Great Circle Associates Majordomo-Workers
(September 1996)

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Subject: Re: Email address checking
From: Paul Haas <paulh @ hamjudo . com>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 12:39:22 -0400 (EDTO)
To: Daniel LaLiberte <liberte @ ncsa . uiuc . edu>
Cc: Ryan Waldron <rew @ traveller . com>, majordomo-workers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <>

On Mon, 9 Sep 1996, Daniel LaLiberte wrote:

> I added the support for '%' (in place of '@'?) after someone said they
> needed it.  But if is not part of a legal internet address, I'd much
> rather remove it.

As a policy choice, my lists do not allow subscriptions from some legal forms
of email addresses.  Every subscriber should be able to reply directly to any
mailing list poster.  Historically, many of the subscribers on my lists could
not reliably send email to an address with a "%" in it.  Therefore, I stopped
allowing postings and subscriptions with that form of address.  

Competent email adminstrators can configure systems so that they don't need %
addressing.  Thus, sites that are only reachable via % addressing tend not to
have competent administrators. 
> Seems to require at least one dot in the domain part.  But
> liberte@void is legal here within our organization.

Likewise, postmaster@nf is a perfectly legal email address worldwide without
any dots.  However, my policy requires at least one dot to the right of the
@. The fact that there is a MX record for Norfalk Island, country code NF, is
just Internet trivia.  They've never used one of my mailing lists.  I assume
that they normally use addresses like  All of the
dotless addresses I've seen in use were from misconfigurations. 

When configuring email for internal use within a corporation, I always set it
up to use full domain names.  Sure some things happen to work within the
organization sometimes.  But organizations change quickly.  It's impossible
to guess what will be within the organization in 6 months. 

The goal is to keep broken email off of the lists, not to punish people that
have the misfortune of working behind misconfigured firewalls.  To work
around one flavor of address problem I set up an email alias on my system to
provide a polite address.  To solve some other problems, I've provided
courtesy accounts on a mostly worthless 386 system running Linux. 

Paul Haas
(I had planned on using postmaster@va as an example, but the Vatican took 
out the MX record.  Most people know about the Vatican.  I know Norfalk 
Island is somewhere near Australia, but that is all.)

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