phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

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lanesharon
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phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by lanesharon »

I have been searching all over the place to find out what might be happening to my emails that just don't seem to be getting to their recipients. I have an old forum that has been around since phpBB 2, and I have a brand spanking new one.

There are two things that I have found that control the time intervals that emails are sent (commonly used for throttling your outgoing emails). One is the Email Package Size that is set in ACP --> Email Settings. The other is the queue_interval value set in the phpBB tables, in config table.

In all of the 'advice' posts that I see on these forums I have consistently seen these two erroneous answers (as they pertain to 3.08):
1. The queue_interval is set to 600. Wrong. It is set to 60 on both my old and my brand-spanking-new forum. I even looked at the schema_data.sql file in the download for 3.08 (it is 60 in there too).

2. You must insure that your queue.php file in the cache directory (folder) is set to 777 permissions. Wrong. The queue.php file is removed after each queued job seems to complete. I have watched the disappearing miracle myself. ;)

So, can I just ask one question, and get an 'for sure correct' answer that pertains to 3.08? Is that queue_interval setting that is initally set 60 seconds, minutes, hours???
Last edited by lanesharon on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by blakebowling »

I do believe it is minutes, but I'm not sure.

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lanesharon
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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by lanesharon »

And, I am guessing seconds, because of what happened today. The queue-interval was set to 60 (as it has always been). The Email Package Size was set to 3. There were 180+ recipients in the mass email I was sending out. I watched the queue.php file change and voila, all were done and the queue.php file was removed in a little over an hour. If it were 60 minutes, it would take 60 hours, or most of the weekend.

But, to be SURE, I am really hoping that one of the Developers answers this. It would sure help all of us who continually ask about emails and throttling.

Thanks........

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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by Oleg »

queue_interval is in seconds.

https://github.com/phpbb/phpbb3/blob/de ... on.php#L75

Queue interval and package size were both reduced in 3.0.8.

https://github.com/phpbb/phpbb3/commit/ ... d16ee57b29

To my knowledge queue will still ignore package size if the backlog gets too large. (However, if the package size is so large that no queue runs complete the queue may grow infinitely.)
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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by lanesharon »

Thank you for answering that so quickly.

May I ask another question? Is it true that if I set things 'incorrectly', the cache_gc setting could 'lose' my queued emails (tidy_cache routine)?

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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by lanesharon »

Something is not working correctly. I left the queue_interval at 60 (which should be 1 minute from what we discerned). I set the Email Package size to 1 (one). That would be one email per minute, or 60 per hour. Then, I cleared the cache, both through ACP and through my ftp program (deleted all but index, queue lock, and .htaccess). Okay, so then I sent out a mass email to 184 members. It 'completed' in 39 minutes. No way that could have happened. :o

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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by Oleg »

lanesharon wrote:Thank you for answering that so quickly.

May I ask another question? Is it true that if I set things 'incorrectly', the cache_gc setting could 'lose' my queued emails (tidy_cache routine)?
Queue and cache should be independent.
lanesharon wrote:Something is not working correctly. I left the queue_interval at 60 (which should be 1 minute from what we discerned). I set the Email Package size to 1 (one). That would be one email per minute, or 60 per hour. Then, I cleared the cache, both through ACP and through my ftp program (deleted all but index, queue lock, and .htaccess). Okay, so then I sent out a mass email to 184 members. It 'completed' in 39 minutes. No way that could have happened. :o
Looks like the package size override was taken out:

https://github.com/phpbb/phpbb3/commit/ ... 092a2ad4d4

Were 184 emails actually sent? Do you have logs from your mail software including the times when each message was submitted?
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lanesharon
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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by lanesharon »

Thank you so much for replying again. My code looks exactly as you have shown.

I would agree with you, except that I have tried multiple package sizes: 0, 1, 3, 10, 50. Each time, the queue.php file empties in the same amount of time, a half hour. That should not be. With 184 recipients, when set at 1, the queue.php should have taken an hour and a half to empty. When set at 3, it should have taken an hour.

My hosting company actually allows me 500 emails per hour, which should allow me to send out the entire block. What I am trying to do is to stop being sent to the bulk/spam folders of recipients by setting the package size down to avoid this. Because it is a small forum, I could do that.

Something is not working correctly in the core code and I am a little confused at what you are saying when you say that the 'package size overide was taken out'. Do you mean that 3.0.8 core has removed it?

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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by manic2 »

lanesharon wrote:1. The queue_interval is set to 600. Wrong. It is set to 60 on both my old and my brand-spanking-new forum. I even looked at the schema_data.sql file in the download for 3.08 (it is 60 in there too).
The 3.0.7 ->3.0.8 database_update.php changed this from 600 to 60:-

Code: Select all

			// Reduce queue interval to 60 seconds, email package size to 20
			if ($config['queue_interval'] == 600)
			{
				set_config('queue_interval', '60');
			}

			if ($config['email_package_size'] == 50)
			{
				set_config('email_package_size', '20');
			}
lanesharon wrote:I am a little confused at what you are saying when you say that the 'package size overide was taken out'. Do you mean that 3.0.8 core has removed it?
Yes, when the e-mail queue was more than 2.5 times the package size the phpBB core code ignored the package size & just sent out all the e-mails. This was really unhelpful for boards hosted on shared servers where the hosts limited the number of emails per time period. This was removed in 3.08, see here:-

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... &t=2105676


lanesharon wrote:Okay, so then I sent out a mass email to 184 members. It 'completed' in 39 minutes. No way that could have happened. :o
This bit I'm not so sure about however I am not convinced that the ACP mass-mail uses the queue in the same was as the other board e-mails.

The ACP mass e-mail seems to use the routines in:-
\includes\acp\acp_email.php

Whereas 'normal' board e-mails use:-
\includes\functions_messenger.php

As I say not so sure about this one however have a look around those files which may provide your answer.
manic

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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by lanesharon »

Thank you for replying. That email that you sent me to is no longer relavent (for 3.0.8) since the queue_interval has been now set to 60 seconds (or one minute), from what the first poster said here.

Note To Developers: Which function processes which type of email? This is why everyone is so confused about phpbb emails. There is a lot of incorrect and conflicting information floating on the forums here about it and most of it is wrong for the current phpbb release. phpBB is a GREAT product, but I think this one email issue keeps many from using it.

I was just sent my email logs from my hosting company and it does point to the fact that some 'other' routine, from the ones already suggested above, is taking control of mass emails. So, maybe package size settings and queue_interval have nothing to do with mass emails. Wouldn't that be a trip since this is what most people are asking about in those posts that I originally talked about in my first post here.

In my email logs, it showed that the emails were divided up into 5 pieces, regardless of how I had package size set. I tried it with 5 different package sizes set in ACP --> Email Settings. None of it changed the mail sent out divisions.

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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by T0ny »

manic2 wrote: The ACP mass e-mail seems to use the routines in:-
\includes\acp\acp_email.php

Whereas 'normal' board e-mails use:-
\includes\functions_messenger.php
includes/acp/acp_email.php uses includes/functions_messenger.php to do the actual sending:

Code: Select all

// Send the messages
include_once($phpbb_root_path . 'includes/functions_messenger.' . $phpEx);
include_once($phpbb_root_path . 'includes/functions_user.' . $phpEx);
$messenger = new messenger($use_queue);

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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by manic2 »

T0ny wrote:includes/acp/acp_email.php uses includes/functions_messenger.php to do the actual sending:
Yep, saw that, think it's to do with 'how' it uses those functions (see below).
lanesharon wrote:Thank you for replying. That email that you sent me to is no longer relavent (for 3.0.8) since the queue_interval has been now set to 60 seconds (or one minute), from what the first poster said here.
:?: Not sure what you are referring to here :?:
lanesharon wrote:In my email logs, it showed that the emails were divided up into 5 pieces, regardless of how I had package size set. I tried it with 5 different package sizes set in ACP --> Email Settings. None of it changed the mail sent out divisions.
AIUI it the mass e-mail works by sending out BCCs in chunks of 50 at a time. (I would have understood 4 chunks for 184 recipients or maybe there is 1 original then 4 x (up to) 50 to get to 5 for 184 users :?: )
manic

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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by lanesharon »

Thanks manic, I had calculated that out myself. And, I also saw that it uses 'some' of the messenger routine.

Here is my 'experience' as a long time user on the WWW:
When people use chunks greater than 10 in emails, they wind up in the spam/bulk folders.
Many email companies will send emails to the spam/bulk folders on the BCC usage only.
But, when you use an email recipient size of 50, along with the BCC, your emails are sure to get sent to the bulk/spam folder.

I can change the chunk size, only.
Last edited by lanesharon on Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by manic2 »

lanesharon wrote:What I am trying to do is to stop being sent to the bulk/spam folders of recipients by setting the package size down to avoid this. Because it is a small forum, I could do that.
You could try changing this in \includes\acp\acp_email.php

Code: Select all

				// Send with BCC, no more than 50 recipients for one mail (to not exceed the limit)
				$max_chunk_size = 50;
Edit, was posting at the same time as you.
Last edited by manic2 on Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: phpBB Email - Debunking 'Advice'

Post by lanesharon »

I'm going to try that manic. Thanks so much for your continued help.

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