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Website Discussion, Bug Reports and Abuse Reports

SMTP Error

This thread is open.

Posted by randomuser 2010-02-26 17:41:25 GMT

When I recently finished a game, there was a brief note about an SMTP error before the 2 sec redirect thing went into effect.

I don't believe I got an email for the summary of the game either.

This was game 8483 in case it matters.

Posted by jmucchiello 2010-02-26 23:52:57 GMT

I think there's something wrong with the email system. I've seen this myself. I also noticed that I haven't received a notification that it's my turn in 12 hours but my turn has come up 3-4 times during that time. I just happened to be on the sight and noticed I had a turn to take.

Posted by Hammerite This user is an administrator. 2010-02-27 00:24:21 GMT

To tell you the truth I am about ready to disable any and all email sending functions out of frustration. It seems to be impossible to send emails from a script without them being seen as spam either by the recipient or the email provider, regardless of the fact that all of the people using my website have explicitly signed up to receive such emails. I can only conclude at this point that all the software written to detect spam is written by cretins.

Posted by Hammerite This user is an administrator. 2010-02-27 01:03:24 GMT

I apologise for the tone of that message. I'm just rather frustrated at the task of trying to get emails sent out without mindless computer systems deciding that they're spam before my users even have a chance to see them. I was also a bit aggravated by the way PHPMailer seems to think it's a good idea to echo complaining messages to the user despite the fact that I have set error_reporting(0)! What are these people smoking?

The email sending things are now working the way they were before today, so if you were receiving emails before you should now be receiving them again. And there should be no error messages.

Posted by randomuser 2010-02-27 01:23:41 GMT

I assume you are using some sort of SMTP authenticated function call (like PEAR Mail) and not just the built-in mail() function call? I don't know much about SMTP but I know a lot of places don't like it when you use the built-in PHP mail call.

FWIW, I use yahoo mail and your mails have no problems making it past the spam filters.

Posted by randomuser 2010-02-27 01:25:14 GMT

NM you answered my question in the interim :)

Posted by Hammerite This user is an administrator. 2010-02-27 12:57:18 GMT

I changed it to PHPMailer yesterday, but ran into a problem after some initial successful tests (the problem was not actually related to PHPMailer, although as I mentioned I found PHPMailer's response to errors unsatisfactory). It is now changed back to PEAR mail.

The problem with the way it's currently set up is that my site shares an IP address with many other sites, and unfortunately when you do that your emails end up being considered spam by some email providers because they come from a source with a poor reputation. For most users they can add the address the emails come from to a trusted list, and the worst that will happen is that the first few emails are sent to the junk mail folder before the user checks for them. Unfortunately, some providers use systems that don't deliver presumed junk mail to the user in the first place. Now my response to this as a user would be "why are not deleting my correspondence without giving me a say in the matter? I'm going to look for another email provider". But as the person sending the emails, I'd like to do what I can to make sure the emails can get there. This seems to be "not much, unless you spend money".

Posted by Hammerite This user is an administrator. 2010-02-27 13:08:01 GMT

function send_email($subject,$body,$address,$replyto) {
$headers = array('From' => EMAIL_FROM,
'To' => $address,
'Subject' => $subject
if ( !is_null($replyto) ) { $headers['Reply-To'] = $replyto; }
$emarray = array('auth' => true,
'host' => EMAIL_HOST,
'username' => EMAIL_USERNAME,
'password' => EMAIL_PASSWORD
$smtp = Mail::factory('smtp',$emarray);
$mail = $smtp->send($address,$headers,$body);
if ( PEAR::isError($mail) ) { return false; }
else { return true; }

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