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    Re: [Nav-l] Missing messages
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2006 Apr 15, 21:01 EDT

    George H, you wrote:
    "What then caused that  accumulation of old messages to be suddenly cleared
    out, in a cloud of dust, and  distributed months late, as seems to have
    happened to many members recently? I  have no idea. Perhaps some buffer-space has
    been overfilled, and therefore  flushed out, before starting to accumulate again."
    Interesting  speculation. I've been puzzling over this, too, in order to
    define whether there  is just one problem with the list, with several symptoms, or
    several problems.
    As you may recall, the same burst of echo posts followed by a list crash
    lasting a few days occurred in mid-November. I went to the list archives to see
    how that pattern matched the recent crash. Fortunately, one of my own posts
    made  it into the echo burst back then so I was able to do a little more
    detective  work. Here's the sequence of events for this one case: On October 18, 2005
     around 4:30 in the afternoon, I sent two messages to the list: "Swinging the
     Arc" and "Sextant Telescope Collimation". After a couple of hours, the first
    had  appeared in the list archive but the second had not. At least one other
    list  member DID receive the second message on collimation. I decided to post
    a second  copy of that post and, sure enough, a few hours later in the
    archive, there is a  copy of the message "Sextant Telescope Collimation". So what
    became of the first  post? I didn't worry about it. Now jump ahead to November
    15, 2005. The list  sent out a batch of echo posts, different ones to different
    recipients (the ones  I received in my inbox are not the same as the ones that
    appear in the archive).  And in the list archive on that date appears
    "Sextant Telescope Collimation",  apparently this was the original copy that had gone
    missing a month earlier (and  in the archive, it is marked with the correct
    earlier date and time stamp).  Right after that, the list crashed and was
    offline for several days.
    As  you suggested above, this sounds like a bounced message box has been
    dumped,  suddenly flushing out messages that had been accumulated. But apparently
    a  side-effect of this process is to crash the list. Of course none of this is
     supposed to happen.
    The problem of bouncing e-mail on the Internet  generally is a serious one.
    It has become much more problematic within the past  12 months as more and more
    systems have installed over-aggressive spam filters.  This is certainly part
    of the problem, and it is fair for Dan Hogan to "blame"  at least that part of
    the probem on the recipient. But there is still a problem  on the listserv
    side. Flushing the "bounced message box", for want of a better  name, should not
    crash the list --as it has now down twice in the past six  months.
    As for "NavList" (the google backup for this list which I  initiated), it is
    of course likely that it would be better at handling these  sorts of problems,
    but there is also a possibility that it would have some  similar affliction
    or worse (!). As I said from day one, the idea was to make  that list
    "experimental". It's time for the 50+ people who have signed up for  that to start
    experimenting. Any of the rest of you who would like to see how  that goes, feel
    free to sign up by sending a blank e-mail message to  NavList-subscribe
    [ATSIGN] googlegroups.com. This does not commit you to any  permanent change. You
    will receive a confirmation message asking you to visit a  rather long URL. This
    simply confirms that your e-mail address is active and  that you intended to
    sign up. After that you post to NavList [ATSIGN]  googlegroups.com. And I
    reiterate, if Dan Hogan joins, I would be happy to make  him a list owner
    immediately. We're talking about changing vessels, swapping a  leaky boat for a
    seaworthy one (still sitting on the ways), not changing  captains. Aye.
    As for solving the problem with the present list hosted on  webkahuna, Ken
    Muldrew stated the case clearly, so I'll quote him:
    "The  problems with Nav-L will certainly require Andy, and probably those
    upstream of  him, to do a lot of work if they are to be fixed. There is very
    little anyone  from this group can do to sort this out as it will require access
    to the Apache  configuration files and logs. A list owner doesn't have those
    priveledges.  Someone could ask Andy if he's willing to track down the bugs but
    as an unpaid  volunteer, but I doubt he will be too keen. Having done such
    work in the past, I  would need a lot of motivation; others, and perhaps Andy is
    one such, would do  it merely for the technical challenge. He is a senior
    software developer and the  problem may turn out to be easy for him to fix, but if
    you have ever read  The_Cuckoo's_Egg by Cliff Stoll, you can appreciate how
    difficult it can be to  track down apparently trivial problems with networked
    42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N  72.1W.

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