#1322 ✓fixreleased
David Crippen

Another server error

Reported by David Crippen | November 24th, 2015 @ 09:54 PM

Benny, seems like this happened a while back. New pop-up saying there is a server error. I called Pitt and they say it's not on them.

What to do (again)

See inclosure)

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • benny

    benny November 25th, 2015 @ 07:38 AM

    That's very confident of Pitt :-)

    Do as follows to generate some logs:

    • Open the “Activity Viewer” (⌥⌘0).
    • Take the account/mailbox online to trigger the issue.
    • Use “Help ▸ Send Server Logs”.

    Then I'll see if there are any hints. (I haven't checked what we found the last time this happened, but maybe it's not the same issue.)

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen November 25th, 2015 @ 03:11 PM

    Pitt is actually pretty good about what's going on with their server. This happened back in August as I recall and I can't remember what we did to fix it, but Pitt wasn't involved. Here is the log.

    I "think" I followed your directions above correctly. Something went out.

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen November 27th, 2015 @ 08:09 PM

    Hello...this issue is killing me. Any fix?

  • benny

    benny November 28th, 2015 @ 07:18 AM

    Sorry about the late reply. As you probably noticed I was busy getting a new release out (1.9.3).

    The logs show that the Pitt server does return something very unexpected (which is a bug), but this does not rule out that MailMate is triggering the server bug with its own bug. I can see a problem with the message containing some unexpected carriage return characters (not sure where they come from?). I'll look into if I need to sanitize the data before uploading.

    Hmm, taking another look at the logs show that the problem is likely generating duplicates in “Deleted Messages”. This problem should be fixed in 1.9.3. If you don't mind, I'd like you to generate a new set of logs to verify this.

    I am, by the way, impressed by the confidence of the Pitt administrators given that Exchange IMAP is horribly buggy :-)

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen November 28th, 2015 @ 02:31 PM

    Yes, I am noticing that I am getting duplicates in my "junk" file (via SpamSieve, which works very well). Unknown why. The bug allows me to work for a while by hitting "try again", then it pops up in another five minutes or so.

    The Pitt Server served a huge, monster number of people and the systems helpers are not all that knowledgeable about deeply technical problems. It's the difference between franchise mechanics and independent mechanics. Franchise mechanics install parts from the parts dept. Independent mechanics fix things. So when the Pitt tech says there's nothing wrong with the system, that means no one has reported anything. Not much I can do about that I'm afraid.

    When will 1.9.3 become available? Do you want another log today?

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen November 28th, 2015 @ 02:33 PM

    BTW, I have been using Version 1.9.3 (5187) for three days. Still have the problem.

  • benny

    benny November 28th, 2015 @ 02:35 PM

    But the log files were not from 1.9.3, right? In any case, generate a new set of logs to make sure.

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen November 28th, 2015 @ 02:49 PM

    OK, here come new logs from 1.9.3

  • benny

    benny November 28th, 2015 @ 02:51 PM

    Thanks, I'll look into why it's generating duplicates. A fix for that might also workaround the server bug (depending on why the server fails).

    I cannot give you a time frame since I don't have much time before Monday.

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen November 28th, 2015 @ 02:53 PM

    OK. Appreciate your help.

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen November 28th, 2015 @ 02:57 PM

    Benny, recall that this identical issue has happened in the past.

  • benny

    benny November 28th, 2015 @ 03:04 PM

    I agree, that ticket describes the same issue and based on the logs I'm now sure there is a server bug involved. But I'm well aware that I need to work around it. My only alternative is to simply state that MailMate cannot support Exchange IMAP :-(

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen November 28th, 2015 @ 03:10 PM

    I hope you can find a way around it. As far as I'm concerned, there is no alternative to Mail Mate. I threatened suicide and stuck my head in an oven when Eudora died. Mail Mate is the ONLY app that I can live with. None of the rest work for me. So if push comes to shove, I'll have to live with hitting "try again" every five minutes.

    BTW, this issue isn't there on my laptop. Same server.

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen November 28th, 2015 @ 03:12 PM

    Do you want me to call Pitt and demand to talk to someone at the top of the heap. BTW, they told me they didn't support Mail Mate and so they can and might tell me to buzz off.

  • benny

    benny November 28th, 2015 @ 03:15 PM

    No, they probably cannot do anything about it. Exchange IMAP is buggy no matter where it's used.

  • benny

    benny November 28th, 2015 @ 03:30 PM

    Ok, I've spotted an issue which could explain why MailMate generates duplicates. The problem is that MailMate tries to upload 2 message. The first one succeeds and the second one fails, but MailMate forgets that the first one succeeded. I think I've fixed this now. If the server problem is that it cannot handle two messages uploaded one after the other then it might also work around the server problem. We'll see.

    Hold down ⌥ when clicking “Check Now” in the Software Update preferences pane. Generate new logs if it's still failing.

    Thanks in advance.

  • David Crippen
  • David Crippen
  • benny

    benny November 28th, 2015 @ 04:31 PM

    Thanks. It did fix the duplication issue though. Now it's stuck on the message that's actually failing. I'll get back to you when I have time for the next step.

  • benny

    benny November 30th, 2015 @ 08:59 AM

    Ok, based on the logs, it should be possible to locate the (a) problematic message like this:

    grep -r 14758564135915092836 ~/Library/Application\ Support/MailMate/Messages

    After locating it then use the Finder to do “Compress...” on the message and then send it to me. (If it's not too sensitive to be shared.)

    I can then more easily see if I can do anything to work around the server bug.

    Thanks in advance.

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen November 30th, 2015 @ 02:38 PM

    There is nothing like that anywhere in the messages folder in the MailMate folder.

    Here's what a typical one looks like.

    There is nothing like: grep -r 14758564135915092836 in any of the mailboxes.

  • David Crippen
  • benny

    benny November 30th, 2015 @ 04:05 PM

    Sorry, some times I forget details in the instructions.

    Open /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app. And then paste this line and hit return:

    grep -r 14758564135915092836 ~/Library/Application\ Support/MailMate/Messages

    That should locate the message.

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen November 30th, 2015 @ 04:16 PM

    Here's what I get:

    Last login: Mon Nov 30 10:49:57 on console  
    David:~ davidcrippen$ grep -r 14758564135915092836 ~/Library/Application\ Support/MailMate/Messages  
    /Users/davidcrippen/Library/Application Support/MailMate/Messages/IMAP/crippen@exchange.pitt.edu/Deleted Messages.mailbox/Messages/285957.eml:Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=14758564135915092836
    /Users/davidcrippen/Library/Application Support/MailMate/Messages/IMAP/crippen@exchange.pitt.edu/Deleted Messages.mailbox/Messages/285957.eml:--14758564135915092836
    /Users/davidcrippen/Library/Application Support/MailMate/Messages/IMAP/crippen@exchange.pitt.edu/Deleted Messages.mailbox/Messages/285957.eml:--14758564135915092836
    /Users/davidcrippen/Library/Application Support/MailMate/Messages/IMAP/crippen@exchange.pitt.edu/Deleted Messages.mailbox/Messages/285957.eml:--14758564135915092836--
    /Users/davidcrippen/Library/Application Support/MailMate/Messages/IMAP/crippen@exchange.pitt.edu/Deleted Messages.mailbox/Messages/286248.eml:Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=14758564135915092836
    /Users/davidcrippen/Library/Application Support/MailMate/Messages/IMAP/crippen@exchange.pitt.edu/Deleted Messages.mailbox/Messages/286248.eml:--14758564135915092836
    /Users/davidcrippen/Library/Application Support/MailMate/Messages/IMAP/crippen@exchange.pitt.edu/Deleted Messages.mailbox/Messages/286248.eml:--14758564135915092836
  • benny

    benny November 30th, 2015 @ 04:19 PM

    Ok, again using the Terminal you can get to the relevant folder like this (which is the one we would expect it to be):

    open /Users/davidcrippen/Library/Application\ Support/MailMate/Messages/IMAP/crippen@exchange.pitt.edu/Deleted Messages.mailbox/Messages/

    Then look for these files:


    Right-click on them and select “Compress”. This should result in a .zip file which you can send to me (by email).

  • David Crippen
  • benny

    benny December 1st, 2015 @ 10:18 AM

    Thanks. The unusual thing about this email is that it contains a line with a length of more than 35000 bytes. This is not illegal with respect to IMAP, but there is a tradition (SMTP) of limiting line length to 1000 bytes which means that long lines are not common. My guess is that this is what triggers the server bug. It seems the server somehow thinks the long line is an IMAP command.

    Now, it's not obvious how to work around this issue. Lines cannot just be wrapped randomly without changing the exact meaning of the message. I have to think about that.

    Also, it might not be the line length since I can also see some special unicode characters (zero width non-breaking space). I guess that could somehow trigger a server bug as well.

    I tried reproducing the issue with an Exchange server I have access to, but I had no issues with it.

  • benny

    benny December 1st, 2015 @ 02:29 PM

    I've tried another workaround. Try this special release. It should detect this specific problem and work around it by introducing some extra newlines.

    It's a bit of a hack and ideally I should re-encode the message instead, but that might be tricky for some emails.

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen December 1st, 2015 @ 04:01 PM

    OK, I installed it. Will let you know.

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen December 1st, 2015 @ 04:05 PM

    Does this mean an e-mail with more than 3500 bytes or a mail with a huge attachment like a big JPG? 3500 byte message would be the size of several big books? I'm not aware that anyone on my mailing list is sending HUGE mails. If it's a HUGE mail, I can send something out to everyone asking for that not to happen. And I can limit the size of attachments.

  • benny

    benny December 1st, 2015 @ 04:12 PM

    No, 35000 bytes is very little, but for legacy reasons emails don't have lines which are more than 1000 bytes (characters). This email does for some reason (generated by some marketing software I guess).

    And the solution to this problem is that I find a workaround. Otherwise, I'll just have to deal with it again some day. My primitive solution is mainly to make sure that line length is really the problem (this is still a guess).

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen December 1st, 2015 @ 05:27 PM

    OK thanks, will let you know

  • benny

    benny December 11th, 2015 @ 02:16 PM

    How is it going with this issue?

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen December 11th, 2015 @ 04:47 PM

    Seems to have disappeared, Benny. Thanks as always. On another note, any progress on making categories for posts coming from different servers? I am on several mailing lists and I'd love to filter them to folders.

  • benny

    benny December 11th, 2015 @ 05:31 PM

    • State changed from “new” to “fixreleased”


    You can certainly use rules to filter emails into separate IMAP mailboxes if you like and mailing list emails are usually quite easy to match.

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen December 11th, 2015 @ 06:10 PM

    Can you spoon feed me into making folders for three mailing list folders, directing mail from that list address? Right now they all show up as a conglomerate.

    I want to make three folders, getting mail from each of these sources:

    1. CCM-L (the critical care list at pitt) ccm-l@list.pitt.edu

    2. Med-Events (Medical politics also from Pitt) med-events@list.pitt.edu

    3. Everything else

    I've tried to figure out how to do this with no success.

  • benny

    benny December 12th, 2015 @ 12:18 PM

    Step by step:

    • Select the account under SOURCES for which these messages arrive.
    • Use “Mailbox ▸ New IMAP Mailbox” and name the mailbox.
    • Select the INBOX of the account and use “Mailbox ▸ Edit Mailbox”.
    • Select the Rules pane.
    • Add a rule with something like this:

      Condition: From ▸ Address is “ccm-l@list.pitt.edu”. Action: Move to “NameOfMailbox”.

    Repeat for any other folders needed.

    Does that help?

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen December 12th, 2015 @ 04:34 PM

    I cannot find anything anywhere that notates "SOURCES". There is no "New IMAP mailbox" noted anywhere I can find, not under "Mailbox". I'm completely lost.

  • benny

    benny December 12th, 2015 @ 06:09 PM

    SOURCES can be found in the list of mailboxes in the left part of the interface. This is where each IMAP account is shown as it exists on the server. This is also where new IMAP mailboxes can be created using the “Mailbox ▸ New IMAP Mailbox” menu item.

    Maybe that helps?

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen December 12th, 2015 @ 11:44 PM

    I created a new mailbox (red arrow), and made a rule to move mail from the inbox to that box. Doesn't work (superimposed).

  • benny

    benny December 14th, 2015 @ 09:49 AM

    You are matching on the entire From header. You should match on “From ▸ Address” or use “contains”. Ideally, the first option is better, but they'll both work.

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen December 14th, 2015 @ 04:20 PM

    Still doesn't work. The rules are set up to note a "to" address containing the words "Discussion of Medical" (red arrow). Those are always the first words in the address. Then to transfer to the folder "Med Events" (arrow).

  • benny

    benny December 15th, 2015 @ 08:47 AM

    I don't see any obvious problems with that. Note that rules are only applied to new messages and not messages already in the mailbox. You can trigger re-arrival by using the “Message ▸ Reset” menu item.

    Another thing to do is to create a smart mailbox with the same condition (based on your Inbox). Then make sure it matches the messages you want matched (then you don't have to deal with the rule itself).

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen December 15th, 2015 @ 03:34 PM

    Nope. Nothing works. I'll wait to see if this process will someday be simplified (as it is in Thunderbird). Otherwise, I can live with it as it is.

  • benny

    benny December 15th, 2015 @ 04:51 PM

    Looking at the screenshot I can see the rule was disabled (the checkmark to the left), but this won't explain if you could not even create a smart mailbox matching the relevant messages. Just let me know if you want to do further investigation.

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen December 15th, 2015 @ 05:00 PM

    I don't see what you mean by "checkmark to the left". A checkmark means it's active? All the boxes have check marks. I don't see where anything is "disabled"

  • benny

    benny December 15th, 2015 @ 06:45 PM

    In the screenshot in this ticket, I can see the Rules pane in the background. The single rule is not enabled -- the checkmark button to the far left.

  • David Crippen

    David Crippen December 16th, 2015 @ 03:40 PM

    I think I made it work!! Thanks Bennie. You're the best!

  • benny

    benny December 16th, 2015 @ 07:49 PM

    Thanks for you patience.

Please Sign in or create a free account to add a new ticket.

With your very own profile, you can contribute to projects, track your activity, watch tickets, receive and update tickets through your email and much more.

New-ticket Create new ticket

Create your profile

Help contribute to this project by taking a few moments to create your personal profile. Create your profile ยป

Mac OS X email client.

Shared Ticket Bins

People watching this ticket