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Re: [Nmh-workers] 1.3 release and Dcc/Bcc behaviour

From: Robert Elz
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] 1.3 release and Dcc/Bcc behaviour
Date: Sun, 08 Apr 2007 10:14:03 +0700

    Date:        Sat, 31 Mar 2007 20:02:55 +1000
    From:        Joel Reicher <address@hidden>
    Message-ID:  <address@hidden>

  | I get the feeling this might be catching many people, and my preference
  | would be to put "-msgid" in the defaults for "send".

I might too (see below for possibly why not), if MH were just being released
now - but this kind of change to default options is a really annoying thing
to have happen.  Lots of people (including me) may have "send: -msgid" in
their MH_PROFILE files, but I'd expect that almost no-one is going to have
"send: -nomsgid" there, as that has been (for is it really 30 years?) the

Changes like that are hard to make, without upsetting lots of people,
and almost impossible to make without giving people lots of advance warning
so they can prepare, rather than simply getting different (and perhaps
broken) behaviour when upgrading to the next version.

  | I think it makes
  | more sense for the software constructing the message to construct the
  | message-id, anyway.

I do too, provided you can do it correctly, but my guess is that if you
do this, you start seeing nmh mail containing many more bogus message-ids
than it currently does.

To generate a message-id we need the correct hostname within which the
local part of the message id is unique.   You'd think that should be the
hostname of the local host, which should be easu to obtain...   Of course,
these days, lots of hosts don't have "proper" hostnames, and nothing on
the system is likely to do much better than "pc1" or something, which is
not nearly good enough for correct generation of a message-id - and if
we go to the lengths that (some) MTAs go to to validate that name
(making sure that the local IP address translates into the correct name
in the DNS) then you're just as likely to also get utter gibberish
(perhaps a valid name, but quite likely not one that can properly be
used for correct - semantically, not syntactically - message-id generation).

The way things are now, by default, the message id is deferred for generation
by the local MTA (quite likely not running on the user's PC), and MH
"just works" out of the box with no special configuration needed.

People (like me) who want to change that, need to make sure that the
hostname used is correct (either in the system, or in mts.conf) so that
the generated message-id fulfills the properties required of it.

I don't think this change ought to be made without really careful
consideration of the effects it will have - and certainly it shouldn't
be thrown in a week (or whatever) before the next release on the
assumption that it's a trivial change that cannot possibly break anything.


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