Re: [apps-discuss] Call for adoption of draft-kucherawy-mta-malformed-00.txt as an APPSAWG document

Barry Leiba <> Fri, 08 July 2011 16:59 UTC

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Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2011 12:59:14 -0400
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From: Barry Leiba <>
To: John R Levine <>
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Subject: Re: [apps-discuss] Call for adoption of draft-kucherawy-mta-malformed-00.txt as an APPSAWG document
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> If I may revise and extend my remarks, an MSA, unlike an MTA, can reasonably
> fix a lot of flaws that an MTA would have to either tolerate or reject,
> since it typically has metadata like a sender (whoever AUTHed) and a date
> (now).  And as others have noted, the costs of rejection are typically a lot
> less, just bumping the message back to the author to fix.

Beware, though: you quickly run into the infamous BMP -- "Barry's
Mother" Problem.

The "author" isn't going to fix it.  The MUA is.  If the author is
using a broken MUA, which generates the malformed message, bumping it
back to the author amounts to telling the author to use a different
(or newer version) MUA.

If the author is my mother, that simply won't work.  It also won't
work in the case of, say, a company with 20,000 copies of PoodleMail,
when the company just switched to you as their service provider.
"Oh," they will say, "That was a mistake.  I'd better switch back to
my old service provider, because PoodleMail worked fine with them!"
They certainly aren't likely to have all 20,000 of their employees
switch to a different mail program in order to accommodate *you* (as
they see it).