[Asrg] MUA/Operator reporting address (was Re: Adding a spam button to MUAs)

Dave CROCKER <dhc@dcrocker.net> Fri, 05 February 2010 20:25 UTC

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Date: Fri, 05 Feb 2010 12:25:59 -0800
From: Dave CROCKER <dhc@dcrocker.net>
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Subject: [Asrg] MUA/Operator reporting address (was Re: Adding a spam button to MUAs)
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On 2/5/2010 12:01 PM, Chris Lewis wrote:
> Steve Atkins wrote:
>> Of those, the only thing that's actually associated with the inbound
>> mailbox is the incoming mail server.
> As you suggest, key it to "feedback@feedback.<incoming server name>".

This covers 3 specific choices, each of which ought to get a bit of discussion.

1. Mailbox name

There is an official list of required/standard email addresses:


We should make this exercise be an extension to that.  Offhand, 'feedback' 
strikes me as too generic, for what is actually a pretty specific function.

The existing, relevant reserved mailbox string is 'abuse'.  Should this new one 
be related to it?

2. Sub-domain

Why have a sub-domain?  And to the extent one is needed, why not use the 
developing convention of an underscore name, such as _report.<domain>?

The address to be used is really an 'attribute' of the main domain, and the 
underscore convention has developed as a way of defining additional attributes 
for a domain name.  In addition, the naming convention does not run the risk of 
colliding with an existing use of sub-domains.

3. Domain.

Clients currently have two domains to draw from, posting domain and pickup 
domain.  Choosing incoming probably /is/ best, because that's the place that 
handed the user the problem message and therefore it's the place that ought to 
provide the information about where to report problems.

>> The charm of using an MX record to configure this is that the MUA can
>> do an MX lookup to know whether to show or hide the button. That's
>> pretty clean, and if I were coding an MUA I'd be happy to do it that
>> way, but it's not necessarily a _trivial_ thing to add to a codebase,
>> especially via plugin, so it's worth considering.
>  From the perspective of code base, checking for an A record for
> "feedback.<incoming server name>" would be simpler. The MTA doesn't need
> to use DNS to deliver, and you really don't want the MUA to be
> establishing direct connections anyway. Fixed route to whereever in the
> MTA.

Just to check:  The choice between using an A or an MX is an optimization, 
rather than strategic, yes?  That is, either is sufficient to the task, so a 
debate is about better?


   Dave Crocker
   Brandenburg InternetWorking