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url-retrieve may cause hang

From: David Reitter
Subject: url-retrieve may cause hang
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 23:33:20 +0100

url-retrieve may cause Emacs to hang for around 3 minutes when the firewall is configured to delay packets. This is unwanted behavior, as url-retrieve claims to work asynchronously.


Configure firewall to delay (rather than deny) packets:

sudo ipfw add 1 pipe 7 tcp from any to any 80

(url-retrieve  "http://www.google.com"; 'print)
% or use url-http for this

-> Hang until time-out (several minutes).

You may have to install and/or turn on the ipfw firewall on your system to reproduce.

I can produce this with an up-to-date CVS Emacs (Carbon port) on OS X, a BSD like system that comes with the "ipfw" firewall - I don't have root privileges on my GNU/Linux machine to try it out there.

You may rightfully argue that the above way to set up a firewall is flawed. However, I keep getting bug reports from people inside the ".mil" domain who seem to have a firewall that swallows all outgoing traffic. I don't know what their firewall setup is, but the above rule leads to the same symptoms for me.

sudo ipfw del 1 pipe 7 tcp from any to any 80
to get rid of the block.

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