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Re: [ietf-smtp] my perspective: viewing SMTP specifications and practice through an IIoT lens

2019-12-23 09:31:52
On 12/23/19 5:27 AM, Hector Santos wrote:

But I was also thinking maybe we can do away with EHLO and replaced it with new CAPA like command.

This seems like a tremendously disruptive change with no real benefit that I see (at least not yet).    We've always been careful to make upgrades to the SMTP protocol backward-compatible because there are so many SMTP clients out there - not just in sheer number but also in number of distinct implementations.

(Now I'm curious as to how many SMTP transactions still use HELO, and how many SMTP servers are configured to reject it.   I'm also curious as to how much mail still gets initially submitted via port 25.)

In all, imo, we got lost beginning with MARID in 2003. in the name of attempting to thwart spam and abuse and as result, we got into the "good enough" mode of thinking where even legit small people are hurt, but it doesn't matter.

Yeah, there's a rather flawed kind of thinking that has always bugged me, which is the belief that the volume of traffic is a proxy for the importance of traffic.   I have never liked the "good enough" reasoning for spam filtering criteria, but I also realized that spam was enough of an annoyance that people were going to do whatever they could to block it, even if a lot of valid mail got rejected.   I certainly didn't have a magic solution to propose at that time, and as best I recall there were so many people trying to insist that they had _the_ answer (often quite naively) that it seemed pointless to even try to keep up with the discussion.


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