North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Can someone test AOL's mx servers for me...

  • From: Shawn McMahon
  • Date: Fri Aug 11 09:11:23 2000

On Fri, Aug 11, 2000 at 04:04:26AM -0700, Karyn Ulriksen wrote:
>  Please. Please. Everyone. Thank you.  But you can all go home now!  I think
> I've received about 50 messages now about the RFC compliant '<>' usage and
> have got the message.  So now I know ...  it's right up there with not using
> CNAMEs for MX records ... they use to work once upon a time in a more
> forgiving internet (whenever that was) or at least a less RFC compliant
> internet.  But I can take a hint (all 50!).

Although those people are correct that RFC821 specifies that you should be
sending angle brackets, they are conveniently forgetting the author's own
rule of implementing protocols, from RFC791:

"In general, an implementation must be conservative
  in its sending behavior, and liberal in its receiving behavior.  That
  is, it must be careful to send well-formed datagrams, but must accept
  any datagram that it can interpret (e.g., not object to technical
  errors where the meaning is still clear)."

Note the "must".

So, they may be correct in telling you that you're not RFC821 compliant, but they
are not RFC791 compliant for rejecting it.

I will not buy any objection that "FROM: [email protected]" is unclear but
"FROM: <[email protected]>" isn't.

Or, in summary:

You're being sloppy, but they're being assholes.

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