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Re: Message with no From at all (6)

2005-04-01 04:12:42

In <IE23xw(_dot_)FCn(_at_)clerew(_dot_)man(_dot_)ac(_dot_)uk> "Charles Lindsey" 
<chl(_at_)clerew(_dot_)man(_dot_)ac(_dot_)uk> writes:

So we have so far established that "From: <>" gets through to most people
(except Bruce, who claims he never received his) but we need more evidence
as to what systems allow completely absent Froms to pass through

So, having failed to get my test messages (other than From: <>) through
the mail expander at imc, I sent test messages with no From header at all
directly to 12 people on this list who had replied to my earlier <> tests.

I have 9 replies, of which 6 reported that their local Delivery agent, or
an MTA close to that, had manufactured a From header out of the envelope
from (which was readily identifiable, being
postmaster(_at_)clerew(_dot_)man(_dot_)ac(_dot_)uk). Two of these were 
Sendmail, two were
Postfix, and one was PMDF/JESMS (the other didn't say). It was reported
that Exim, Gmail and Qmail were happy to pass the message without

Although Sendmail can be configured not to make this change, it is the
default and few sites change it (though one recipient had done so on his
own system). There was quite some discussion amongst some of these 12
recipients afterwards in which some of them expressed the opinion that the
current behaviour of Sendmail et al was actually a Good Thing, especially
for large ISPs. It was also reported that some IMAPs might not take kindly
to a missing From, although apparently Cyrus is OK.

So it looks like maybe 50% of existing systems would do unsuitable things
with Bruce's proposal, either by giving away the envelope From address
(thus defeating the ourpose of the proposal) or, in the case of messages
which had made it through a mailing list, putting the address of the
mailing list expander in the From header, which could cause much

OTOH, it appears that From: <> will propagate pretty well on the existing
network. The only reported problem has been from Bruce, who claimed not to
have seen the test message to this list (though most others seem to have
seen it). I also sent a test with From: <> direct to Bruce's MX, but he
has not yet reported whether or not it arrived.

Charles H. Lindsey ---------At Home, doing my own thing------------------------
Tel: +44 161 436 6131 Fax: +44 161 436 6133   Web:
Email: chl(_at_)clerew(_dot_)man(_dot_)ac(_dot_)uk      Snail: 5 Clerewood Ave, 
PGP: 2C15F1A9      Fingerprint: 73 6D C2 51 93 A0 01 E7 65 E8 64 7E 14 A4 AB A5

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