Re: [spfbis] Proposed spf TXT record change

William Leibzon <> Wed, 10 February 2016 18:13 UTC

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From: William Leibzon <>
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:12:59 -0800
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To: John Levine <>
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Subject: Re: [spfbis] Proposed spf TXT record change
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On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 7:05 AM, John Levine <>; wrote:

> In article <>; you write:
> >While I'm aware that there are "tens of thousands of mail systems all
> >over the world", there are only a few SMTP implementations that are run
> >on all those systems. You only have to get the SMTP developers on board.
> Well, OK.  Why don't you start contacting them, encourange them to
> change their SPF implementations with a suitable transition period,
> and let us know when we can throw the switch.
> One immutable rule of the standards and open source world is that
> telling other people to do work that you're not willing to do yourself
> is, ah, ineffective at best.

That's a double-edged sword - expecting implimentors to change first while
they are expecting a fully accepted standard that will tell them what they
need to do.

But yes this ship has sailed and I've been through _spf and SPF RR
discussions several times. _spf has a problem because of no wildcard
support and that's why it was discarded as an option after considerable
dicussion on spf-discuss mail list 10 years ago. I was from the start and
still am in favor of SPF RR. And DNS providers and vendors of email
software were given enough time (5+ years) to try to do "the rght thing"
and switch and it did not happen in big enough numbers. Go ahead and find
who to blame if you like.

And if you want to blame IETF, sure its your right. But it has no enforcing
power what so ever. It just gives out tech documents (with minimum
potential for conflict it can) and hope people find them useful. Like with
open-source software, some standards and documents survive and become very
popular and many don't survive even through they were or are a good idea
and well intended for benefits of everyone (or at least some).