[horde] RE: [ALERT] Fatal error: (Apologies)

Eric Rostetter eric.rostetter at physics.utexas.edu
Fri Dec 5 11:47:09 PST 2003

Quoting swap <swap at graphic-design.com>:

>    > First, there is no such thing as "horde's filters".
>    > There are IMP filters, sam (spam assassin) filters,
>    > ingo filters.  But not Horde filters.
> Wrong term? Maybe? What is it called when you click on
> the "Blacklist" button with an email and it takes you
> to a page called "Filter Rules" ?

It is called "setting a blacklist filter".  If you are running a release
version of Horde and its apps, then it is using the IMP filters.  SAM and
Ingo are only in development state so far.  If you are running the
developement (CVS HEAD) releases, then it depends on how you configured
it.  Clicking on the blacklist link can take you to *any* filtering
program (including but not limited to Ingo and SAM).

> I assumed that was part of Horde since the interface doesn't
> change, and it seems to be built in.  Maybe I'm in the wrong
> list?  What is "IMP" ?

Horde is the basic framework.  IMP is the web mail application that
runs under the Horde framework.

> About the filters...
>    > But any server side filter can be set up independently
>    > of Horde and work just fine.  You just need to get the
>    > admin to do so.
> Oh, if only he would.

I can't control your providers/admins, unfortunately.

> I use the Web-based interface through my browser because with
> all the spam, gifs, jpgs, trojans, virus and dot-doc
> attachments, an email "download" becomes lengthy, and loads
> up lots of files to be deleted.

That is true...  Although not as true as you think if you use IMAP in
Eudora instead of POP3.  It is really acting like Horde/IMP then, just
downloading the needed info (headers, attributes, etc) until you want/need
to see the contents...

> So the web-based gets rid
> of the bad stuff and I don't download it.

Yes, that is true.  Not as nice as server side filtering (since that
happens in the background when the mail arrives, so the mail never even
hits your mailbox, rather than happening all at once when you check your

> The new Microsoft
> virus averages 150 to 180 K per gulp, and since the middle of
> October, they are averaging 30 to 40 a day.

Well, technically that isn't spam, but I know what you mean.  I have my
spam filter also nuke some popular viruses as if they were spam...

> Yes, the "problem" is the Filters work one day, and the next
> they don't -- stopping mid-way with "[ALERT] Fatal error:"

Where is this message?  Is it displayed in your browser as html?  Or do
you find it when you do a "view source" on the browser window?  Or is it
in a log file?  I have no idea...

> I clicked "Filter All Messages"

Yes, okay, that should certainly filter them :)

> It returned an empty queue, none filtered, with
> [ALERT] Fatal error:

Again, I have no idea what that means.  What do you mean by "empty queue" and
where/how was this ALERT message displayed?  And what else, if anything,
was being displayed along with (above, below, behind, etc) this alert?
Is this a browser pop-up error (ala a javascript error) or is it in the html
browser display or what?

> So it's telling me that once it hits an "error" it cannot
> go on no matter how many valid rules, and complying emails
> there are.

Okay.  But I still don't know enough about the error to help too much.

> So I figure It's got to reinitialize.  I log out, quite Explorer,
> log back in to "re-launch" Horde (or IMP or whatever it is)...
> Click the "Filter All" button... "[ALERT] Fatal error:"

That should not (and obviously does not) make any difference.

> So now, somehow I believe there's an email in there some where
> that the program doesn't like.  And that stops it each time.

Could be.  Or not.  Don't know.  More info about this error alert would
be most useful in finding out.

> Tomorrow when I come in, they'll work just fine.

Now that is the strangest part.  Unless you mean you delete all the messages
today (by hand, etc).

> So there's the problem.  And, yes, I can show how to reproduce
> it... just click "Filter All Messages" as I've done four, five,
> six times a day for the past year.

Ah, but if we can't reproduce it, then it is meaningless if you can, *unless*
you can provide us with some info (filtering backend, Horde version, more
info about this alert messsage, etc).

> Except it's the only web interface to my email.

Not actually.  The fact that you use Eudora says you can use pop3/imap.
The fact that you can use pop3/imap means you can use a variety of web
mail applications available for free on the net.  (Including the Horde
demo sites if you wanted to try it there, to see if you can reproduce it
on another Horde install with your same mailbox).

> I have no other choice short of switching ISPs and 30 or
> so domains to another ISP.  Switching ISPs is no trivial
> problem for me.

That really isn't needed (though maybe it would benefit you, but that
is a whole different issue).

> Don't tell me!  The Burns-Wyden act is laughable, and actually
> makes it easier for the big-business spammers to spam legally.

Yes, that is true.  Kind of a catch-22.

>    > So if you want help from me, you better repost the
>    > required info (Horde and Horde application versions,
>    > what type of filtering you are talking about, what
>    > the exact problem is, etc).
> Did the best I could.  How do you find out what version?

If it is available, try looking at /horde/test.php on your webmail server.
It may not be available though.  We've talked about putting the version info
in the help files but never done it yet (Note to self: This *really*
needs to be done asap).  So if you can't run the test.php file, then
I guess you need to ask your service provider.

> I don't see an "About" button anywhere.  Nope, just poked around
> and don't see any "version" info anywhere.

Yes, known problem that we've talked about fixing but have not managed
to fix yet...

> Hey, like I said. Maybe I've woofing up the wrong tree.
> But the ISP gave me this list and said
>    "Go here to find out how the filters work."

Yes.  We just need to get some more info to help you is all.  Sometimes
help can turn into a long, drawn-out question and answer session.  Not fun,
but sometimes needed.

> So, here I am.  How do the filters work?

Well, keep the dialog going and soon enough we will find out.

> Thanks for the help
> Regards
> Fred

Eric Rostetter
The Department of Physics
The University of Texas at Austin

Why get even? Get odd!

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