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Article: 953
From: Chris M. Miller
Date: 2006-06-05 13:39:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Question regarding the merits of milter flag to

Removal...........: milters-request@milter.info?subject=remove
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> I am considering configuring Sendmail to Temp Fail for many (if not all) 
> of my milters if the milter in question is not available.  However 
> before I do such I was wondering what other people's opinions on this 
> are.

   While I share your enthusiasm for filtering, I'll warn you that you 
should be careful with this option. I don't know your users, so I can only 
speak from my experience, but here's what I've learned:

   Most mail filters will annoy one or more of your users for assorted 
reasons; I had no end of people complaining that milter-sender was keeping 
them from receiving email from their busted-mailer friends. Fortunately, 
the Snert milters have undergone a lot of work to make them very good at 
what they do, and also very flexible for exceptions; but you're still 
going to have people who don't like them.

   So.. the worst case scenario is to imagine the inevitable time somewhere 
in the future when you go away (vacation, cruise, hospital visit, etc) for 
a few unreachable hours, days, or weeks, and one of those filters decides 
to keel over dead and needs manual attention to restart. If the whole time 
the filter is down, your users are completely unable to receive their 
mail, you'll make your list of unsatisfied customers quite a bit longer.

   In my case, it was decided after a few incidents of just the above type 
that no single filter was that important. Some sites may consider virus 
scanning to be that important - we do, but we solve it instead by having 
multiple independent virus filters.

   YMMV, but I'd suggest asking your users' opinions (depending, obviously, 
on the nature of your admin/customer relationship to them).

Cheers,
Chris Miller

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