Re: [Asrg] We don't need no stinkin IMAP or POP, was Adding a spam button to MUAs

John Levine <johnl@taugh.com> Sat, 06 February 2010 17:54 UTC

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Date: 6 Feb 2010 17:55:24 -0000
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From: John Levine <johnl@taugh.com>
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Subject: Re: [Asrg] We don't need no stinkin IMAP or POP, was Adding a spam button to MUAs
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>We've been talking about using DNS for some of the signalling.  You 
>could specify a "_report.<mailstore hostname>" TXT record that specifies 
>the address (which isn't necessarily in the mailstore's domain) to send 
>it _and_ its very existence shows that the mailstore provider supports 
>the functionality (and thus the TiS button gets enabled).

Right.  It would be a SRV record, but close enough.

I'm still worried about name overloading.  Never in the history of POP
or IMAP has the name of the server been anything other than a handle
to the the IP address to which to connect.  If your server has
multiple names, or no name, that has no effect on its operation.

Here's a concrete example, a customer of mine who uses the hosted mail
service at Tucows:

$ dig pop.philiphazan.com a

;; ANSWER SECTION:
pop.philiphazan.com.	294	IN	CNAME	mail.philiphazan.com.cust.a.hostedemail.com.
mail.philiphazan.com.cust.a.hostedemail.com. 3594 IN A 216.40.42.5

$ dig imap.philiphazan.com a

;; ANSWER SECTION:
imap.philiphazan.com.	300	IN	CNAME	mail.philiphazan.com.cust.a.hostedemail.com.
mail.philiphazan.com.cust.a.hostedemail.com. 3590 IN A 216.40.42.5

Their POP and IMAP servers have thousands of different names, one for
each hosting customer.  If we do a DNS hack, each of those thousands
of customers has to add something to its DNS.  If we do something
where the MDA adds a header, one software upgrade would make it work
for everyone.

This is a common way to set up a mail system for hosting services.  So
you tell me, which approach is "simpler"?

R's,
John