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Re: what to say on timeout?

2004-01-05 17:00:09

At 16:47 05/01/2004, Richard O. Hammer wrote:

Since the RFC provides for 421 on one kind of asynchronous shutdown, it would seem consistent (and polite and professional and all that) to send some error code in event of this other kind of asynchronous shutdown. There might be good arguments against sending such a message, but I do not believe I have heard such arguments yet.

I don't think it really matters...
If you send such a 'response' asynchronously, then either the client has died somehow and won't see the response, so it won't matter, or it won't be listening for data and won't see the response so it won't matter, or it will see the response which will be useful.

Actually, my reading of RFC 2821 shows an inconsistency....

  -------- "An SMTP client MUST provide a timeout mechanism"

3.9 An SMTP server MUST NOT intentionally close the connection except:
-  After receiving a QUIT command and responding with a 221 reply.
-  After detecting the need to shut down the SMTP service and...

With a timeout, it's an intentional close of the connection, without receiving a QUIT command, and without detecting a need to shut down the SMTP *service* (at least, not my understanding of what that means)

If it *IS* shutting down the SMTP service, (in which case 3.9's 'MUST NOT' is meaningless), then the rest of 3.9 says that you SHOULD send a 421 response asynchronously, whether the client is expecting it or not.

Paul                            VPOP3 - Internet Email Server/Gateway

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