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Re: Minor is. It's not a pardigm change

2008-03-31 11:32:04

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Hi John,

On 30 Mar 2008 at 20:38, John R Levine <johnl(_at_)taugh(_dot_)com> said:
  To run an email server, today, an existing host only needs to make the 
server software operational.  No other change is required.  For example,
no coordination with DNS administration is required.

I suppose that's still true in theory, but when's the last time you saw a
non-spam message sent to someone(_at_)[12(_dot_)34(_dot_)56(_dot_)78] or saw 
an MTA deliberately
configured to accept mail to dotted quad addresses? Every useful mail
server has at least an A record.

No, I find that it happens.  Dynamic DNS providers, for instance, provide 
memorable names for addresses, often free if those names are inside the 
providers' domains.  Most ISPs provide existing ready-mapped hostnames for 
their customers.  And even besides that, there's the simple question of 
how to make a host that didn't once receive mail start to receive it 
without touching the DNS configuration, as might happen at a dedicated 
webserver.  The fallback provides that mechanism and it's often more than 

I agree that addresses with address literals are rare, but that doesn't 
mean many hosts aren't ready to accept them (mine does because I'm on 
sendmail and sendmail scans the addresses bound for addition in literal 
form in the w class - known hostnames - and I'm aware of at least a couple 
of Windows servers whose instructions tell the end-user to set up address-
literal forms in a similar way).

When IPv6 becomes widespread and there are fewer obstacles to reaching 
IPv6 nodes, perhaps we'll go back to receiving our mail with SMTP because 
everyone will want a hostname of his/her very own.  In such a case, the MX 
record may well be a nuisance more than necessary, and operating system 
vendors may well be justified in including stub MTAs with a default of 
"Reject everything".


- -- 
Sabahattin Gucukoglu <mail<at>sabahattin<dash>gucukoglu<dot>com>
Address harvesters, snag this: feedme(_at_)yamta(_dot_)org
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Mobile: +44 7986 053399

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