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Re: how can i turn /dev/null into an MTA?

On Tuesday 14 April 2009 10:48:17 am Stefan Monnier wrote:
> > Why would somebody need an MTA for a (normal) desktop?
> Why should every user specify an outgoing SMTP server?
> Why should every MUA implement the functionality of an MTA?

I'm still procrastinating on my taxes, so I'll respond ;-)

   * I'm fairly certain that the functionality of an MTA is 
significantly more than just receiving mail via POP3 and sending it via 

   * I'm also fairly sure that the resources required by an MUA that can 
receive POP3 and send SMTP are usually less than the resources required 
for an MTA plus and MUA with similar functionality.  (Part of what I'm 
trying to imply is that I know a mail client like kmail is 
much "bigger" than a mail client like mutt, but mutt is not a GUI mail 
client, kmail, and I suspect that's a bigger factor with respect to the 
resource requirements than the ability to handle SMTP and POP3 for a 
single client.)

   * It's also sort an an historical accident--afaik, Windows (and Dos) 
email clients (almost??) always could handle POP3 and SMTP without a 
local MTA.  When people (like me) migrated from Windows to Linux, I 
couldn't understand why I needed an MTA (and I didn't, but it was sure 
a learning curve until I found that out for sure).

Then, the first MTA "people" thought I should deal with was sendmail, 
and that was a big pain to learn how to get that to simply interface to 
my ISP.  (In fact, I never did, I switched to Postfix and learned 
(again with difficulty, but presumably less) how to get it to interface 
to my ISP.  Maybe those problems are gone now, and maybe it was never a 
problem of the program's capability, but of me learning the program's 

I've sat in LUG meetings where guys have bragged about reading all the 
RFCs, and telling the newbies that they had to do the same.  (Implying 
many things.)

Anyway, it appears you've struck (or I've uncovered) a nerve, so if you 
really feel that (hmm, how to fairly paraphrase what I infer from your 
comment)... MUAs should not include SMTP and POP3 (and maybe IMAP) 
capabilities, but everyone should install and use an MTA, I think I'll 
just agree to disagree.

Randy Kramer

Hmm, did I just feed a troll?
I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I created a video 
instead.--with apologies to Cicero, et.al.

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