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Poco Forums • View topic - New messages simply disappeared from the In Mailbox!

New messages simply disappeared from the In Mailbox!

Help and advice on using PocoMail

Moderators: Eric, Tomas, robin

Postby COD » Mon Aug 09, 2004 5:34 am

My late father frequently told me Computers do exactly what you tell them to do, not what you want them to do

In my experience (dating back to an Atari 800) computer problems are the users fault 98% of the time. This time may be different, but the evidence doesn't point to it at the moment.

FWIW, I've used my-etrust.com AV for 3+ years, and Poco for at least that long. I've never lost an email due to a system problem.

Never.
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Postby hessi » Mon Aug 09, 2004 9:45 am

In my experience (dating back to an Atari 800) computer problems are the users fault 98% of the time. This time may be different, but the evidence doesn't point to it at the moment.


Come on, I counted at least three reports of that Bug, Error Call-it-what-you-like and everytime the reply is the same: user error, av, recompress etc. ... I had this bug with no AV installed on a nearly clean system, what about that?

--
Stefan
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Postby frazmi » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:48 pm

It's true that many "so-called bugs" really are caused by inadvertent actions by the user, including sheer stupidity, malicious intent, lack of experience, etc. That said, however, there are just too many instances of messages being reported as "lost" to shrug them off and say "AV or user error."

First point: What user action or inaction (other than turning off the power, terminating Poco with the Task Manager, or engaging in the three-fingered-salute), can possibly cause the index file to become out of synch with the message file? This situation occurs frequently in Poco, which is shown (1) by the frequent mailbox compressions that Poco does on its own, and (2) by the number of times a manual compression restores "lost" messages. AFIK, the people who claim that lost messages are caused by user error have not yet come up with even one plausible user-based scenario.

Let me state categorically: I've lost messages, both temporarily and permanently. I don't really care what anybody says or thinks about my clumsiness or other inability to work a computer properly. I know that I've not terminated Poco prematurely -- either by way of power loss, Ctrl-Alt-Del or Task Manager.

Now, it's a bit too easy to lay the other half of the blame at the feet of the AV vendors. I agree that it's impossible to test every possible AV and anti-spam program with Poco. However, there are market leaders in every category of software, and it's clear to me that Poco could be tested with at least the top 3 or 4 AV programs -- if PSI decided to do so (and perhaps they do, and just are not saying so). That level of testing would not be enough to guarantee "no problems with AV" but it should be enough to surface many generic Poco-AV problems.

I am willing to believe that many of my losses occurred due to Poco-AV interaction, but other losses are very difficult to explain that way. (E.g., hessi's situation with no AV installed, or when running Poco with network disabled (thus no new messages) and therefore no AV interaction going on.).

In conclusion, while I believe that the large majority of "lost" messages occur due to user error, I also believe that there's a significant number of lost messages that didn't have to be lost -- that is, Poco could be improved (should be improved) to prevent this from happening.
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Postby mikecarey » Wed Aug 11, 2004 6:10 am

frazmi wrote:That said, however, there are just too many instances of messages being reported as "lost" to shrug them off and say "AV or user error."

Correct. It affects Barca as well, the reason I switched back from it to Poco.
Mike
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Postby Raffael » Wed Aug 11, 2004 9:26 am

Just for the sake of a complete and transparent information I quote here my email reply I sent to Slaven (PocoSystems) 6 days ago:

Now frankly speaking Slaven, this is absolutely unacceptable from a email client. A couple of weeks ago I read some postings in the forum (which all where removed by now...) about disappearing messages. I unfortunately did not pay much attention to them, thinking that this sort of bug could certainly not be real in an advanced software like I thought PocoMail would be... Now I can tell you with 100% guarantee, that PocoMail has a huge bug making messages go to the Nirvana. It is definitely not a user "missaction" or whatever error in this kind as I know my system very well (I was network and system engineer not a long time ago) and I know exactly what I did before it happened. This being said I would appreciate very much to have a clear statement about this problem. If you tell me that you heard it for the first time I would like to be refunded and I will delete PocoMail forever from my hdd. I cannot risk that type of things anymore in the future and my productivity has been totally messed up with the time I already had to invest in order to get a part of the important disappeared messages again (and it was not always possible). I can live with minor bugs and there are a lot in PocoMail but not with this type of threat!


I never received any answer to this mail up to today... I take my lesson out of it and so should people relying on a qualitative support.
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Postby Omega » Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:02 am

The above post by Raffael was edited becauase it contains unsubstantiated and disparaging information. In addition, it ignores the information that was already provided to Raffael earlier in this thread.
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Postby Sandy » Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:07 am

In case there are lurkers or prospective future users out there for Pocomail...........

I want to say that most, or all, of what you read in this thread is speculative. No one posting to this thread has been able to give a series of steps that reproduces the "problems" they are seeing. You can choose to believe these posters that msgs go missing, or you can believe other users who do not see msgs go missing (myself, I've not seen a single msg "disappear" in 3 years of heavy Poco use).

There are potentially MANY reasons why some users see this; among them are: user error, other software conflicts, configuration problems, ISP problems, and certainly possible problems in Poco. But until someone can reproduce these symptoms, or sleuth the cause, the simple fact is that no one can claim that Poco loses msgs.

A stmt like:

That said, however, there are just too many instances of messages being reported as "lost" to shrug them off and say "AV or user error.


is completely meaningless since one can just as easily say, with equal weight, that there are just too few instances of messages being reported as "lost" to conclude that Poco has anything to do with it.

Personally, I don't make decisions based on rumors.
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Postby hessi » Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:28 am


PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 2:07 pm Post subject:
In case there are lurkers or prospective future users out there for Pocomail...........

I want to say that most, or all, of what you read in this thread is speculative. No one posting to this thread has been able to give a series of steps that reproduces the "problems" they are seeing. You can choose to believe these posters that msgs go missing, or you can believe other users who do not see msgs go missing (myself, I've not seen a single msg "disappear" in 3 years of heavy Poco use).

There are potentially MANY reasons why some users see this; among them are: user error, other software conflicts, configuration problems, ISP problems, and certainly possible problems in Poco. But until someone can reproduce these symptoms, or sleuth the cause, the simple fact is that no one can claim that Poco loses msgs.


Sorry - but I can't hear statements like this anymore. Fact is, that I had this 'user error' how it's mostly called several times, with PocoMail and Barca. I had these problems with AV and without AV, I had this problems with a nearly fresh installed system. Mails disappeared, the links in the "new mail box" point to nowhere.

Believe me, if I knew the steps to reproduce this I'll post them here but the ignorance of this issue in some posts is unacceptable for me. So noone can claim that Poco/Barca doesn't lose messages ...turn the tables
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Postby Raffael » Wed Aug 11, 2004 12:35 pm

Omega wrote:The above post by Raffael was edited because it contains unsubstantiated and disparaging information. In addition, it ignores the information that was already provided to Raffael earlier in this thread.


About "unsubstantiated and disparaging information": it depends of the viewpoint Omega... It was just my personal advise but I understand your position. I did not mean to offend anyone but rather to warn about a potential risk / problem. But I appreciate that you did not close my access to the forum after editing my post. :)

I don't think that I ignored the information provided. The evidence is that almost none information has been provided from PocoSystems about the "symptom" disappearing messages. I just expected more support by paying for PocoMail and I hope this is an acceptable statement. Finally everything has just something to do with information politics. Maybe you heard some examples like with the Adecco politics not so long ago. This is not the way it should be. I hope PocoSystem will recognize that something must be improved at that level... (and I hope this last part will not be edited. :roll: Thank you.)
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Postby Sandy » Wed Aug 11, 2004 12:58 pm

I did not mean to offend anyone but rather to warn about a potential risk / problem.


Ever hear the story of chicken little....?

The evidence is that almost none information has been provided from PocoSystems about the "symptom" disappearing messages.


This is a silly stmt. Why, pray tell, should PSI respond to speculation and surmise for which there is no evidence? I'm not saying that you are not seeing what you are seeing; but you have NO information that would lead you or anyone else to the conclusion that Poco is directly involved. Why should PSI spend its time and resources chasing after ghosts? What are they supposed to say? "Yes, we know exactly where in our code emails are being thrown away but we prefer to not talk about it." C'mon. What would you say in their position?

Come back when you have something concrete to say.
Sandy
 

Postby Jim » Wed Aug 11, 2004 1:59 pm

Raffael wrote: I hope PocoSystem will recognize that something must be improved at that level...


Raffael, thanks for the follow on message. Poco Systems recognize that the source of the problem notwithstanding, we have to be part of the solution, and we have been playing that part throughout the year. While this may or may not be apparent, I hope nobody is using the lack of a new build as evidence that we are not doing anything. We cannot afford to release a new build everytime we make a change to our programs, and we certainly cannot afford to create builds for individuals.

On the flip side, it will be fair to acknowledge the work we have done on the issue throughout the year and our ongoing effort on the subject- a portion of which is include in PocoMail 3.2 beta. It is also important to recognize that it is false to suggest or imply that PocoMail systematically looses messages, and it is also not accurate to proclaim conclusively that PocoMail is to blame when there is abundant evidence to the contrary.

Look for PocoMail 3.2 beta, tentatively scheduled to begin over this weekend. On this particular issue, our effort are not designed to prevent specific bug but to add mechanism to protect against data loss and message integrity. It is by no means a panacea. For example it will not control the actions of an anti-virus on your mailboxes. Let us try to set the right expectation of one another.
Jim
 

Postby Redmak » Wed Aug 11, 2004 6:21 pm

are not designed to prevent specific bug but to add mechanism to protect against data loss and message integrity


Exactly :) Data (email) should be protected at all times no matter what other software I wish to run on my pc, esp. something comon as anti-virus software.

This is definately not a users fault.
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Postby robin » Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:45 pm

Jim wrote:On the flip side, it will be fair to acknowledge the work we have done on the issue throughout the year and our ongoing effort on the subject-...
We also need to acknowledge PSI's open and responsible willingness to allow the subject to be discussed on the forum without censorship. But that does convey on us, the forum users and posters, the responsibility to behave in a similarly way.

Part of which means no unsubstatiated claims of bugs or problems - there are a large number of Poco users [at least I assume there are - maybe the people posting in the forum are the only ones, in which case Jim and Slaven have some pretty thin pickings :lol: ] and only a small percentage of them have reported losing e-mails: this is not a general Poco problem but it may be an interaction problem and only PSI can sort that out but they need our help to do it because they *cannot* test for every combination.

Edited to remove inaccurate comment - apologies to Sandy.
Last edited by robin on Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Redmak » Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:12 pm

Sandy wrote:In case there are lurkers or prospective future users out there for Pocomail...........

I want to say that most, or all, of what you read in this thread is speculative. No one posting to this thread has been able to give a series of steps that reproduces the "problems" they are seeing. You can choose to believe these posters that msgs go missing, or you can believe other users who do not see msgs go missing (myself, I've not seen a single msg "disappear" in 3 years of heavy Poco use).

Personally, I don't make decisions based on rumors.


Poco has a history of losing emails. Since I started using Poco2 a couple of years ago many (many) threads have been posted about poco (v2 and v3) losing emails. This is no rumor (not anymore).

Granted, Slaven has improved Poco3 a lot. I hardly lose any emails and a mailbox compress action usually gets them back.

I can't reproduce it at will therefore I hardly post about it and take it for granted. Same goes for posts that return (as unread) to my inbox while I moved them to another folder just the other day.

I just backup Pocomail more frequent than other things on my harddisk. Just to be safe
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Postby frazmi » Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:19 pm

Sandy wrote
No one posting to this thread has been able to give a series of steps that reproduces the "problems" they are seeing.
Sandy, it would be very helpful to take a less dogmatic and softer tone in your posts. Earlier in this thread, I posted a link to a thread where I described a repeatable scenario that always caused garbled messages. And likewise, robin has made several substantive posts that are very factual. It just is not true that there are no repeatable problems posted thus far.

Now, having said that, I would agree that there are a lot of "me too" postings that don't add much if any technical weight to the discussion -- but they do add a degree of importance to the question, at least in my mind, by pointing out that there are several people experiencing this problem. And also, we don't have a definitive and complete definition of the entire error scenario -- just some interesting pointers toward possible solutions.

Now, let me issue the Frazmi Challenge:
Would a moderator please create a poll? Let's find out (even if not completely scientifically) whether "many" people have experienced significant (in their mind) corruption and/or loss of email messages while using Poco.

I would suggest the following for the poll contents:
Question 1: What is your personal experience in using Poco. Have you lost a message, or have you seen corrupted (garbled) messages while using Poco?
1) Poco has never lost or garbled a message
2) A few messages have been lost or garbled.
3) A significant number of messages have been lost or garbled.

Question 2: How sure are you about the cause of the lost or garbled messages?
1) I am positive that Poco caused the problem.
2) I am positive that something else caused the problem.
3) I think that an interaction between Poco and something else may be to blame.
4) I don't have a clue about what might cause such a problem.
5) I don't believe there is a problem.

I'm open to any reasonable editing of the questions or possible responses.
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