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Re: `send-mail-function' default change

From: Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen
Subject: Re: `send-mail-function' default change
Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2011 22:56:11 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110018 (No Gnus v0.18) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> writes:

> This can't be done, because there's no reliable way to check whether
> sendmail does work.

One thing that I don't think has been discussed in this area (yay!
another sub-thread in an unending thread) is the issue of failing early
versus retrying.

Here's the issue:

You're using a laptop at home, and you've got exim configured to (for
instance) send mail directly (because your ISP does not block port 25),
and things work fine.

Then you bring the laptop with you while going on holiday.  You read
your email, as usual, from imap.example.com, and you're replying as
usual.  But the hotel you're at is blocking port 25.

exim will then queue up the messages, and after a certain time period,
it'll send you a (local) message saying that it couldn't send the
emails.  (If I recall correctly, the default is one day.)  It will retry
sending for four days, so if you go home before that time, it will send
all the messages when you get home.

Now, you won't see any error messages in this period.  You most likely
aren't reading the local /var/mail/spool/.  So if this is something
you're not familiar with, you'll wonder where the emails went.  If you
are familiar with this situation, you'll figure it out after a while,
reconfigure, and flush the queue.

If Emacs talks SMTP directly, you will get an error message immediately
at the hotel, and can choose to reconf, or you can choose to queue the
mail in Emacs.

Now, some people will prefer different behaviours.  Some people probably
use the let-exim-queue-locally-until-I-get-home behaviour, and find that
it suits their needs.

But I have a suspicion that most people would like to get an error
message as early as possible.

(domestic pets only, the antidote for overdose, milk.)
  bloggy blog http://lars.ingebrigtsen.no/

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