Backup Mail Server Questions

Richard Lynch ceo at
Tue Sep 28 12:46:16 PDT 2004

Nico Meijer wrote:
> Hey Bill,
>> Are you saying that it's better for users not to know that their mail
>> has been delayed?
> Unfortunately, yes. That is what I am saying.
> On a technical level, I totally disagree with myself. On a practical,
> day-to-day operations level I have to admit I'd rather not handle the
> calls.

As a user who understands, to some degree, how email is delivered, and who
wouldn't be calling you to "fix it", I *STILL* don't want to get those
stupid messages:

"Your email has been delayed for 4 hours...  Don't do anything"

Here's why:

A) *I* can't do anything about it -- It's up to some (probably
incompetent) admin to fix their computer down the line somewhere.

B) It never includes the email I sent, so I've got no clue what message
it's bitching about anyway.

C) If I'm not supposed to do anything, why are you bugging me?  If you can
manage to send me an email about the email you can't send, it's obvious 
that your computer isn't the broken one either.  [Okay, I'm sure there's a
counter-example to that, but it's not the norm.]

D) 99.99999% of the time, the email ends of getting where it should go
anyway, just later than I had hoped.  I've seen USPS take seven (7) months
to deliver paper mail.  I ain't gonna bitch about a few days delay in

Now, if you could manage to track down an email address of somebody who is
probably/nominally responsible for the machine that isn't working right,
and you want to warn them that their machine is toast, go for it!  At
least then you'd be bugging the person that can actually take some action
to do something useful.  Probably best to bug them once per X [day|week]
about their broken machines, though, since bombarding them with email
won't help either.

But, hey, that's just my opinion.

It *WOULD* be nice also if bounced messages contained the full message --
If I have an alternate way to send it to the recipient, that's WAY more
convenient than me digging through my Outbox, which may or may not even be
available at the time I receive the bounce anyway.

I can't count the times I've gotten a bounce and realized the
reconstructing (or finding) the email would be too time-consuming and/or
would take too long, but if I had the email to send out again, I could
have gotten the message through in time.

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