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Re: [sieve] Poll: how to report Sieve runtime errors to the user?

2010-08-24 19:06:17
Clarifying things here:

The server I was talking about was a research prototype that Wolfgang
and I did.  It was meant to eventually turn up in a product, but that
never wound up happening, and some of the decisions we made for
conditions like this were based on the fact that it was a research

We didn't disable the script for things like "fileinto mailbox does
not exist," but syntax errors and other sorts of things got the script
disabled.  We didn't use anything like managesieve ... basically, we
had a special mailbox that users could use IMAP APPEND to stick a
message into, and the content of that message would be used as the
sieve script.  Compilation didn't happen until the script ran, and the
scripts were hand-coded by programmers.

This is obviously not the normal situation.

not people don't even understand that Sieve is what underlies all this, they
don't understand what messages saying stuff like "fileinto used without
first being activated with a require or ihave" mean.)

Indeed.  Telling an end user that her sieve script had an error is
somewhat like asking an end user what she wants the browser to do with
a security certificate problem: it's a WTF? situation.

Well ... yes and no. I agree that the error isn't going to be meaningful to 
the users, but the difference between these two cases is that although the user
may not understand what the Sieve error means, it will be meaningful when
included in any trouble ticket the user opens. Note that text in and around the
error message can include details of what to do to address the problem, e.g.,
visit and report the problem, etc. (We
allow these messages to be customized so this sort of site-specific text can be
included. It also allows for localization/internationalization of the response.
We ship several by default, but of course there are many more languages in use
than we've localized for)

The certificate situation, OTOH, is truly a complete WTF, because it's not an
error, not exactly, and the user hasn't the faintest idea what to do. And
neither would a tech support person, even assuming an ISP would be willing to
open a ticket about a certificate problem for, say, a random web site. Heck,
it's not an infrequent occurance for me to run into expired or broken certs at
work, and in some of those cases I'm not sure what to do either.

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