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

From: Sean Kamath
Subject: Re: should nmh be an MTA or an MUA? (Was: Re: [Nmh-workers] nmh @ gsoc?)
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2010 18:22:47 -0800
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20081216)

Ken Hornstein wrote:
>> I'm not going to spend half my day reading RFCs to see just how "MTA" is
>> defined. [...]
> 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 help, for those who fear RFCs:


I direct your attention to the "Functionality and configuration"
section.  In summary:

A Mail User Agent (MUA) retrieves mail from a Mail Transfer Agent (MTA)

A Mail User Agent (MUA) formats mail for display, and allows editing of
new messages.

A Mail User Agent (MUA) submites messages to an MSA or MTA.

I am befuddled how anyone would want to limit the "how" on any of these
actions, beyond technical capabilities/support issues.  Enforcing a
*local* MSA is insane; an MUA should be able to contact as many MSA/MTAs
as technically feasible.  And I don't think it is beyond the scope of
the Unix philosophy.  Do one thing and do it well doesn't mean do that
one thing only one way. Sure, 'show' shows plain text and HTML messages.
 You could argue it does two things.  Or more.  Based on plugins.  So
why don't we have a plugin/module that talks to an MSA with TLS?

And it is very much accepted that TLS is a *STANDARD* way of delivering
mail, even to a MSA running on a local box.

Frankly, it sounds like there's disagreement about the support issues.

My $0.02.


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