Re: POP3 mail fetcher that supports unreliable connections?
From: Vincent Lefevre (vincent_at_vinc17.org)
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2003 10:04:57 +0100 To: email@example.com
On 2003-11-03 21:43:26 -0700, Monique Y. Herman wrote:
> The very first paragraph in `man fetchmail` says
> fetchmail is a mail-retrieval and forwarding utility; it
> fetches mail from remote mailservers and forwards it to
> your local (client) machine's delivery system. You can
> then handle the retrieved mail using normal mail user agents such
> as mutt(1), elm(1) or Mail(1). The fetchmail utility can be run
> in a daemon mode to repeatedly poll one or more systems at a
> specified interval.
> Whatever you think about what a mail fetcher should be doing, shouldn't
> you read at least the first paragraph of the man page before using a
This isn't sufficient: it gives no warning that mail may be lost by
doing this. I was rather naive and thought that if this failed, then
fetchmail wouldn't delete the mail.
> In fact, the author (that's esr, if I recall correctly) considered
> delivery to your local delivery system a *feature*, because it allows
> you to use all of the powerful features available through the MTA of
> your choice.
> I'm sorry that you lost mail. It absolutely sucks. But I think it
> might be an object lesson -- it's a good idea to read up on a tool
> before using it, especially when you're going to use it on something
> as sensitive as mail.
Reading the man page won't solve the problems inherent to a dangerous
method. Even if you have a working system, the configuration of your
local delivery system may change in the future. It is still possible
to make a mistake when implementing an antispam rule and reject to
much mail (I know sysadmins who did that wrong).
-- Vincent Lefèvre <firstname.lastname@example.org> - Web: <http://www.vinc17.org/> - 100% validated (X)HTML - Acorn Risc PC, Yellow Pig 17, Championnat International des Jeux Mathématiques et Logiques, TETRHEX, etc. Work: CR INRIA - computer arithmetic / SPACES project at LORIA -- To UNSUBSCRIBE, email to email@example.com with a subject of "unsubscribe". Trouble? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org