposed to be a couple hours at most, and by this point LJ really ought to be whitelisted. I've never had this issue before, at least not because of greylisting.

I though about explicitly whitelisting it and took a look at the man page and a brief overview seemed to indicate that greylist.conf was for admins only, but perhaps i was misreading it.
jon_leonardjon_leonard on September 7th, 2007 05:45 am (UTC)
Aside from the problem being found...

Greylisting is technically an abuse of the SMTP protocol. The receiver of a questionable message lies and says it has a temporary local failure, and to try again later.

How long 'later' can be is at the mercy of the sender, and greylisting sets a minimum length. For some sites the retry period can be fairly long, and at some point the sender is supposed to give up and bounce the message. (and lots of transport agents discard the bounces because of backscatter issues.)

The fortunate coincidence is that almost all legitimate mailing sites have sensible outgoing mail policies and retry, and almost no spammers will bother retrying. So it's pretty effective at cutting down spam, at some cost in terms of compliance and shifting your spam load onto (only) the legit sites that send you email.

That, and if it becomes common the spambots will work around it, and we've just made a lot of mail slower for no reason.
DonAithnendonaithnen on September 7th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
I contacted Matt about it, and he said that it seemed to be treating a lot of whitelisted stuff as if it were greylisted, and furthermore throwing them into an infinite loop. He restarted both the greylist system and sendmail and over the next hour i got just about all the missing messages i was expecting, plus some other stuff as well of course.
Vespera: censoredsol_rei on September 8th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
I haven't been getting any...but I was just chalking that up to not getting any comments. ;p
DonAithnendonaithnen on September 9th, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
Awww, make more posts! I'll try to comment! :)