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Item3514: No mail notification due to "Badly formatted subscription list"

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AppliesTo: Component: Priority: CurrentState: WaitingFor: TargetRelease ReleasedIn
Engine TWikiUserMapping Urgent Closed   patch 4.1.1

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Still no luck with e-mail notification on twiki.org after upgrade from TWiki 4.0.2 to 4.1. First it was a permission problem of the tools/mailnotify script.

Today still no notification. The cronjob redirect stderr to a file, content now has this:

Badly formatted subscription list  ThreadedDiscussionPluginDev   (newline missing)

TWiki:Plugins/WebNotify has this entry:

   * Main.OnurSencer: ThreadedDiscussionPluginDev  

This is possibly caused by a WYSIWYG editor bug. I fixed the entry in the WebNotify topic. But:

  • Small issue: Output of error message to stderr is good, but better to add a newline at the end.
  • Actual issue: Why penalize all subscribers if there is one faulty entry? Better to design the system to be tolerant to user errors, e.g. by ignoring faulty lines.

This seems to be a bug of 4.1, earlier versions (until 4.0.2 (?)) could send out messages even with the fauly line (the faulty line was added on 06 Oct 2006.)

-- TWiki:Main/PeterThoeny - 27 Jan 2007

Obviously it is tolerant to single lines being incorrectly specified. A single line failure should not affect subscriptions on other lines. Are you saying this is not the case? It's hard to see how....

Thanks for pointing out the missing newline.


Even after cleaning the nbsp issue we get no notification. Unfortunatly I am totally behind with everything and cannot debug this issue.

-- TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny - 31 Jan 2007

I merged in 12685 to Patch04x01

-- TWiki:Main.KennethLavrsen - 31 Jan 2007

Thanks Kenneth.

There's clearly still a problem, but it sounds like it's not related to the nbsp, so I'm setting this Waiting for Release. When you nail down why there is no notification on your site, please raise a new issue.


I am reopening this sice there is a problem, nobody is getting notification e-mails from twiki.org. I opened this bug because of missing notification, not because of nbsp. I suspected this to be the cause, but obviously it wasn't.

-- PTh

Can you run a manual mail notification and post the error message please?

-- TWiki:Main.KennethLavrsen - 02 Feb 2007

The cron runs the script for one hout, I can see it in top. STDOUT and STDERR is redirected to data/.mailnotify.out, it is empty.

-- TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny - 02 Feb 2007

The cron probably runs it -q, supressing the output. Could you run it from the command line, please?


-- TWiki:Main.CrawfordCurrie - 02 Feb 2007

Mail with mailer output sent to CC.

-- PTh

Thanks Peter. I assume that's the output of several runs (the first generated 17 notifications, the remainder generated 0).

It looks very much as if the MailerContrib is doing at least part of it's job. There is evidence that it's detecting changes, and the "17 change notifications" indicates that at least 17 emails were sent (up to the point of calling TWiki::Net::sendEmail without receiving an error response), for changes to Codev. This is a surprisingly small number, given the number of (successfully parsed) subscriptions. There were no reported errors, so it appears that all generated mails were successfully sent.

So, why were only 17 mails sent, despite so many more subscriptions? It emerges that if an email isn't found for a subscribed user, it isn't reported (as it should be) and will continue silently. This may well be the cause of the problem on t.o. So why wouldn't an email be found? Well, it emerges that r12496 was checked in to "fix" Item3415. However this checkin was evidently done without running the unit tests, as they clearly fail. The "fix" is also ill-considered (wrong) so in an environment where usernames are not mapped to wikinames, mail notification is currently failing.

Priority raised to urgent.


I ran the unit tests many many times and they did not fail.

But that does not mean the fix was not correct. Just wanted to make this important note.

Will you fix this issue today Saturday Crawford?

I am releasing 4.1.1 tomorrow either with a new fix from you or with Item3415 reverted which leaves the old bug open.

4.1.1 must go out Sunday because we have a 4.1.0 out with 50 release blockers and 50 is worse than 1.

-- TWiki:Main.KennethLavrsen - 03 Feb 2007

You ran the unit tests for the core; you can't have run the unit tests for the contrib, though. Not your fault; I don't think anyone ever asked you to. We really need a way to combine these tests for the core components into the core test set.

To run the unit tests (if any) for a contrib, plugin or addon, then pseudo-install the component, cd to the lib/TWiki/Contrib/MailerContrib dir and perl build.pl test.

This should be part of the test process for a release.


I have to eat my hat. After going through the mailer process in great detail I'm now convinced that the fix you checked in was correct (though the point about the unit tests still applies) and that the current version of the MailerContrib in subversion is working perfectly. I should have realised this immediately, as it has been working on Bugs web (which shares the same user information with t.o) for some considerable time. Almost, but not quite, a complete waste of a day frown

I even took the WebNotify from twiki.org, pasted it into a local web, and tested it, with the same auth setup as t.o, and it worked perfectly. FWIW I added some more debug statements, clearer error reports, and one unrelated fix, to the code. And I fixed the testcases. Dropping priority back to Normal.

I cannot debug this any further. It requires someone with access to the installation with the problem. I'm afraid I have to punt it back to you, Peter.


I have merged in 12732 12733 as well to Patch04x01

-- TWiki:Main.KennethLavrsen - 03 Feb 2007

Note: Urgent for 4.2, should not block 4.1.2

Since Michael now has access to t.o, we were able to do a bit more debugging.

It looks as if the problem is due to the fact that TWikiUsers on t.o does not contain all the users. Older registrations are farmed off to other topics. The user mapper loads TWikiUsers, and it doesn't have the missing users in the mapping, so no email.

This needs to be fixed for 4.2, either by fixing t.o or (more likely given how hard it is to get changes on t.o) to change the code so it doesn't load TWikiUsers. That's something that needs to be done anyway, as it is a performance hog on a large site.


moved Fabrizio's report to Item3759; it's unrelated CC

Ping. See TWiki:Support/SiteUpdatesViaEmail.

-- TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny - 13 Mar 2007

Item3400 shares the "not listed in TWikiUsers" problem.

-- TWiki:Main.SteffenPoulsen - 14 Mar 2007

With the recent changes to the users code, the mapping is no longer required to recover an email address (if mapping is off, then the username is used as the login name. if mapping is on, and the user isn't present in the mapping (TWikiUsers), then it will default to using the wikiname as the username to look up the password DB. I believe this resolves all the outstanding issues here, but without a testcase it's hard to be totally sure. Closing.


Summary No mail notification due to "Badly formatted subscription list"
ReportedBy TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny
Codebase 4.1.0
SVN Range TWiki-4.1.0, Mon, 22 Jan 2007, build 12595
AppliesTo Engine
Component TWikiUserMapping
Priority Urgent
CurrentState Closed

Checkins 12685 12702 12732 12733 12735
TargetRelease patch
ReleasedIn 4.1.1
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Topic revision: r32 - 2007-04-15 - CrawfordCurrie
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