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Re: RFC: Making mail-transport-agent Priority: optional

On Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 06:53:02PM +0100, Ben Hutchings wrote:
> > Hear, hear.  "How do I deliver mail?" is a per-system setting, not a
> > per-application setting,

> It's not per-system, or even per-user.

> If I want to send mail from my personal address I should send it through
> my own smarthost.  If I want to send mail from my work address I *must*
> send it through the work smarthost (thanks to SPF).  I could possibly
> configure this at the MTA level, but no other user should be allowed to
> use my credentials to send mail through the work smarthost.

Needing to send mail through specific per-user smarthosts is the exception,
not the rule.  Most machines have a designated forwarding smarthost based on
who their ISP is, not based on which email address someone wants to use.

So yes, there is unfortunately the need for complex SMTP handling in the MUA
in some cases, but the *default* should still be per-system.

> > The right solution here is to fix the MTAs to be
> > configurable from the desktop, and fix the MUAs to use the MTA - *not* to
> > get rid of the MTA.

> The MTA has to be able to get error reports back to the MUA, so we need
> the MUA to support local mail too.  Now the user has an MTA and two
> accounts in the MUA, when all he wanted was a single account.

Which brings us back to the problem of delivering system-level notifications
to the admin (cron failures and the like).  Yes, the user wants to have a
single account.  But if that one account is remote, and cron mail isn't
forwarded to it, how does the admin user get notifications of system
problems?  I think any policy on desktop mail handling needs to account for
this.  The status quo does not.

> How much complexity should we foist on users for the sake of doing it
> 'right'?

I don't think the current situation is less complicated, it's just letting
things fall through the cracks.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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