Creating inefficiency for everyone



  • The other day, a couple of people suddenly reported not having any email for around an hour but they're expecting things in from business partners, so as a few people reported it, thought I'd best check it out.



    The local processing queue on our mail server was over 1,100 emails, and going up fast. A service restart and a reboot of the server didn't cure it, so I went into the folder with the queue - around 50 emails around 200Mb each, so after moving them somewhere else, and opening one up, it appears that a user sent 33 Excel attachments (each around 4Mb, one per branch of the company) to two mailing lists containing around 90 people (all local to the server), so it's been struggling through 18Gb of mail (there is a WTF about how the mail server should move mail around the filesystem better, but that's not the point to this one)



    Anyway, as the user is from our parent company, I let their IT manager know, and he has a look at the email, and starts opening up the Excel documents.... and promptly bangs his head on his desk.



    What this particular person did was to have one spreadsheet with all branches data on it, use Excel's filtering to create a copy for each branch (but this only hides the unwanted records, they're still in the file), saves it with the filter (rinse & repeat x 33), and attaches every file...... She could've saved sooooo much time (and my sanity) by sending one and telling management to "filter it yourselves, you lazy asses!".....



  • @MeesterTurner said:

    around 50 emails around 200Mb each

    There's the intermediate WTF (sandwiched between the user's "I know, let's send a 200MB e-mail", your "I know, let's reboot the server to fix the problem" and the server's "I know, let's make 90 copies of this thing, even though it's all local"): who in the name of all that's holy had the brillant idea that an e-mail of this size should be even accepted for delivery? Any sane SMTP server should reject such monstrosity. (I fully expect an answer like "but the CEO ordered the limit to be purged, as he is the prime offender").



  • @MeesterTurner said:

    What this particular person did was to have one spreadsheet with all branches data on it, use Excel's filtering to create a copy for each branch (but this only hides the unwanted records, they're still in the file), saves it with the filter (rinse & repeat x 33), and attaches every file...... She could've saved sooooo much time (and my sanity) by sending one and telling management to "filter it yourselves, you lazy asses!".....

    herp derp compooters = magic lol how is excelly formed?



  • @piskvorr said:

    who in the name of all that's holy had the brillant idea that an e-mail of this size should be even accepted for delivery?
     

    Wouldn't change anything. The user would probably have sent 90x33 emails, one for each filter.

     

    With a 10Mb limit, users are complaining. Yet, a single user that send a 10Mb file to three ~300 peope mailing lists will produce 9G of emails on the server. Add to it 0.25% of recipients that hit "reply all", your server is out of order for the day.



  • Believe me, I've already kicked myself for not putting quotas on mailing lists and such, although in my 10 years in the same place, we've never had a problem with anyone doing this before.....



    ....but then Friday happened..... which means it'll happen again if I don't fix the quotas!!



  • I still think 10mb is a reasonable limit for email. We have FTP and even yousendit for larger files externally and the file server internally. But then our office only has 384kbps uplink so large emails time out (and cause other things to time out) anyway. Sneaker net is even sometimes used; even intercity.



  • @MeesterTurner said:

    Believe me, I've already kicked myself for not putting quotas on mailing lists and such, although in my 10 years in the same place, we've never had a problem with anyone doing this before.....



    ....but then Friday happened..... which means it'll happen again if I don't fix the quotas!!

    Do you not have some sort of central file storage that your users can use for these large attachments instead?



  •  You should not need to tell people not to send a 200 MB file to 90 people in the company.  This crap was an acceptable hazard of IT in the 90s, but for God's sake, not knowing how a computer works in 2011 is like not knowing how to drive.  Anyone at this point still being this clueless either cannot be taught, or refuses to be taught out of laziness or arrogance, and should be put out to the unemployment pasture until they change or starve.



  • @Master Chief said:

    You should not need to tell people not to send a 200 MB file to 90 people in the company.  This crap was an acceptable hazard of IT in the 90s, but for God's sake, not knowing how a computer works in 2011 is like not knowing how to drive.  Anyone at this point still being this clueless either cannot be taught, or refuses to be taught out of laziness or arrogance, and should be put out to the unemployment pasture until they change or starve.

    I dunno. It sorta seems more reasonable now than back then. People are used to broadband and fat pipes, especially compared to the soda straws we used to use for everything in the 90s. From the user's perspective, "WTF, IT? Why can't you handle this stuff. It's 2011!"



  • @dohpaz42 said:

    Do you not have some sort of central file storage that your users can use for these large attachments instead?

    Yep, we do. Doesn't mean they listen when we tell them how to use it though..... :-(



  • @Master Chief said:

    not knowing how a computer works in 2011 is like not knowing how to drive. 
     

    PS I don't know how to drive.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Master Chief said:

    not knowing how a computer works in 2011 is like not knowing how to drive. 
     

    PS I don't know how to drive.

    Do you try to use a car?



  • @dhromed said:

    @Master Chief said:

    not knowing how a computer works in 2011 is like not knowing how to drive. 
     

    PS I don't know how to drive.

    Well yeah, you're Dutch, you guys can walk across your whole country in about 20 minutes. :P

     


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Zemm said:

    I still think 10mb is a reasonable limit for email. We have FTP and even yousendit for larger files externally and the file server internally. But then our office only has 384kbps uplink so large emails time out (and cause other things to time out) anyway. Sneaker net is even sometimes used; even intercity.
    SCREW YOU AND YOUR STUPID IDEAS. I should not need to burn two gallons of gasoline to hand-deliver a dozen photographs. I shouldn't even need to do it for a 4.7GB disk image.

    The person who solves this problem properly, without the need for infrastructure, arcane 1970's and 80's era protocols or unnecessary client applications will be a god. For a communication-obsessed society, we sure as hell don't seem concerned with our utter inability to exchange information that isn't pure text or a scaled-down, HTTP-friendly photograph is utterly perplexing.

     I know xkcd is verboten, but the man who draws stick figures has a HUGE point:

     

    Incidentally, AIM file transfers are the one and only reason I still use it because it still just fucking works.



  • @Master Chief said:

    @dhromed said:

    @Master Chief said:

    not knowing how a computer works in 2011 is like not knowing how to drive. 
     

    PS I don't know how to drive.

    Well yeah, you're Dutch, you guys can walk across your whole country in about 20 minutes. :P

    Real men use quantum flux teleportation devices to go places...

    PPS I don't know how to drive either, it is not really of importance here



  • Don't get me wrong on this, I too believe that sending by email anything larger than 1MB is stupid but, most of online email services allow big attachments, like Gmail with its 25MB limit. That's huge and maybe our believes are from a decade ago when a mail server was running on a 10GB disk.
    OTOH, people who do this kind of things are plain morons. Can't you f***ing figure out you're doing something stupid by the third iteration of this "process"? Even if you HAD to send all those reports without including all the branches data on each one of them, fucking learn to use your tools and automate the shit.



  • @dohpaz42 said:

    Do you try to use a car?
     

    Good question!

    No, I do not.

    Maybe we should drop the analogy before someone starts off about washing machines, which, incidentally, I do use a lot without manual or instructions.



  • @serguey123 said:

    @Master Chief said:

    Well yeah, you're Dutch, you guys can walk across your whole country in about 20 minutes. :P

    Real men use quantum flux teleportation devices to go places...

    PPS I don't know how to drive either, it is not really of importance here

    Funny thing, all Dutch use such a device to travel cross-country in 20 minutes.

    Also, The Netherlands are actually an entire set of planets about 200 lightyears beyond Scorpio.


     



  • @boomzilla said:

    From the user's perspective, "WTF, IT? Why can't you handle this stuff. It's 2011!"

    I would also argue that.



  • @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    @Master Chief said:

    Well yeah, you're Dutch, you guys can walk across your whole country in about 20 minutes. :P

    Real men use quantum flux teleportation devices to go places...

    PPS I don't know how to drive either, it is not really of importance here

     

    Funny thing, all Dutch use such a device to travel cross-country in 20 minutes.

    Also, The Netherlands are actually an entire set of planets about 200 lightyears beyond Scorpio.

    Dammit, now we have to kill you.

     



  • @Master Chief said:

    not knowing how a computer works in 2011 is like not knowing how to drive. 

    The day cars become as complicated as computers, I'll be riding a bike as far away from the roads as possible.

     



  • @Zecc said:

    @Master Chief said:

    not knowing how a computer works in 2011 is like not knowing how to drive. 

    The day cars become as complicated as computers, I'll be riding a bike as far away from the roads as possible.

    The day computers become as simple as riding a tricycle some of us will need new jobs.



  • @Master Chief said:

     You should not need to tell people not to send a 200 MB file to 90 people in the company.  This crap was an acceptable hazard of IT in the 90s, but for God's sake, not knowing how a computer works in 2011 is like not knowing how to drive.  Anyone at this point still being this clueless either cannot be taught, or refuses to be taught out of laziness or arrogance, and should be put out to the unemployment pasture until they change or starve.

    What? Terrible analogy. Lots of people know how to drive, or "use a car" without knowing how a car "works" (you might be one of them). Similarly, lots of people know how to "use a computer" without knowing how it works. That's sort of the point, no? Unless you're thinking like a typical programmer/developer, of course. Yep, that last sentence pretty much confirms it.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Master Chief said:

    not knowing how a computer works in 2011 is like not knowing how to drive. 
     

    PS I don't know how to drive.

    Two-wheler driving is easy.



  • @Power Troll said:

    What? Terrible analogy. Lots of people know how to drive, or "use a car" without knowing how a car "works" (you might be one of them). Similarly, lots of people know how to "use a computer" without knowing how it works. That's sort of the point, no? Unless you're thinking like a typical programmer/developer, of course. Yep, that last sentence pretty much confirms it.
     

    Are these the same people that whine about their "PoS car" when it breaks down because they didn't change the oil for 40,000 miles?

     



  • @Power Troll said:

    @Master Chief said:

     You should not need to tell people not to send a 200 MB file to 90 people in the company.  This crap was an acceptable hazard of IT in the 90s, but for God's sake, not knowing how a computer works in 2011 is like not knowing how to drive.  Anyone at this point still being this clueless either cannot be taught, or refuses to be taught out of laziness or arrogance, and should be put out to the unemployment pasture until they change or starve.

    What? Terrible analogy. Lots of people know how to drive, or "use a car" without knowing how a car "works" (you might be one of them). Similarly, lots of people know how to "use a computer" without knowing how it works. That's sort of the point, no? Unless you're thinking like a typical programmer/developer, of course. Yep, that last sentence pretty much confirms it.


    No, I know very little about how my car works. But that doesn't mean I fill it with diesel and then whine at my dealer because it destroyed the engine.

    You don't need to be a programmer to understand that emailing a 200 MB file to 90 people will cause problems. And you definitely don't need to be a programmer to understand that sending a 200 MB file to ONE person is retarded.



  • @Master Chief said:

    No, I know very little about how my car works. But that doesn't mean I fill it with diesel and then whine at my dealer because it destroyed the engine. You don't need to be a programmer to understand that emailing a 200 MB file to 90 people will cause problems.

    A sane email system wouldn't actually make 90 copies of the file, it'd send the same copy to each client. Do you think Amazon has a different logo image file for every visitor to their website?

    @Master Chief said:

    And you definitely don't need to be a programmer to understand that sending a 200 MB file to ONE person is retarded.

    Why?



  • @Cyrus said:

    @Power Troll said:

    What? Terrible analogy. Lots of people know how to drive, or "use a car" without knowing how a car "works" (you might be one of them). Similarly, lots of people know how to "use a computer" without knowing how it works. That's sort of the point, no? Unless you're thinking like a typical programmer/developer, of course. Yep, that last sentence pretty much confirms it.
     

    Are these the same people that whine about their "PoS car" when it breaks down because they didn't change the oil for 40,000 miles?

     


    Beat me to it. The point is you don't need to know how every facet of a given technology works to know how to use it properly.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    A sane email system wouldn't actually make 90 copies of the file, it'd send the same copy to each client. Do you think Amazon has a different logo image file for every visitor to their website?

    Bad comparison. The Amazon logo is not unique to each user that receives it. This file was identical, but presented in different ways (filters) to each recipient.

    Also, not applicable here, but some users might want to save the file. Others may just throw it out if they don't need it. It makes more sense to store attachments in a per-email basis, both for that reason, and for security reasons so any given user in a system can't access all the attachments on said system.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Why?

    Rule of thumb: If you get bored waiting for the file to attach, it might be too big. Also pretty much any office document over 1 MB has no business as an email attachment.



  • Read the OP again. It was a bunch of 4mb files cced to 90 people each.

    When the user wants to edit the file on the email server, THEN you give them their own copy. If a user deletes the email, you do nothing unless it was the last copy, in which case you delete the file. Yah, it takes a bit more housekeeping, but its not rocket science.



  • @Master Chief said:

    Also, not applicable here, but some users might want to save the file. Others may just throw it out if they don't need it. It makes more sense to store attachments in a per-email basis, both for that reason, and for security reasons so any given user in a system can't access all the attachments on said system.

    What the hell are you talking about? Why does any of that need to have something to do with how the server handles the files? Especially when the recipients are all using the same server?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    A sane email system wouldn't actually make 90 copies of the file, it'd send the same copy to each client.
    Agreed, but does such a "sane" email system even exist in big enterprisey companies?  My only experience with corporate email is Lotus Notes which does not meet the definition of "sane".



  •  @Master Chief said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    A sane email system wouldn't actually make 90 copies of the file, it'd send the same copy to each client. Do you think Amazon has a different logo image file for every visitor to their website?

    Bad comparison. The Amazon logo is not unique to each user that receives it. This file was identical, but presented in different ways (filters) to each recipient.

    Also, not applicable here, but some users might want to save the file. Others may just throw it out if they don't need it. It makes more sense to store attachments in a per-email basis, both for that reason, and for security reasons so any given user in a system can't access all the attachments on said system.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Why?

    Rule of thumb: If you get bored waiting for the file to attach, it might be too big. Also pretty much any office document over 1 MB has no business as an email attachment.

     Dude, you're making up random rules and guidelines here, but I'll give it a shot anyway. I have no idea how and end user incorrectly uses email if they attach a file and send it out to the intended recipients. Could you please point out what step in this process is particularly "incorrect" to you, and then explain why you feel this way?

    1. User types up an email
    2. User attaches a file
    3. User sends it to intended recipients

    Here the file happens to be "large" (BTW, what rule of thumb describes a "large" file?), but what difference should that be to the user? None. You're thinking like a typical borderline autistic software developer, unable to even ponder what the users of the software you develop intended to do with said software. You have no idea that you use a computer differently than 99% of other computer users and have more expertise than probably 99.9% of them as is evidenced by citing these random ass "rules". Then again, who cares? They're all probably idiots who will never appreciate your incredible technical prowess. So keep up the good fight, bro.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    A sane email system wouldn't actually make 90 copies of the file, it'd send the same copy to each client.
    Agreed, but does such a "sane" email system even exist in big enterprisey companies? My only experience with corporate email is Lotus Notes which does not meet the definition of "sane".

    Exchange does it, natch. Well, more or less... it does it within a storage database, but a server could have multiple databases. They call it "single-instance message store." Note that this was in Exchange in 2003.

    Lotus Domino seems to call the same feature DAOS. They added the feature in 2008. Edit: oh wait, they had a earlier version of the same feature, SCOS, which existed in 2004. For once, Lotus seems to be on-the-ball here...

    The real point is, if your mail solution isn't even up to Lotus Domino standards, it's a gigantic piece of shit and you should be fired for deploying it.



  • I like a car analogy as much as the next man/woman.  In fact, I think that the car analogy is the Rolls Royce of analogies, but wouldn't a better analogy for electronic mail be physical mail?

    As a user of physical mail I know I can send postcards, letters and small parcels.  I realise that I can't wrap a fridge in brown paper, cover it in stamps and stuff it into a postbox.  The reason I know this is because a fridge is physically large and heavy, and won't fit into a postbox. 

    The difficulty non-technical people have with electronic mail is that there isn't any physical feedback to say one Excel attachment is light (50KB) and one is heavy (50MB) apart from it taking a bit longer to attach one to the email than the other. 



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    The reason I know this is because a fridge is physically large and heavy, and won't fit into a postbox.

    Here's where analogy breaks down.



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    The difficulty non-technical people have with electronic mail is that there isn't any physical feedback to say one Excel attachment is light (50KB) and one is heavy (50MB) apart from it taking a bit longer to attach one to the email than the other.
    Even that may not be apparent. In many mail clients the attachment process just stores the file location and it doesn't actually read the file until you send; and if the sending is done in the background and not particularly visible to the user, in normal use there may be no indication at all that there was any particular difference between the two emails.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @RTapeLoadingError said:
    The reason I know this is because a fridge is physically large and heavy, and won't fit into a postbox.

    Here's where analogy breaks down.

     

    But by calling email "electronic mail" and having little envelopes as icons (as many email clients do) the IT industry has made it analogous to physical mail.  The problem with that is that to non-technical users the idea that an email with 2 paragraphs of text and a single attachment can be 'too big' doesn't make sense.  As you say, the analogy has broken down.

    That's not to say it's a worthless analogy but some email users are obviously misled because they fire off mails that bring the email server down or fail to get delivered. 

    Like it or not email has become the defacto standard way for people to pass stuff to each other.  As XKCD pointed out most people don't care about FTP or storing stuff in/on the cloud they just want to fire up their mail client, click attach and hit send. 



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    But by calling email "electronic mail" and having little envelopes as icons (as many email clients do) the IT industry has made it analogous to physical mail.  The problem with that is that to non-technical users the idea that an email with 2 paragraphs of text and a single attachment can be 'too big' doesn't make sense.  As you say, the analogy has broken down.
     

    Reduce the font size. That'll make it smaller, won't it?

    @RTapeLoadingError said:

    As XKCD pointed out most people don't care about FTP or storing stuff in/on the cloud they just want to fire up their mail client, click attach and hit send. 

    That could be a good plugin and/or feature for email clients. Instead of simply BASE64-encoding the file and adding to the message, the program does a bunch of stuff (transparently to the sender) including upload to "the cloud", and sends a link to the recipient. It could even be with a mime-type that automatically gets picked up automatically by compatibly clients, or a simple link for backwards-compatibility. Even applying a zip password "ought to be enough encryption for anybody" though there could be an option for a stronger encryption (if the receiver has compatible software).

    The analogy is therefore sending a postcard with the words "Your parcel is ready to pick up at Parcels я Us, 123 Fake St, Sometown. It is in box 454232. The combination to the lock is 7639Z. The parcel will self-destruct in 48 hours." (or whatever).



  • @Zemm said:

    That could be a good plugin and/or feature
    for email clients. Instead of simply BASE64-encoding the file and adding
    to the message, the program does a bunch of stuff (transparently to the
    sender) including upload to "the cloud", and sends a link to the
    recipient. It could even be with a mime-type that automatically gets
    picked up automatically by compatibly clients, or a simple link for
    backwards-compatibility. Even applying a zip password "ought to be
    enough encryption for anybody" though there could be an option for a
    stronger encryption (if the receiver has compatible software).

     

    It's too bad email doesn't support delayed transferring of attachments. It more closely matches the way the Web works, where you don't have to wait for anything until you ask for it.
    There could be problems with other users wanting to access their attachments while they're not connected to the network, though.
    Client-side caching would fix that, but would add its own problems ("What do you mean I have to open the attachment once before I can open it without being connected? That's just stupid! You're fired!")

     



  •  No workarounds at all should be needed. Not uploading to another website, even automatically. No attachment size limits, that's what your overall mailbox limit is for.

    Unfortunately, email is fundamentally broken when it comes to large attachments.



  • @immibis said:

     No workarounds at all should be needed. Not uploading to another website, even automatically. No attachment size limits, that's what your overall mailbox limit is for.

    Unfortunately, email is fundamentally broken when it comes to large attachments.

    It's not fundamentally broken, it just was never designed to be used the way it is today. The ARPA message format (RFC 822) was defined way back in 1982, before I was even born. During the intervening 3 decades, pretty much everything IT-related has changed except the format of emails; that's the real problem.



  • @serguey123 said:

    Real men use quantum flux teleportation devices to go places...
     

    At least they're real men when they leave here.  When the arrive at the destination they may be real capybaras.



  • @The_Assimilator said:

    @immibis said:
    No workarounds at all should be needed. Not uploading to another website, even automatically. No attachment size limits, that's what your overall mailbox limit is for.

    Unfortunately, email is fundamentally broken when it comes to large attachments.

    It's not fundamentally broken, it just was never designed to be used the way it is today. The ARPA message format (RFC 822) was defined way back in 1982, before I was even born. During the intervening 3 decades, pretty much everything IT-related has changed except the format of emails; that's the real problem.
    The thing is, people need to be able to send documents to each other in an asynchronous manner, and the faster they can arrive, the better. Email is very well suited for this purpose. Sometimes they are large documents, but why should that be a problem? I agree with immibis on this point; forget message size resrtictions and just impose an overall mailbox quota. One 400 MB message takes up less space than 1,000 1 MB messages, after all. Isn't it rather ridiculous that my Gmail account tells me I'm "Using 71 MB of your 7626 MB", but won't let me receive a 30 MB attachment because it's too big?

    And not everything can be done in the cloud. If I'm preparing a report (as I do every year) for the auditors which contains confidential customer data, I'm certainly not going to put a copy on a third party's servers. Currently I burn it onto a DVD and get it couriered to them. It would be much easier if I could just email it to them. Yes, it'd take a while to transmit. But if transmitting it and receiving it happen in the background, why should either of us care? It's still going to be a lot faster and cheaper than the courier.

    For personal stuff, if I can't send someone a file by email I generally put it on the webspace my ISP gives me and send them a link. But there's really no reason why it should have to be that way.



  • @Scarlet Manuka said:

    I'm certainly not going to put a copy on a third party's servers... It would be much easier if I could just email it to them.

     

    What method of encryption are you using that's secure enough to email but insecure enough that you don't want to upload it somewhere? Or do you think email is secure?

    Also, am I the only one who says "I'll upload it to my web server and send you the URL, one second". Seriously, it's a problem for the typical end user, sure, and needs solved in that space. I didn't think so many of you would be in that space, I guess.

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Master Chief said:
    No, I know very little about how my car works. But that doesn't mean I fill it with diesel and then whine at my dealer because it destroyed the engine. You don't need to be a programmer to understand that emailing a 200 MB file to 90 people will cause problems.

    A sane email system wouldn't actually make 90 copies of the file, it'd send the same copy to each client. Do you think Amazon has a different logo image file for every visitor to their website?

    For what it's worth, back in 1999, I was the postmaster on a email server running open source software that didn't do this crap.  While Sendmail's open source product, last I checked, still did this crap, their closed source version did not - and that's intentional, as they want you to pay.  That having been said, if the people were on different mail servers, there's no way to avoid making copies of the file.  Some of our users don't seem to understand the concept of people being on different mail servers - even across different continents.

    @blakeyrat said:

    @Master Chief said:
    And you definitely don't need to be a programmer to understand that sending a 200 MB file to ONE person is retarded.

    Why?

    Because several anti-virus programs have a 200MB file size limit, and many anti-virus programs really slow down on larger files.

    @Scarlet Manuka said:

    And not everything can be done in the cloud. If I'm preparing a report (as I do every year) for the auditors which contains confidential customer data, I'm certainly not going to put a copy on a third party's servers. Currently I burn it onto a DVD and get it couriered to them. It would be much easier if I could just email it to them. Yes, it'd take a while to transmit. But if transmitting it and receiving it happen in the background, why should either of us care? It's still going to be a lot faster and cheaper than the courier.

    You care because chances are pretty good, when you hit send on that email, you just put it on several third party servers.  The only times when that doesn't happen is when you're sending it internally, or when you're sending it from a company that does their own mail and doesn't outsource spam filtering to a company that does their own mail and doesn't outsource spam filtering.  A lot of VBCs are like that, but most companies are not.



  • @tgape said:

    Because several anti-virus programs have a 200MB file size limit, and many anti-virus programs really slow down on larger files.
    Or barf on certain 42KB files....



  • @da Doctah said:

    @serguey123 said:

    Real men use quantum flux teleportation devices to go places...
     

    At least they're real men when they leave here.  When the arrive at the destination they may be real capybaras.

    Even better



  • @immibis said:

     No workarounds at all should be needed. Not uploading to another website, even automatically. No attachment size limits, that's what your overall mailbox limit is for.

    Unfortunately, email is fundamentally broken when it comes to large attachments.

    Attachments is a workaround in itself. Even sending to certain people one has to use workaround. AFAIK all SMTP is still 7-bit (at least externally) so any accents, foreign characters or punctuation/symbols requires encoding not present in RFC 822. This is ignoring attachments, vcards, HTML, RTF, PGP, etc.

    Interestingly I have a script on my Linux server that contains something like "uuencode file file | mail -s file me@example.com" and it gets to my inbox as a MIME Base64 message (not a UUencoded mess); it does go through an Exchange server so I assume that is doing the mangling.



  • @tgape said:

    That having been said, if the people were on different mail servers, there's no way to avoid making copies of the file.  Some of our users don't seem to understand the concept of people being on different mail servers - even across different continents.

    Well der. But it would have solved the problem in this case, anyway.

    @tgape said:

    Because several anti-virus programs have a 200MB file size limit, and many anti-virus programs really slow down on larger files.

    That's YOUR problem, not the end user's. Your job is to insulate the end user from your problems.

    @tgape said:

    You care because chances are pretty good, when you hit send on that email, you just put it on several third party servers.  The only times when that doesn't happen is when you're sending it internally, or when you're sending it from a company that does their own mail and doesn't outsource spam filtering to a company that does their own mail and doesn't outsource spam filtering.  A lot of VBCs are like that, but most companies are not.

    That's YOUR problem, as email admins, not the end user's. Stop griping and fix it.

    I hate excuses. See a problem, fix the problem. Going something like 20 years and nobody's fixed the problem? Makes me angry.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.