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> ANNOUNCE: Scope Procedure Engine V1.0 For Xmail, Speeds up the handling of Perl filters.
Posted: Nov 2 2002, 11:38 AM
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This announcement was forwarded from Thomas Loo wrote:


Hi all.

I have put in a real effort the last few days to complete v1.00 of this
project I've been working on lately. Hopefully it'll be of interest to
you XMail admins outhere using external scripts in conjunction with XMail
in one way or another. I've had the engine up and running on a productional
system for over three weeks now, so I consider it stable enough for an
initial release. Scope is licensed under GNU GPL, btw.

The docs and the API reference are very sparse at the moment, but I'll
complete them as time goes by. I have knocked up a few documents though,
enough to help you through the install and how to configure the bundled
procedures to get along with XMail.

Scope is a procedure engine for Xmail ESMTP server written in PERL.
It provides XMail with an out of process facility for running perl driven
filters, mailprocs, cmdaliases and custom domain mail processing in a
persistent, high-performance perl environment. Scope is designed to be
fully platform independent and can be installed as a Win32 service out
of the box.

Via a minimal Scope client, XMail communicates with the Scope engine over
the TCP/IP network layer, meaning Scope is not limited to the same box as
XMail at all. Although it can theoretically sit on any box connected to
the internet, the idea behind this is that you can distribute the often
resource intensive filter/mailproc processing to a Scope enabled backend
deep inside your LAN and leave the XMail box upfront dedicating its
CPU-cycles on providing SMTP/POP3 services only.

Scope procedures can be added or removed in a true plug n' play manner,
to bring in new functionality and by using the exposed API anyone with
a fair understanding of writing a PERL module can easily knock up a new
procedure with a just few lines of code and hook it right in and have
XMail start using it pretty much the same way you would add a local

Performance. With Scope two of the major performance bottlenecks when
dealing with perl has been cut off; Loading the perl interpreter for each
initiation of a script and converting it into internal perl bytecode before
the actual execution can take place. Scope itself while self hosted by a
perl-process, exposes means to dynamically import external code
(procedures) into the its own process, storing them in semi-compiled form
and reusing them over and over again throughout the life-span of the server.
This approach actually makes procedures executed from the Scope procedure
cache nearly equivalent in performance as a compiled language.


The full README is available here.

With this release there are a few bundled procedures. More are on the
way, but these are the ones that are stable at the mo.

* Scope::autoreply - Autoreply features on a global or per-user level.
* Scope::spamassasin - Wrapper procedure for Mail::SpamAssassin 2.42+
* Scope::sizecheck - Accept/reject messages based on size.
* Scope::signature - Attach per-user or global signatures to outgoing msgs.
* Scope::status - Generates server statistics on request.
* Scope::vanguard - A pure PERL lightweight virus/worm scanner.

More info here

For those interested in numbers and benchmarks, I did some various testing a
few weeks ago. If anyway accustomed to perl, these numbers should be an
intriguing read...

There is two versions available. They're basically the same, except that the
zipped version comes with a pre-compiled Win32 client.

Feel free to get in contact If you find anything unclear, or have questions
regarding setup, usage or anything else.

Thomas Loo.



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