Re: [Asrg] Adding a spam button to MUAs

Steve Atkins <steve@blighty.com> Fri, 05 February 2010 18:46 UTC

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From: Steve Atkins <steve@blighty.com>
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Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2010 10:47:44 -0800
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Subject: Re: [Asrg] Adding a spam button to MUAs
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On Feb 5, 2010, at 10:36 AM, Chris Lewis wrote:

> Daniel Feenberg wrote:
>> On Fri, 5 Feb 2010, John Levine wrote:
>>>> I haven't been following this thread very closely, but why not just
>>>> establish a standard role account on the MUAs designated POP or IMAP
>>>> server? Such as arf@pop.example.com? It effectively "preconfigures" the
>>>> MUA since "arf" is standard and "example.com" is already known to the MUA.
>>>> The less configuration the better, I think.
>>> Sorry, wouldn't work.  The name of the POP or IMAP server need not
>>> bear any relationship to any email address.  For example, on my
>>> system, the server is named imap.iecc.com (yes, even for POP, it
>>> deters the clueless) but there are not imap.iecc.com addresses at all.
>> I don't understand why this is relevant. If the MTA operator doesn't want to support this feature, he doesn't have to. But if he does wish to support the feature he needs to supply an MX record or accept mail on the POP or IMAP server. Is that such a great burden? Compared to the other suggestions here?
> 
> Yes.  Why tie the ARF path to the mailboxes by naming convention?  Don't need to.

It's not an ARF path. ARF is just a mail format, one that is used in many other contexts. I'm going to pretend you said "feedback path" and "feedback@feedback.domain.com" instead. :)

> 
> Use arf@arf.domain.com.  If they're the same machine, fine, make arf.domain.com alias to imap.domain.com.  If they're not, you don't have to rename your mail infrastructure or screw around with forwarding on the imap machine that you may have no control over.

How does the MUA autodiscover "domain.com", though, so as to create "feedback@feedback.domain.com"?

The only setting that the MUA is likely to have access to is the name of the IMAP or POP3 server. As IMAP and POP3 are not name-based, the entry there could easily be domain.com, mail.domain.com, imap.domain.com or pop.domain.com or smtp.domain.com or even www.domain.com.

One option is to have the MUA "use some heuristic to find the 'domain' associated with that hostname", but past experience with SSP suggests that it makes people point and laugh at you and start mentioning things like imap.aardvark.us.com.

Another would be to prepend "feedback." to the imap server name - so do an MX lookup for "feedback.imap.domain.com" to discover whether it's to enable the TiS button. That'll either need a DNS record added for every possible name for the IMAP server, or accept that it won't autoconfigure unless the recipient uses the name for the IMAP server you're expecting, either of which seems reasonable.

(That doing MX lookups is not something that MUAs typically need code for, and that isn't supported by base API, is a minor issue but worth mentioning).

Cheers,
  Steve