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    Letters to patrons not printed (emailed) one particular day; printd Socket error

    • Article Type: General
    • Product: Aleph
    • Product Version: 18.01

    We had reports from our patrons that the recall notices sent out on March 13th from a particular library were not received by patrons.
    The only strange thing that I can see that points to an error is in the printd.log - see attached file. For some jobs there is no record of the html file being "printed", for isntance:

    See on Fri Mar 13 08:13:04 2009
    There should have been 58 files to print but there is no list of the html files.

    Below are the four cases I see on Mar 13 where the "printing" did not occur. Are these the ones which you are seeing?
    The only thing I see these having in common is ".mcl" as the print-ID. I assume that the "No. of files to print" numbers are not so high.... There are cases on other days since then of ".mcl" files with 37, 58, etc. Correct?

    File [2]: Local C:\AL500\alephcom\files\ABC50\print\printd46.~82 Remote /exlibris/aleph/u18_1/abc50/print/mcl.bookings_reminder_letter.mcl
    No. of files to print: 37. <---------------------------------------
    [0] Fri Mar 13 08:12:30 2009
    [0] Fri Mar 13 08:12:47 2009

    Print File List - Library: ABC50 Target: mcl
    File [0]: Local C:\AL500\alephcom\files\ABC50\print\printd52.~82 Remote /exlibris/aleph/u18_1/abc50/print/mcl.recalls.05.mcl
    No. of files to print: 58. <-------------------------------------
    [0] Fri Mar 13 08:13:04 2009

    Print File List - Library: ABC50 Target: mcl
    File [0]: Local C:\AL500\alephcom\files\ABC50\print\printd53.~82 Remote /exlibris/aleph/u18_1/abc50/print/mcl.holdletters.05.mcl
    No. of files to print: 7. <----------------------------------------
    Now printing c:\temp\Aleph\~Aleph318842.html
    [0] Fri Mar 13 08:13:35 2009

    Print File List - Library: ABC50 Target: mcl
    File [0]: Local C:\AL500\alephcom\files\ABC50\print\printd54.~82 Remote /exlibris/aleph/u18_1/abc50/print/mcl.overdue.05.mcl
    No. of files to print: 67. <--------------------------------------------------
    Now printing c:\temp\Aleph\~Aleph318852.html
    Now printing c:\temp\Aleph\~Aleph318857.html
    Now printing c:\temp\Aleph\~Aleph318862.html
    [0] Fri Mar 13 08:14:58 2009

    <end excerpt from printd log>

    This means that

    0 of 37 notices were printed/emailed, then
    0 of 58 were printed, then
    1 of 7 were printed, then
    3 of 67 were printed.

    We have seen the "Socket error"s in the printd log, which seem to be connected with small numbers of notices missing.

    We suggest that you monitor for additional occurrences, and if it doesn't happen again, that we close it -- with the understanding that any subsequent occurrence would be treated as a high priority.

    This site is at v18 SP 1994.

    Two UK sites have also reported problems with "Socket error" in the print daemon.

    Note: If you see this problem, please contact

    [From Alan Exelby, University of East Anglia, via email:]

    We have the 'socket error' problem. We have seen this occasionally, including once today.

    Specifics. We are on v18, SP 2153. We use overdues of the overdue-summary... type, running cir-51.

    In the past, we have tended to use the Print Daemon to 'print' (e-mail) notices, but we have recently gone over to using 'normal' printing (no Print Daemon, Print Configuration set to Normal Printing, Setup Type = Mail). We have also recently done a lot of work revising the templates for the print versions of our overdues (they had to be revised to fit new 'data mailer' stationery), which means that our staff have been paying much more attention to the notices than normally. All of this means that we might have been having this problem in the past a lot more than was noticed/reported; we've no way of telling. As of now, I can state with confidence that one notice out of a run of 468 overdues this morning had a 'socket error' message; we identified the patron from the e-mail address that appeared in the bottom ('operations') bar, and have found nothing obviously wrong with it; we have since managed to get a printed version of the notice via Print History (we did not attempt to re-send as e-mail - we have too many problems going on at once so took the easiest option).

    Also may be worth mentioning: in that same run of 468 notices, one notice simply failed, giving an error about e-mailing (sorry, no exact details); our staff traced this back, and it turned out to be a patron who should have been 'expired' on Aleph, and whose university e-mail account had been closed months ago, so we have opted not to worry about at this stage - though in such cases, we would have expected the e-mail to go out and then 'bounce-back' to the correct 'From' address in alephcom.ini, rather than failing at point of issue.

    <end Alan Exelby email>

    <More from Alan, later:> I had a very brief informal attempt to learn about the socket errors, and I definitely got the impression that they originate outside Aleph -- such as from the e-mail server. Aleph is simply displaying a message it has received from outside. My intention was that the next time we had one, we would press for checking on the smtp server that should receive all our e-mail notices and that I strongly suspect is the source of the socket errors. However, since then, the only times we have had socket errors have been when we were in the middle of so many other problems they got ignored, so we have not progressed this at all.

    • Article last edited: 10/8/2013