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Re: [Nmh-workers] extending nmh for smtps support?

From: Ken Hornstein
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] extending nmh for smtps support?
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2010 21:42:43 -0500

>Recently I've changed my Internet connection from DSL to UVerse (both 
>managed by AT&T), but with UVerse I now have to deal with yahoo.com's 
>mail service.  They require the use of port 465 (smtps) and MAIL-AUTH.

I think your termology doesn't quite match what I'm used to (and what
the RFCs specify).

If by MAIL-AUTH you mean SMTP AUTH, defined by RFC 4954, then nmh already
has supported that for a decade.

If by "smtps" you mean "SMTP with TLS", then no, we don't support that yet.
People have talked about it, but no one has written the code.  There are
two general approaches: doing a TLS negotiation at connection start (which
I guess is what happens on port 465, although that is not a standardized
port; that port is reserved for a Cisco protocol called "urd"), and
doing a "STARTTLS" command as part of the SMTP exchange.  We should be
doing the latter.

>I started working my way through the code, taking advantage of the sylpheed
>email GUI program I use for hints.  It was slow going as I tried to keep the
>code in the same style.  I got to the point where I was going to have to 
>suck in a bunch of base64 encoding/decoding code when I stopped as this was
>no longer going to be a quick fix.

I was not aware you needed a base64 encoder for TLS; are you sure you're
not talking about the SASL support defined by RFC 4954?  Because we do
have base64 encoding/decoding as part of that (also as part of the MIME
support, of course).

>The question that still out there is whether or not nmh should support 
>smtps.  If so, I'm more than willing to go back into the code and work
>on it.  Would this be of interest?  What kind of schedule are we looking
>at for nmh 1.4 (so I can gauge my time/commitment)?

There is definitely interest in TLS support, and I think it would
be perfectly appropriate for nmh to support it.  I don't think
anyone has proposed a release schedule for 1.4; someone did suggest
calling it 2.0.


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