Frequent errors with OUtlook 2003

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Frequent errors with OUtlook 2003

Beitragvon Michoko » 23. Nov 2010, 14:32

Hi,

First thank you very much for this wonderful application. I use Spamihilator on a daily basis, and it has proven to be very useful. I have an issue though. From time to time, the Outlook "Network password" window will popup, which is quite annoying. Especially when I'm typing something, since the window will popup unexpectedly and I'll then continue typing into the password field...

I'm currently connecting to 3 different accounts at my ISP. For some reason, sometimes the pop3 servers returns an authentification error. Here's an extract from the log:

Client Log started at: 17/11/2010 - 11:52:43
11:52:43 S: +OK Spamihilator 0.9.9.53 ready
11:52:43 C: USER pop.free.fr&myusername
11:52:43 S: +OK Username accepted
11:52:43 C: PASS ********
11:52:44 S: -ERR [AUTH] Error logging in.


A minute after, it will work. It seems to be related to the pop3 server charge, because it generally happens more in the evening than during the day. I'm not sure if it's due to the delay between the various connections (maybe the server thinks I'm trying to make too many requests on it at the same time), or simply that the server is overloaded. But it's really a pain.


So my question is:
Would it be possible to add an option into Spamihilator, for example along the "Always abort on timeout" checkbox. This new checkbox would be labelled "Ignore errors", and would always forward an "OK" response to the email client, even if the connection failed. Of course it would be off by default, but would allow advanced users to ignore errors that may be only temporary.

Does it make sense?

Thank you!
Frédéric
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Re: Frequent errors with OUtlook 2003

Beitragvon Chactory » 25. Nov 2010, 23:05

Hi,

thanks a lot for your elaborated input! :) This is a known problem, and your suggestion has been discussed before. Your proposal sounds very reasonable to me. Hmm ... but I'm not sure, if Michel Krämer, the program author, has considered to resolve this problem. It's not listed in the todo list. So I hope he reads your posting.

Kind regards, Chactory
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Re: Frequent errors with OUtlook 2003

Beitragvon michel » 28. Nov 2010, 11:08

Hi!

Thank you very much for your idea. Unfortunately, it's not possible to pretend everything is OK.

Think of the following case: the user enabled "Do not delete mail from server" in his email client. Email clients usually implement this feature by saving a list of unique identifiers for each message on the server (the so-called UIDL - unique identifier list). This list can be retrieved by the POP3 command "UIDL". When something goes wrong, Spamihilator does not know of this list and so it would return an empty one as the result to the UIDL command. This would make the mail client clear its internal list. The next time it checks for new mails, the original UIDL would be returned. The mail client would thus find a lot of new unique identifiers for supposed new mails. So, it would download all messages again!

Even if Spamihilator would save the UIDL, what should it return for the "RETR" command? This command returns the body of a requested message. But if Spamihilator is not connected to the server, how will it know that body?

Sorry for being so negative, but I really can't think of how to "ignore errors"... If you have any better idea, you're welcome!

Sincerely,
Michel
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Re: Frequent errors with OUtlook 2003

Beitragvon Michoko » 28. Nov 2010, 12:40

Hi, and thank you for your complete reply.

Okay, so if I understood correctly, the issue is mainly related to the "Do not delete mail from server", right? What about making them mutually exclusive? Because my suggestion was some kind of "hotfix" for those, like me, who are getting this unbearable outlook popup 30 times per day. But the case where:
- people use Outlook
- they get server errors
- AND want to leave their mail on server
might be rather small among your users.

What we could consider is to grey the "Ignore errors" option out if the "Do not delete mail from server" is checked, so even those specific cases are handled properly. I'm not sure of the work required to ignore errors, but if it's mainly sending a generic OK reply to the client if "Ignore errors" is checked AND "Do not delete mail from server" is unchecked, then it would be really worth it IMHO. It would already help 90+% of people encountering Outlook network popup issues, I guess. Not perfect, but a very useful hotfix that would make spamihilator even more useful to me.

I just hope I understood your explanation correctly, and that the issue is not wider than just the "Do not delete mail from server" case.

Thank you for your great work, and take care!
Frédéric
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Re: Frequent errors with OUtlook 2003

Beitragvon michel » 28. Nov 2010, 17:52

Hi!

Yes, you understood my explanation correctly. The problem is that Spamihilator does not know if the user enabled this option in his email client.

Of course, there's another option in Spamihilator named "Keep spam mails on the server until I delete them from the Recycle Bin", but that's a completely different thing, and the two options are in any way independent from each other.

Sincerely,
Michel
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Re: Frequent errors with OUtlook 2003

Beitragvon Michoko » 28. Nov 2010, 18:59

Ouch, all right, now I think I get it, thank you.

Sorry, I'm not a POP3 protocol expert, but would we then be able to narrow this down to authentication errors only, by faking them? Because obviously the Outlook problem occurs during authentication, triggering the network popup (as you can see on the log I posted). Maybe there is another existing error code that could be sent back instead by spamihilator, that would not be the exact error, but one that tells the email client that global connection was not possible.
In other words: all errors would be forwarded to the email client like they currently are, but if the "Fake authentication errors" option is checked, AUTH errors would be replaced by another one which would be more related to a global connection problem and not precisely interpreted as a wrong user/password issue. Maybe Outlook would then do nothing, because there would be no point in entering a new password since it would be understood as a more global network problem?

Not sure I'm making much sense, but I hope you got my point :) I can understand that it's more a hack than anything else, though...

I spent a lot of time studying this issue, but it seems that Outlook is annoying many people with this popup...

Cheers
Frédéric
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Re: Frequent errors with OUtlook 2003

Beitragvon Michoko » 28. Nov 2010, 20:20

Or maybe a simpler solution would be to send an OK response systematically via an "Ignore errors option", as I suggested initially, and just warn the user that this option is not suitable if he chose to leave messages on the server in his email client. That way it would be just an option reserved to "power users" who know what they are doing? Or maybe this option would even be only available via an ini file or something?

Sorry to insist, but if forwarding an OK response is not too difficult to implement per se, I'm sure some people would love to have it even as a hidden option. :)

Take care!
Frédéric
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Re: Frequent errors with OUtlook 2003

Beitragvon Chactory » 29. Nov 2010, 11:19

Salut Frédéric!

Thank you very much for "insisting" in such an accurately elaborated way! I think this would be a very useful hack to many users.

Kind regards, Chactory
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Re: Frequent errors with OUtlook 2003

Beitragvon michel » 10. Dez 2010, 17:05

Michoko hat geschrieben:Or maybe a simpler solution would be to send an OK response systematically via an "Ignore errors option", as I suggested initially, and just warn the user that this option is not suitable if he chose to leave messages on the server in his email client.

Sorry, but the "leave messages on server" option was just an example for what can go wrong when an OK message is faked. Actually, this can make the whole mail client go crazy, so it's really not what users would want and of course it's also not what we want, since we would have to answer a lot of support requests from users who accidentally enabled that option ;) ;)

In fact, Spamihilator tries to simulate that the server is currently not reachable by disconnecting immediately. It seems Outlook does not care anyhow... :-/

Bye,
Michel
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Re: Frequent errors with OUtlook 2003

Beitragvon Michoko » 11. Dez 2010, 16:52

OK Michel, then it seems the problem won't be solved without changing my email client... Thank you for considering my request though!

Take care!
Frédéric
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