David A. Black wrote:
> Update: I'm now seeing a lot of news posts that are not making it to
> the mail side.  I'd thought it was more the other direction, but it
> seems to be both.

For those of us who are interested in the matter, but aren't aware of 
how things work, can someone give a quick summary of how the mirroring 
is supposed to work?

Some questions I have:

* Is it a 'fire and forget' sort-of system -- messages are sent to the 
NNTP server and if that doesn't receive error messages it is assumed to 
have worked?  Or does the software keep track of message IDs and somehow 
check to see that something has happened with them?

* How are messages mirrored from the newsgroup to the mailing list?  Is 
it just something like "Add all new messages as of this date/time to the 
mailing list", or does it keep track of message IDs in some way?

* Is there any 'retry' mechanism at all?

* You mentioned that if the message isn't being copied by a 
not-directly-upstream server, then there's nothing that can be done to 
trace it.  It seems like there should be.  If you can confirm that the 
gateway is working properly with the immediate NNTP server, find out 
what its neighbors are and ask the admins there to verify that the 
messages were transferred correctly, then if so, plead with them to 
check with their neighbors.  I would suspect that if everything is 
properly mirrored in all those places, then it will get really hard to fix.

I don't know much about NNTP, only the basics.  I don't really 
understand the network topology, or where our main node is on that 
network.  I also don't know what would prevent a message from being 
mirrored.  Is the way that our messages are added to the NNTP server the 
same as the way that a standard network client does it?  Are there extra 
headers or anything that might make an NNTP server upset?

Also, maybe the way the mailing list is set up can be changed.  I 
imagine right now that the way things work is:

   Emails sent to the mailing list are sent out to all members,
   one of those members is the gateway program, it sends them out
   to the newsgroup.  The newsgroup looks for new messages and when
   it finds them, it emails them to the mailing list.

Maybe instead, we can have the mailing list be nothing but something 
that copies messages to the newsgroup, and then have a secondary process 
that takes everything from the newsgroup and sends it out to the mailing 
list members.  That way, instead of having two different lists that have 
to be synchronized, we have only 1 (the newsgroup) that has to be 
emailed out.

Any thoughts?

Ben Giddings