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sTunnel for modern email protocols in old email clients


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I think I tried that before, but I've now tried again and the first four lines in the console quoted in my last post no longer appear.
Sadly it makes no difference to how long it takes the e-mails to appear, there's no change at all! :no:
All I see in the console now is -

[20:01] 004 ProxHTTPSProxyMII FrontProxy/v1.5 [WinError 10053] An established connection was aborted by the software in your host machine

This is logged at the moment that the e-mail message finally displays, if that's any clue!

There are two sources from where the e-mails always display really slowly in Eudora, the Sky support forum, and marksandspencer.com.
I occasionally get a display delay from other message sources, but these two are the worst.
:)

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5 minutes ago, Dave-H said:

[20:01] 004 ProxHTTPSProxyMII FrontProxy/v1.5 [WinError 10053] An established connection was aborted by the software in your host machine

This message always occurs when there is a disconnection to the HTTPSProxy, for example when the browser is closed. This is not a mistake in this sense.
The only mistake I saw was in the first line. Therefore, my question and try out, the line can also be deleted again if it does not lead to success. You can send me a larger excerpt via PM, where you have tried to open various e-mails and take longer.

:)

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So this line was the only apparent problem? :dubbio:

[19:22] 000 "EOF occurred in violation of protocol (_ssl.c:600)" while trying to establish local SSL tunnel for [helpforum.sky.com:443]

That has now gone away, but has made no difference to the e-mail display problem.
In fact, the problem doesn't change whether HTTPSProxy is in use or not, or however it's configured when it is in use, so I guess whatever's causing it is something not related to it.
Maybe the error shown above is still happening, but HTTPSProxy just isn't recording it any more as it's now bypassed for that domain.

In the error message above, what does "EOF" actually mean?
:dubbio:

Edited by Dave-H
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2 hours ago, Dave-H said:

[20:01] 004 ProxHTTPSProxyMII FrontProxy/v1.5 [WinError 10053] An established connection was aborted by the software in your host machine

This is logged at the moment that the e-mail message finally displays, if that's any clue!

Sounds to me like Eudora is trying to connect to "something," and timing out. When it times out it closes the connection (producing the above error) and goes ahead with displaying the email.

We need a way to figure out what server Eudora is trying to contact.

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Yes, that does make perfect sense.
I guess whatever Eudora is trying to connect to and failing, its actually not helpforum.sky.com!
When I looked into this with @heinogandaoriginally last year, I think we thought that the source of the display delay problem was actually just the header logo which is on all of the messages.
It was trying to access that which was causing the delay, so I guess I'll have to try and find exactly where that's being server from.
The same applied to the e-mails from Marks and Spencer.
:)

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Seems likely Eudora is trying to download the logo from a Web server somewhere, which accepts the HTTP request but doesn't respond (not even with 404 Not Found), so Eudora has to wait for the connection to time out. Not sure why the requests aren't showing up in the ProxHTTPSProxyMII window though. Have you tried setting its logging to DEBUG level in config.ini?

Interestingly, both www.eudora.com and www.eudora.org redirect here: https://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/the-eudora-email-client-source-code/

Apparently Qualcomm has released the Eudora 7.1 source code (BSD license). I thought about downloading it myself, just to search for the logo URL, but it's HUGE: 458 MB of C++ code according to the page at the link above. Maybe one of the other regulars here is willing to give it a go?

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Well FWIW I think I've now definitely confirmed the logo or something related to it as being the source of the problem.
One thing which Eudora can do, which I think is quite unique, is that it allows you to edit received messages and re-save them.
I opened one of the problem messages, enabled the editing function, and cut the logo image to the clipboard.
I then re-saved it, and without closing it, enabled editing again and pasted the logo back in the same place.
After re-saving it, it now looks exactly the same as it did before, but opens instantly, apart for a very slight delay in the logo appearing!
Well I say it looks the same, but the weight of the text font seems to have changed slightly between the original and the new version.
Comparing the source code on the old and new versions, it does seem quite different, so removing the logo must have removed some other code, which putting it back hasn't replaced.
I've attached the two versions to see if anyone can work out what the critical difference is that's causing one to delay opening and the other not.
Opening the files in IE8, the edited version opens immediately with no problem, the original opens but then displays the ActiveX security warning bar at the top.
It still looks fine though, and still looks the same if I dismiss the warning bar and allow ActiveX to run.
The text still looks slightly different between the two versions even in IE8.
Very strange!
:dubbio:

EditedSource.htm

OriginalSource.htm

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Well, I don't see anything obvious....:unsure:

Editing the message seems to have reformatted the HTML a bit and removed some redundant tags; in the original source, an entire HTML document - presumably the original email - is embedded within another HTML document - presumably one Eudora builds to display the email headers. Thus there are redundant <html>, <head>, and <body> tags, as well as a <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd"> that identifies the HTML version, which are in the original email but not the edited version.

Both versions download two images from helpforum.sky.com (the logo and the happy face), and a style sheet; but at the end of the original source there's another complex style sheet that's missing from the edited version. That style sheet downloads a couple of fonts from www.sky.com; that probably explains the slightly different font weights you see between the two versions. I suppose downloading those fonts might be what's causing the delay, but both fonts downloaded quickly when I pasted their URLs into my browser. :huh:

The only other difference I saw was that your cut-and-paste operation moved the "sky community" logo outside the hyperlink, so in the edited version you can't click on it to go to helpforum.sky.com in your browser.

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Thank you so much for looking at this @Mathwiz, I'm sure we will identify what's causing the problem.
I hadn't looked at the end of the files so I didn't notice the fonts thing.
At least I know now how to fix any messages that I want to keep so they don't take ages to load, but I'd still like to know what's causing the problem in the first place!
Did you try loading the files in IE8? If so, did you get the ActiveX warning with the unedited one?
Cheers, Dave.
:)

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I'll try that tomorrow. But interestingly, I can (sort of) reproduce the problem in IE 11 on Windows 7!

If opened in IE, the original source locks up for several seconds and cannot be scrolled. Also, the "loading" progress bar never indicates loading is complete. The edited source works normally. The original source also works if I delete out the code for that second style sheet; by progressively deleting more and more of the second style sheet, the problem does appear to be coming from the downloaded Web fonts.

The font files are .WOFF format. Support for .WOFF files was added to IE in IE9; that may explain the warnings in IE8.

At this point, my best guess is that Eudora (and IE8) are new enough to understand the @font-face CSS rule, but not the .woff file format (which was invented in 2009). But I don't know why IE 11, which does understand .woff files, also has trouble with your emails. I did run one of sky.com's .woff files through a validator and it found no problems with the file. Edit: Figured out the problem with IE 11. There's a slight syntax error in the URLs for the .woff files: they start with a double slash instead of a single slash. Doesn't bother Basilisk (or FF I presume) but IE 11 can't handle it. Either adding https: in front (making it a full URL) or removing one of the slashes lets the fonts load as intended.

Nor am I sure what can be done to fix it yet. Perhaps merely blocking the download of .woff files would be good enough. (That could be done with the Proxomitron, which ProxHTTPSProxyMII was written to work with.)

Edited by Mathwiz
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12 hours ago, Mathwiz said:

Perhaps merely blocking the download of .woff files would be good enough. (That could be done with the Proxomitron, which ProxHTTPSProxyMII was written to work with.)

I'm not sure I understood the problem you are discussing correctly, but which user-agent is defined in your browser? I use Privoxy and https://helpforum.sky.com visible to me in IE 8 like this (it doesn’t depend on Google Chrome Frame):

ie8-sky.jpg.9c3dd1f649e33d23c11e84d0b833fd48.jpg

And I get multiple errors in ProxHTTPSProxyMII:

[16:50] 134 ProxHTTPSProxyMII FrontProxy/v1.5 [WinError 10054] An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host
[16:50] 167 ProxHTTPSProxyMII FrontProxy/v1.5 [WinError 10054] An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host
[16:50] 169 ProxHTTPSProxyMII FrontProxy/v1.5 [WinError 10054] An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host
[16:50] 162 ProxHTTPSProxyMII FrontProxy/v1.5 [WinError 10054] An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host
[16:50] 170 ProxHTTPSProxyMII FrontProxy/v1.5 [WinError 10054] An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host
[16:50] 171 ProxHTTPSProxyMII FrontProxy/v1.5 [WinError 10054] An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host
[16:50] 172 ProxHTTPSProxyMII FrontProxy/v1.5 [WinError 10054] An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host

I suspect the problem is that IE8 does not support WebSockets - https://caniuse.com/#feat=websockets

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The "browser" is actually the Eudora email client - we're trying to debug delays in certain HTML-formatted emails appearing - but I'm guessing it's using Microsoft's rendering engine under the covers. (@Dave-H tried installing Google Chrome Frame and making it the default for IE8, but it didn't affect Eudora.)

The HTML source that Dave uploaded (for one of the troublesome emails) contains a few problems for IE8:

  1. There are three URLs that start with // instead of https://. According to Google these are "protocol-relative URLs" that point to an address, keeping the current protocol. Unfortunately in an email, there is no current protocol, because the HTML wasn't downloaded from a Web server. IE8 doesn't appear to handle these URLs correctly anyway. This appears to be what causes the delays in the email being displayed.
  2. IE8 has a bug in handling @font-face CSS rules that causes it to include extra garbage characters after the URL, so it doesn't find the .woff files even if you fix #1 by adding https: in front of the URLs.
  3. The usual workaround for #2 is to append a ? to the font URL, so the extra garbage gets ignored by the Web server. Unfortunately, IE8 doesn't support the .woff font files that these emails use anyway.
  4. Ironically, helpforum.sky.com's toolkit.css file specifies .eot fonts (which work in IE8) as well as the same .woff files that don't work, so the .css code in the email (that causes the above problems by trying to load the .woff files again) isn't even needed at all! Unfortunately, toolkit.css repeats IE8 problems #1 and #2, so you continue to get delays even after fixing its URL :realmad:

So lots of little problems, but I think #1 is the important one since it's the one that seems to be slowing everything down.

Also, I think IE8 (and presumably Eudora) are misinterpreting those protocol-relative URLs as UNCs and trying to find local network servers called www.sky.com and helpforum.sky.com :rolleyes: and since those obviously don't exist, it just sits there until it eventually times out.

Anyone know of a way to terminate unwanted UNC requests quickly?

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Wow, amazing detective work there! :worship:
It may well be that these (and some other) e-mails will never now display quickly in Eudora, but when they do eventually display they look perfect, there's no elements missing or mis-formatting, it's just the delay that's the problem. From what you say it looks as if something is stalling on its loading until it eventually times out and the message then displays, but it is presumably falling back on something else as the message does display correctly.
:)

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