FAQ
Hello all,

Of our 770+ lists, a couple have some shunting problems (the unshunt
command fails
to release queued up messages in the shunt directory). We are still
running v2.1.5 with
plans to upgrade in May, but I was hoping to get a fix for this before then.

The error message we get is:

==========================================================

Mar 23 12:37:33 2006 (19290) Uncaught runner exception: unpack list of
wrong size
.
.
.
File "/mail/mailman/pythonlib/email/Utils.py", line 337, in decode_params
charset, language, value = decode_rfc2231(EMPTYSTRING.join(value))
File "/mail/mailman/pythonlib/email/Utils.py", line 284, in
decode_rfc2231
charset, language, s = parts
ValueError: unpack list of wrong size
========================================================

In pouring over the archives, Mark Shapiro wrote (in response to someone
with
the same problem):

Other lists aren't having a problem because it's probably caused by one
particular list member with a pathological MUA.

And that this is related to the "scrubbing of attachments" for the
digest or archives.

But no one on this list is using the digest feature and archiving is
turned off. Plus
the user in question (the one sending the message) is using a generic
webmail client,
the same one many of our users employ, with no special character set or
language
options (that I can see anyway).

Any ideas? Would an upgrade to 2.1.7 resolve this problem (I only say
that because
I perused the Mailman mailing list in reverse order from present date,
and this issue
was never raised again by anyone after 2.1.6 came out).

Thanks!

- jim -

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  • Mark Sapiro at Mar 24, 2006 at 3:44 am

    Jim Savoy wrote:
    The error message we get is:

    ==========================================================

    Mar 23 12:37:33 2006 (19290) Uncaught runner exception: unpack list of
    wrong size
    .
    .
    .
    File "/mail/mailman/pythonlib/email/Utils.py", line 337, in decode_params
    charset, language, value = decode_rfc2231(EMPTYSTRING.join(value))
    File "/mail/mailman/pythonlib/email/Utils.py", line 284, in
    decode_rfc2231
    charset, language, s = parts
    ValueError: unpack list of wrong size
    ========================================================
    It appears that the message has a malformed rfc-2231
    <http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2231.html> encoded header or some header
    with exactly one single quote "'" character that's being misidentified
    as an RFC-2231 encoded header.

    Beyond that, it would help to see the rest of the traceback to see how
    we got here.

    Also, can you do either bin/dumpdb or bin/show_qfiles on the shunt
    queue entry and perhaps see what the problem with the message is?

    --
    Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net> The highway is for gamblers,
    San Francisco Bay Area, California better use your sense - B. Dylan
  • Jim Savoy at Mar 24, 2006 at 5:08 pm

    Also, can you do either bin/dumpdb or bin/show_qfiles on the shunt
    queue entry and perhaps see what the problem with the message is?

    OK Mike - here is the dumbdb (the names were changed to protect the
    innocent). I don't
    see anything unusual, and I should point out that this list has been up
    and running for
    years without incident, and all of its users (only a dozen or so) have
    sent to it
    successfully until a couple of weeks ago, using the same mail clients
    they've always
    used. I even blew away and re-created the list from scratch last week,
    and it was
    working fine until yesterday. Now, no users can send to it (myself
    included). Everything
    is put right into the shunt dira dn it stays there and cannot be
    unshunted. Thanks.
    This user is sending with the squirrelmail web program, but the list
    members use other
    clients as well (most of the users on this particular list are Mac users).

    ==============================================================
    [----- start pickle file -----]
    <----- start object 1 ----->
    From usera at uleth.ca Wed Mar 22 21:27:56 2006
    Received: from venus.netsrv.uleth.ca ([142.66.6.26]:47530
    helo=webmail.uleth.ca)
    by juliet.netsrv.uleth.ca with esmtpa (Exim 4.52) id
    1FMHQS-00055L-4S
    for ccc-l at uleth.ca; Wed, 22 Mar 2006 21:27:56 -0700
    Received: from 142.66.34.6 (SquirrelMail authenticated user usera)
    by webmail.uleth.ca with HTTP; Wed, 22 Mar 2006 21:27:56 -0700 (MST)
    Message-ID: <49183.142.66.34.6.1143088076.squirrel at webmail.uleth.ca>
    Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 21:27:56 -0700 (MST)
    From: User A <usera at uleth.ca>
    To: ccc-l at uleth.ca
    User-Agent: SquirrelMail/1.4.5
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/plain;charset=iso-8859-1
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
    X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
    Importance: Normal
    Subject: [ccc-l] Update
    X-BeenThere: ccc-l at uleth.ca
    X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.5
    Precedence: list
    List-Id: CCC Staff Mailing List <ccc-l.uleth.ca>
    List-Unsubscribe: <http://listserv.uleth.ca/mailman/listinfo/ccc-l>,
    <mailto:ccc-l-request at uleth.ca?subject=unsubscribe>
    List-Post: <mailto:ccc-l at uleth.ca>
    List-Help: <mailto:ccc-l-request at uleth.ca?subject=help>
    List-Subscribe: <http://listserv.uleth.ca/mailman/listinfo/ccc-l>,
    <mailto:ccc-l-request at uleth.ca?subject=subscribe>

    Hello all. Here is an update:

    <----- start object 2 ----->
    { '_parsemsg': False,
    'lang': 'en',
    'listname': 'ccc-l',
    'original_sender': 'usera at uleth.ca',
    'origsubj': 'Update',
    'pipeline': [ 'ToDigest',
    'ToArchive',
    'ToUsenet',
    'AfterDelivery',
    'Acknowledge',
    'ToOutgoing'],
    'received_time': 1143088076.3202429,
    'recips': [ 'userb at uleth.ca',
    'usera at uleth.ca',
    'userc at uleth.ca',
    'userd at uleth.ca',
    'usere at uleth.ca'],
    'tolist': 1,
    'version': 3,
    'whichq': '/mail/mailman/qfiles/in'}
    [----- end pickle file -----]
    ====================================================
  • Mark Sapiro at Mar 24, 2006 at 5:28 pm

    Jim Savoy wrote:
    here is the dumbdb (the names were changed to protect the
    innocent). I don't
    see anything unusual, and I should point out that this list has been up
    and running for
    years without incident, and all of its users (only a dozen or so) have
    sent to it
    successfully until a couple of weeks ago, using the same mail clients
    they've always
    used. I even blew away and re-created the list from scratch last week,
    and it was
    working fine until yesterday.

    The particular message you dumped looks OK. We've possibly got more
    than one issue. I'd still like to see the rest of that traceback.

    Now, no users can send to it (myself
    included). Everything
    is put right into the shunt dira dn it stays there and cannot be
    unshunted. Thanks.
    This user is sending with the squirrelmail web program, but the list
    members use other
    clients as well (most of the users on this particular list are Mac users).

    The most likely cause of this immediate problem in Mailman 2.1.5 is a
    bad message in the list's digest.mbox file. If you look at
    lists/list_name/digest.mbox with an editor, and you can't immediately
    see a 'problematic' header that you can fix, rename the digest.mbox to
    something else. This will probably allow normal processing to resume.
    You may be able to unshunt the shunted messages, but there is likely
    still a bad one there that will cause the problem all over again.

    It may also be difficult to properly recover the digest.

    --
    Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net> The highway is for gamblers,
    San Francisco Bay Area, California better use your sense - B. Dylan
  • Jim Savoy at Mar 24, 2006 at 6:59 pm

    Mike wrote:
    It may also be difficult to properly recover the digest.

    Hi Mike - problem solved and it had nothing to do with python, Mailman
    or any
    of the mail clients. When I went to edit the digest.mbox file I noticed
    it was 1.4 gigabytes
    in size (!). And this from a list that was just re-created a week ago
    and only had 5
    messages sent to it. Turns out the list owner set it up so that there
    was no limit
    on the size of the files users were allowed to send and one of the users
    sent a
    1.4 gig .sit (Stuffit) file to the list (probably inadvertantly). Our
    MTA (exim)
    wouldn't have delivered it anyway, but Mailman and python were going wild
    trying to accomodate this large attachment (memory exhausted, plus a huge
    swap file being created each time), I also run a cron job every hour to
    unshunt
    things and that certainly added to the chaos.

    This also explains why other lists were either failing to deliver, or
    getting their
    messages late. Mailman was busy doing other things.

    It was not apparent from the messages in the shunt dir that this was a large
    file. Only digest.mbox revealed that. I am going to go through all of
    our lists
    now, searching for large digest files.

    Thanks for all your help.

    - jim -

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categoriespython
postedMar 23, '06 at 8:50p
activeMar 24, '06 at 6:59p
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