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Old June 17th, 2003, 12:47 PM
Jeff Mason Jeff Mason is offline
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Boy, I don't know, Hal.

Starting off by stating that the requirements are not negotiable doesn't exactly present a tone conducive to constructive comments. If there is no possibility of give-and-take, what's the point of commenting?

I'll comment anyway. :D
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quote:1. Users posting messages must be validated against the subscription database. Validation must use some kind of information OTHER than the FROM: address. This means a posting password or some kind of digital signature to prevent against e-mail spoofing.
I'd be very curious to know what you envision as a workable implementation of this. I certainly agree that only registered users should be allowed to post to the forum via email. I can't see, though, a workable way to implement "...a posting password or some kind of digital signature ..." and still allow me to use the reply feature of my email client.

I only want to interact with the forum via email for day-to-day message posting and response to forums I have subscribed to. I'll go to the web page now and then for profile maintenance or to poke around in forums I have not subscribed to, but for the most part I want to use email as the primary means of communication with the forum. I want to receive a posted forum message via email. When I decide to respond to that message, from within my email client I simply want to click reply, quote the original as appropriate, add my comments and click send. If I want to start a new topic, I simply want to send a message to a specific email address and have the subject of my email be the topic subject.

If I have to add a password or other identifier, how would you propose I do it? Manually add another line to my post, or somehow insert a custom email X-header? (Can you even do that with Outlook? - too many of us use Outlook I fear) I don't see manually adding a password or digital signature line as a workable solution. I'll forget 50% of the time, if not more. Adding custom code to the email client won't work, either, as there are too many different clients in use, and no doubt some corporate rules would preclude 3rd party modification of a user's email client.

I just want to respond to the post, and if I have to go through hoops to do so, I won't, or more likely I'll simply forget - the email will (presumably) bounce, and I'll just give up.

I still would like to see evidence or testimony that email spoofing ever was a problem on the old email list.

I think Wiley (and now, you) is blowing this potential problem all out of proportion.
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quote:2. Headers that are "extraneous" must be stripped from postings
What's your definition of an 'extraneous' header? You are talking about email headers aren't you? They don't display anyway, so who cares?
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quote:3. Detection and removal of "overquoting" should be pretty foolproof.
I think limiting quoting to only the immediately prior message is appropriate. How you'll detect that I don't know, given various quoting styles (top versus bottom quoting), HTML vs plain text, etc.
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quote:4. The system must resist spam well.
What's spam? Nobody's figured out a foolproof or even workable way to detect it. If you have, what are you doing here? - go make a zillion dollars selling your solution ;)
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quote:5. The system must recognize out of office replies and derail storms of these.
Out-of-office replies are indeed annoying. I welcome any way you can to suppress them. I've never seen a "storm".
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quote:6. Some companies send delivery notices for every e-mail received- these must also be prevented from getting to the list
I've never received such a thing - I'm not sure what you are talking about here. Do you mean that some places actually acknowledge an email that I send to one of their addresses? Why would anybody do that?
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quote:7. The system must intelligently handle bounces
Bounces should be dropped on the floor, and perhaps the user to whom the message is sent should be automatically disabled from being sent any more email after a few (very few) such bounces.
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quote:8. The system must integrate with existing mail systems (MSSMTP or Lyris SMTP)
List managers already integrate nicely with existing email systems, you know... Tell me again why we are reinventing the wheel here?

Jeff Mason
Custom Apps, Inc.
www.custom-apps.com