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Article: 1267
From: Anthony Howe
Date: 2006-11-17 04:21:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Milter-link whitelisting per recipient problem

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Quentin Campbell wrote:
> When I re-RTFM I see now where you mention the "lookup order" for
> access.db lookups. I vaguely realised any way that lookup order must be
> important but missed those words which should have brought ordering to
> the front of my thoughts. Perhaps those two words could be in italics to
> emphasise the point. 

I concede that my documentation is information dense. So much is said 
there and some of it is not obvious on the first reading or in how I 
present the information. I guess its a bad habit I've picked up from 
working with sendmail too long :-p I've tried hard to make sure all the 
important information get mentioned as clearly as I can express it, but 
I guess my tech. writing skills need a lot more work.

Julian Field, the MailScanner author, recently explained to me how he 
found helpful both for himself in terms of support and his users in 
writing a book on MailScanner configuration and use. How he set out to 
write and express the same information found in his original documention 
_without_ repeating the documentation word for word; that having two 
different versions of effectively the same information helped people 
better grasp the concepts, since some people understood one form of 
expression while other found the other more useful.

> However the behaviour you describe above is perhaps a little more subtle
> than a simple problem of ordering. I found your explanation and example
> of a lookup sequence and the effect of the RH value "SKIP" very helpful.

Note that the SKIP action is a sendmail thang that I support - think of 
it as loop "break" statement in C or Perl, while the NEXT action is my 
own invention intended for use with pattern lists - think of a loop 
"continue" statement in C or "next" in Perl.

> I hope you might consider devising a common "EXAMPLE" sheet for
> exploiting access.db lookups in your milters. This could use material
> similar to that which you wrote above to help milter users understand
> better how lookup sequence and RH values interact and thus avoid the
> sort of "gotchas" that confused me.

This is often ask for, but its something I've not had really much time 
in doing. I had hoped that the more experienced members of this list 
would have contributed more in explaining and that the list archive 
would then server as a collection of recipes and tips. I've tried to 
distil some of the more common questions into FAQ entries, but I've not 
made sufficient effort.

> I may be alone in having missed that and am happy to acknowledge that
> other users of your milters may not have the same problems in
> understanding all the complexities implicit in the features provided by
> your milters!  

No. I don't think you're alone. The B/W (access-db) list support in my 
milters might be uniform across my milters, but the power of what can be 
done with RHS pattern lists, lookup order, precedence, etc. are under 
utilised and so lost on many I think :(, which is probably due to the 
too few examples and terse explanation on my part.

Anthony C Howe          Skype: SirWumpus                    SnertSoft
+33 6 11 89 73 78         AIM: SirWumpus    Sendmail Milter Solutions
http://www.snert.com/     ICQ: 7116561

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