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Re: [ietf-smtp] Dotless domains and email

2013-06-21 15:07:25

--On Friday, June 21, 2013 12:36 -0700 "Carl S. Gutekunst"
<csg(_at_)alameth(_dot_)org> wrote:

This same discussion came up on this list in January 2009.
Here's a snippet from a discussion between John Klensin and
John Levine:

Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2009 20:27:15 -0500
From: John C Klensin <john+smtp(_at_)jck(_dot_)com>
To: John Levine <johnl(_at_)taugh(_dot_)com>, ietf-smtp(_at_)imc(_dot_)org

As best I understand it, the prose description of addresses
in 2821 allowed TLDs in addresses, but the ABNF didn't.  In
5321 the ABNF changed to match the prose.  Although the DNS
allows you to put a dot at the end of a domain name to make
it clear that it's an absolute address, SMTP has never
allowed that.

Correct on all counts.  In the 2821bis work, the possibility
of changing the syntax to match the prose was considered too.
That change was actually made to the document at one point.
The group then decided it was a bad idea and the change was

I.e., at the time I wrote that note, somewhat after the
publication of 5321, I may not have realized that the ABNF in
5321 didn't match that in 2821.   Or not... just don't recall...
see below.
The archaeologists might want to dig into the rest of it. My
personal archives don't go back that far.

Thanks.  Mine sort of do (see earlier note, which I tried
sending a while ago but screwed up the posting address and just
noticed).  My archives should go back to when I started work on
what became 2821 but it would require pulling out old DAT backup
tapes and seeing if I can still read them.  Also, the initial
versions or 2821 and 5321 were prepared in a commercial word
processor and annotated carefully with the reasons for changes
(some of which were made by a professional editor in an attempt
to clarify the text and make it easier to follow).  When that
effort, and the associated versions, were abandoned, the
information didn't quite get lost, but became a lot harder to


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