dying children?

Julian Field MailScanner at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Fri Aug 1 14:59:22 IST 2008

Drew Marshall wrote:
> On 1 Aug 2008, at 14:36, Julian Field wrote:
>> Drew Marshall wrote:
>>> On 1 Aug 2008, at 10:09, Julian Field wrote:
>>>> Richard Siddall wrote:
>>>>> Julian Field wrote:
>>>>>> Someone else showed me a message that suffered the same problem a 
>>>>>> few weeks ago. Unfortunately I don't think there's anything I can 
>>>>>> do about it, sorry. It's to do with nesting in the HTML analysis 
>>>>>> code. Once it gets too nested up, Perl segfaults.
>>>>>> Jules
>>>>> Jules,
>>>>> Does that mean it's something like an out-of-memory error in one 
>>>>> of the CPAN modules?  Can we fix it by getting the module author 
>>>>> to handle excessive nesting?
>>>> The most likely culprit is HTML::Parser, but I have direct evidence 
>>>> to back that. I just know that it's in the HTML parsing where it 
>>>> falls over. Does HTML::Parser contain any non-Perl code?
>>> Jules
>>> I seem to get a number of, what I think are, these types of mail 
>>> that choke MS and hold the child process up until it times out. Is 
>>> there any way that a mail that causes this sort of time out to be 
>>> automatically quarantined? Perhaps by changing the scan time out 
>>> from a batch time out to a message time out?
>>> The problem that I see is that if a batch has 10 messages in it 
>>> (Often mainly Spam) 1 of the messages chokes spam scanning, the 
>>> whole batch times out and lets the all the other spam messages 
>>> through for delivery.
>> It's not a timeout issue. If it hits this, it brings the entire Perl 
>> system crashing down. Wrapping it in an eval and timeout may not 
>> help. It would certainly add more overhead.
>> I am open to all suggestions though!
> Ahh, I see. Can I request this anyway? I am seeing a number of time 
> outs (Like upwards of 50 since midnight today!) from SpamAssassin 
> which I just can't diagnose. The problem message always seems to stop 
> at the point it starts running body checks (Or at least that's the 
> line it displays last before hanging). I have done all the usual stuff 
> but as I can't easily capture the problem messages as they are 
> delivered after the time out limit is hit, I am struggling to put them 
> somewhere for some expert help.
I've actually got a couple of things to go to this weekend, so may well 
not have much time for coding.

It may be the start of next week....


Julian Field MEng CITP CEng
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