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[Pan-users] Re: Pan "timing out"
[Pan-users] Re: Pan "timing out"
Thu, 4 Jun 2009 06:12:36 +0000 (UTC)
Pan/0.133 (House of Butterflies)
Ron Blizzard <address@hidden> posted
below, on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 16:40:19 -0500:
> Hopefully I've turned HTML off for this response. It looks like it may
> be a toggle -- turn off HTML once and it stays off until you turn it
> back on. But I have no way knowing for certain, as I don't see any of it
> on this side.
You got it this time! =:^)
Well, you got it, but Google's still doing something with it that pan
doesn't like. I think it's pan in this case, tho. It displays fine, but
when I went to reply, it didn't insert the quote as it normally does! It
had the attributions, several blank lines, then my sig, but no actual
As it happens I'd seen pan do this once before, and traced it that time
to an incorrectly specified UTF-8 or whatever character, so I had an idea
what to look for. Sure enough, in the "raw" encoding of your post,
actually, at least once where you had been quoting me (but I checked, it
wasn't in my original message), there was a quoted-printable escaped
sequence (= sign in words here so as not to trigger anything weird):
equals C2 equals A0
A bit of googling reveals that that sequence is the (quoted printable
escaped) encoding for the UTF-8 & nbsp (non-wrapping blank-space)
character, which means blank space, but keep the words on either side of
it on the same line, don't wrap at the space to the next line.
Well, pan evidently has problems quoting that extended character
properly, tho as I said, it displays fine. But it quotes it properly
part of the time too, as depending on how I selected text, I could get
the line including the blank space to come up quoted /part/ of the time,
but part of the time it wouldn't. And it had no problem at all with it
in other paragraphs. Just that one, and one other.
So what I ended up doing to get the message quoted, was select a portion
of it that would quote when I hit reply, then select another portion and
hit reply again, select-copying that text over to the first reply (doing
that way so the >> indicated quote levels remained correct), then again
with the next segment, until I had the whole post quoted in one reply.
Now I'm replying to it, deleting as usual the parts I'm /not/ replying to
as I go.
But as I said, I'm quite sure it's a pan bug as I've seen it before.
Google is simply triggering it with its (apparently entirely proper) use
of the UTF-8 non-wrapping blank-space character.
Actually, I suspect it's not even a pan bug, but rather a bug in the gtk
text widget pan uses. (I've other reasons to suspect that, that are
rather too complex to worry about here, except to mention I've
experimented with attaching yenc encoded text to pan posts, and it
doesn't work, due to related issues with that text widget.)
Anyway, you and Google have it correct now, AFAICT. It's pan that's
bugging now. Thanks!
>> The (high level) error log (pan calls it the event log)
> I've got that little light bulb -- it never shows any error -- Pan just
> times out. I'm beginning to get the feeling that CentOS hasn't
> implemented Pan very well. Something is not right.
Something is indeed not right, and as you mention below, you can try
compiling your own pan version.
(FWIW, one thing that's nice about Gentoo is that since it normally
compiles stuff based on scripts, it's normally much easier to compile
stuff outside the package manager as well, when necessary, because unlike
most binary distributions, all the compiling level dependencies tend to
be already installed. I remember the hassle I used to have installing
all the dependencies necessary to compile something on Mandrake... Of
course, where that's /not/ needed, just using the pre-compiled binaries
is easier and faster, particularly on an older or slower computer, but my
computer is fast enough and has enough resources compiling isn't too bad
at all, and given the hassles it saves me, Gentoo's definitely the
correct choice for me. YMMV of course, and CentOS may well be your
correct choice, so I'm /not/ pressuring a switch, unless you're looking
for something different, of course, they we can talk. =:^)
But note that as mentioned above with the weird character issue, it's
entirely possible it's not pan itself, but GTK or some other pan
dependency, or something weird in the environment. For example, with the
help of various users on this list, we eventually traced a terrible
performance problem with pan on Ubuntu, to the GNOME assistive
technologies (AT) applet, of /all/ things! Who would have thought,
especially when pan is a GNOME family app? But that's what it was, and
disabling it killed the problem with pan.
> I may try the --debug switch. But I'm beginning to wonder if the fight
> is worth it.
> It doesn't appear that there are any errors in Pan -- it just loses the
> connection. Once that happens, I get an error 441 -- Newsgroup Can't be
> found. The headers remain and I can click on them, but I just get a
> blank page. The only "fix" is to exit Pan and restart it.
I still say that sounds like too short a TCP idle-timeout on your
router. But again, if pan's the only thing running into it, honestly, it
may be easier using something else instead of pan, than fiddling with the
router or whatever else.
> Unfortunately the "L" doesn't seem to help.
That sucks. However, after I posted that, I had a slightly different
issue here with my sucky ISP's server and needed to cut the (still
working) connections and restart them. I /thought/ that once I hit the
offline button, pan would terminate the connections. But I thought
wrong. Turns out that function doesn't work quite as I thought. It only
tells pan not to fetch anything. It doesn't (apparently) tell pan to
terminate existing TCP connections, so it didn't help my problem and
wouldn't help yours either, unfortunately.
I was ultimately able to get the connections killed so pan would start
new ones, not using pan, but by shutting down and restarting the
machine's network interface. Since I tested that and it works here, its
very likely that it would work for you too.
However, not only is that honestly rather much to be asking, particularly
since it means killing any unrelated connections (here, very often it
would mean killing a shoutcast/icecast incoming music stream, who knows
what there), but even if you're willing to do it, I'd have to hope you
know CentOS well enough to do so as I haven't the foggiest how it's
handled there, whether it's a manual ifconfig down, ifconfig up, or
whether you restart a service, or what.
> It's becoming clearer to me that it's probably not a Pan problem. Maybe
> I'll look into downloading a newer version of Pan and compiling it.
It's worth trying, especially since it may mean omitting RedHat/CentOS
patches that may be proving troublesome, but as I said above, even if
it's pan, it may really be GTK or some other component pan uses, not pan
at all. So you might end up having to rebuild that too... all for an
iffy at best chance of fixing it, since I still strongly suspect it's the
router's TCP idle timeouts.
> Reflashing my Linksys router will probably be a "last resort" kind of
> thing. I would rather limp along with Thunderbird than take a chance of
> turning my router into a brick.
Entirely understood. I simply presented it as one option, knowing it's
one some aren't going to want to take.
>> BTW, [t]here's malware going around that tries to bot those routers
> Thanks for the tip. I'll look into this.
FWIW, I came across a couple of the links again (reading the notes on
openwrt.org, the 0th link below) and thus have them handy:
0. http://openwrt.org/ (down the page a bit, or search "Botnet")
I believe I saw it first on The Register, but don't have a link for that
> I'll try telnetting. That was the way I used to have to program my old
> router. (Kind of forgot about it.)
Telnetting is a very useful troubleshooting skill to have. Among other
things, you can telnet a web server (normally) on port 80, or a news
server on port 119, or mail servers (pop3 and smtp at least, not sure
about imap), just to see what the connection banner is, even if you don't
know the necessary commands to actually do anything. (quit or QUIT
usually works to terminate the connection, and often the help or HELP
command still prints out the other available commands, tho manual access
is rare enough these days the help command is beginning to disappear as
well.) Just knowing and using that has been /very/ useful for me at
times, particularly when the error the GUI app is reporting is entirely
unhelpful, as the bare protocol error reported by telnet if it gets one,
usually at least makes sense, and just knowing for sure whether telnet
can make the connection or not, goes a long way on its own.
> Thanks. You've given me a few more directions to go. I'll try to respond
> more quickly to any new messages.
Don't worry too much about it. It's your problem, not mine, so your
timeline working on a fix, not mine. Of course, if you wait six months
or something, I may well have forgotten and we may need to rehash some
stuff, but a month or six weeks, not an issue at all.
Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman