Getting User Email Settings

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Fri Jan 28 05:44:46 EST 2005

Derek Bump wrote:
 >> Unless this stack is going to be used by 100s or 1000s of people,
 >> and used to send 1000s of emails, why not hard code the settings
 >> to your own smtp server?
 > This could work, but you need to make sure your mail server
 > doesn't has security against doing this.  Most do, as open
 > mail servers without protection tend to be used by spammers.

Any server admin who doesn't require at least simple password 
authentication for SMTP servers should be fired, as they are aiding 
spammers and leaving their system at risk.

So assuming such lamers get fired, the question becomes:  Is Dan 
comfortable handing his SMTP password to anyone with a copy of 
Interarchy or other traffic monitoring tool? ;)

If you need email specifically, it should not be too onerous to ask 
users to set up yours just as they set up their own.  You can be extra 
nice and provide instructions on where they can find that info, but most 
can do it or they don't have email.

But if the goal is to have them send you messages, you could bypass 
email altogether with a CGI: the user client sends to the CGI, and you 
can write your own custom client for yourself that retrieves the 
messages and their attachments.  Since it's your own system you can 
package the data in any way that's convenient for you, without regard to 
complicated RFCs.

I've been doing that with RevNet's feedback form and elsewhere for years 
-- ditching email in favor of whatever system works for you can be much 
simpler and no less convenient, perhaps more so.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Media Corporation
  Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any Web site
  Ambassador at

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