[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: should nmh be an MTA or an MUA? (Was: Re: [Nmh-workers] nmh @ gsoc?)

From: Ken Hornstein
Subject: Re: should nmh be an MTA or an MUA? (Was: Re: [Nmh-workers] nmh @ gsoc?)
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2010 15:35:49 -0500

>The problem, as I see it, is limited resources for maintaining and enhancing 
>nmh, as evidenced by the slow pace of development. The question that's being 
>posed is where it is best to spend those limited resources. I suggest that 
>adding MTA functions into nmh which already exist in external tools that can 
>easily be used by nmh is not a good use of resources. You obviously disagree.

Well, here's the thing about open source projects that are done by
volunteers ... "resources" can't exactly be shuffled around to different

Why does nmh have SASL support?  Because I needed, and I wrote the
code.  Why does nmh _not_ have TLS support?  Because no one has written
the code (in more cynical moments, I might say, "Because I _didn't_
need it").  Note that anyone is free to _write_ the code, and it's not
clear to me that it's really all that hard ... but it hasn't happened
yet.  It's not like people working on TLS are somehow stealing
programming time away from improving nmh in other ways ... people are
free to improve nmh in whatever ways they see fit.  Or not, as the
case may be.

>I'm not going to spend half my day reading RFCs to see just how "MTA" is
>defined. The "post" manual page has references to both delivering mail 
>and to interacting with a local MTS (sendmail is given as an example).
>To me, it walks like an MTA and talks like an MTA.

Well, I'm sorry ... if you don't understand exactly _what_ am MTA is, then
how do you expect to participate in a discussion about them?  I mean, you're
the one who changed the subject line!  And you should read the post(8)
man page more carefully ... nowhere does it say that mail is delivered
"directly".  All it mentions is a few extra configuration options available
when using the SMTP MTS (note: MTS is purely nmh termology).

Let me ask you this: do you consider Thunderbird to be an MTA?  KMail?
Sylpheed?  If the answer to these questions is "yes", then I would suggest
that you try to understand exactly what an MTA is and is not.

If the answer to these questions is "no", then it's worth pointing out
that nmh is doing the _exact same thing_ that these MUAs are doing
in regards to SMTP message submission.

>It sounds like you want some of the features of an MTA (in this case, TLS), but
>not a full implementation.

TLS is not a feature of an MTA.  It is a feature of the SMTP protocol, which
is implemented by both MUAs and MTAs.  We already support SMTP AUTH (in
fact, we support it better than most gateway programs people have listed
here; TLS would merely be an additional SMTP protocol extension).


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]