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Re: [ietf-smtp] Proposal: Updating VERP Specification

2019-12-13 18:36:28
Keith Moore writes:

To nobody in particular:

IMO, it is a Bad Idea to try to embed one address in another, and an especially Bad Idea to extend SMTP to try to facilitate that. If you want to know whose mail bounced, sure, add a small token to the return address when sending the mail.   Associate that small token with the original recipient address in a database, so when you get the NDN you can look up that token and see whose mail bounced.   But don't try to make it invertible.   You're only making the service less reliable by trying to do so, and also tempting people to try to decode information which should be opaque to them.

No argument from me. Agreeing to all of the above, but having said that:

The VERP-style encoding of bounce addresses has been in use for at least 20 years now. I wasn't the one who came up with it. I don't really know when it originated. Qmail's ezmlm used it, according to Wikipedia this dates it back to 1997 at the latest.

If this ever caused any interoperability problems somewhere, I haven't heard of it. I had to deal with more issues related to EAI (in IMAP space mostly) than with VERP (namely, no issues at all).

I'm just pointing this out. I'm not married to my current implementation, but it worked for me.

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