From Russ Allbery:
Basically, there is a whole bunch of additional cruft that it accumulates
due to its desire to be able to handle all sorts of delivery notifications
(not just bounces, which are the real problem that needed solving) through
all sorts of very bizarre gatewaying situations that are only rarely
encountered in the wild. While I am sure that some of this would come in
handy if you ran one of those weird gateways, I'm inclined to think that a
protocol that would simplify a bit better for the 99% case would be
Speaking of bizarre gatewaying situations, I'm disappointed by the
number of software packages that get DSNs wrong. I've got a parser for
DSNs and I've got 10 or so special cases that I have to check for.
Okay, so I agree with you, it is unnecessarily complex; why else would
people get it wrong.
> And then there is Sendmail....
sendmail actually isn't the MTA I would complain about in this space. If
you really want a standardized bounce format, the MTA that you're never
going to be able to get to join the fold is likely qmail, because Dan
Bernstein took one look at DSN and said "no way in hell."
What I meant by Sendmail is that it's really in a class of its own. As
freeware it's the premiere example of, "why should I update since I'm
not having any problems?" Bind is another good example. There will be
old out-of-date versions for a very long time to come.
As far as qmail and Dan Bernstein are considered, sometimes saying
nothing is the most you can say.
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