Second, the fact that 10 years ago you set up sendmail for
the computer club at your college doesn't make you an expert
on modern large scale email systemms administration. The
operational concerns for large-scale email setups today are
very different from thost that would have applied to small
scale setups a few years back.
I'm not going to get into the insight real operational
experience provides because I also lack the necessary
operational experience to have an informed opinion.
To make good standards you need a broad selection of
informed opinion from different viewpoints. Why should
it not be as simple to set up an IETF standard email
system for a small organization as it was 10 years ago?
You can lament the present-day realities until the cows come home, but the fact
of the matter is that it is harder - much harder.
I should know, because I was running such a system then, just as I do now. Just
as one example - there are many others - back in 1998 there was no need for
mandatory spam filtering (I first imposed mandatory filtering on all users on
my systems back in 2002), That right there ups the complexity, not to mention
the overhead, of operation by about an order of magnitude, and can easily have
the effect of pushing the operational issues past what a local IT person with
many other responsibilities is able to handle.
Definitely there are issues of scale that have to be
considered, but if the IETF really wanted to have large
scale email operators drive new Internet email standards
then we would hand the job over to MAAWG.
You're completely missing the point. This issue isn't knowing how to build a
large scale email system and I never said it was. Rather, the issue is whether
or not people's opinions about the effectiveness of various antispam mechanisms
are valid when all they have is a small amount of experience, often quite
Maybe it's just me, but I'll take the evidence presented by someone who has
access to the operational statistics for a mail system that services 10s of
millions of end users and handles thousands of outsourced email setups over
someone like myself who runs a tiny little setup any day.
You are right that the quality of the discussion about
DNSBLs has not been too good.
That is far too kind.
But the underlying problem
seems to be that dissenting voices did not participate in
the drafting of the DNSBL document, and therefore the document
writers had not found the right level of compromise to get
the dissenters on board. Anyone can claim to be a great expert
and write a standards document, but the real hard work is in
getting a group of people with differing backgrounds and
experience to agree with that standards document.
You might want to review the actual discussion before making such claims. And
while you're at it you might also want to explain how it would be possible to
get views that are, to a close first approximation, summed up as "DNSBLs are
evil incarnate" on board.
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