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Re: [ietf-smtp] Error in RFC 5321 concerning SPF and DKIM

2014-07-21 03:01:43

On 21/07/2014 00:34, Dave Crocker wrote:
On 7/20/2014 5:50 PM, Franck Martin wrote:
This specification does not deal with the verification of return
    paths for use in delivery notifications.  Recent work, such as that
    on SPF [29] and DKIM [30] [31], has been done to provide ways to improve 
traceability of the message.

While they do do that, the sentence seems to me a non-sequitor and in
particular has nothing to do with the return address, per se.

So my question is how it helps the SMTP specification reader to have a
sentence like that and to have it there?

I think there should be something there about SPF and DKIM. There is a problem with SMTP to do with trustability, and SPF & DKIM both aim to alleviate that problem somewhat, in different ways. (Whether they're successful or not is a different matter, they're the best we have at the moment to solve their respective problems).

You, as an existing expert in email, knows all about SPF and DKIM already, so it's pointless for a reference to those to be in the SMTP standard. However, someone coming fresh to the field will find it very helpful if the standard essentially says "this standard has a little flaw, but you may want to look here or here for something which tries to minimise it". They may never have heard of SPF or DKIM before.

In a rewrite it may be better in an appendix or something, but in an errata, I think I'd change the wording to something more accurate,


Paul Smith Computer Services
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