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Re: [fwd] Re: [vox] Re: Earthlink "test" messages to 'postmaster'
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Re: [fwd] Re: [vox] Re: Earthlink "test" messages to 'postmaster'

on Wed, Jun 29, 2005 at 09:29:56AM -0700, Micah J. Cowan (micah@cowan.name) wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 28, 2005 at 10:34:38PM -0700, Bill Kendrick wrote:
> > 
> > ----- Forwarded message from "Karsten M. Self" <kmself@ix.netcom.com> -----
> > 
> > On or about the 19th, Earthlink modified its outbound email server in a
> > way that makes it impossible to send to a host that doesn't have an MX.
> > Instead I get a bounce message from ELNK's smarthost of the form:
> > 
> >     This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.
> > 
> >     A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
> >     recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:
> > 
> >       vox-tech@lists.lugod.org
> >         host lookup did not complete: retry timeout exceeded
> > 
> > 
> > This is in violation of recommendations and standard practices, if not
> > RFCs.  SOP is to fall back to 'A' records where an MX doesn't exist.
> It is in violation of RFCs as well. RFC 2821, section 5 makes it clear.
> When RFC 821 came out, DNS didn't actually exist yet, and existing
> host-name resolution provisions didn't have a MX-like facility, FWICT.
> But soon after DNS was invented, RFC 974 made it clear that fallback
> to the actual host was required in the absence of MX records.

Thanks for that, Micah, I wasn't sure.
> I've always thought of the "host" portion of email addresses as referring
> to an actual host (with corresponding A record, or at least CNAME), and
> of MX records as a sort of aliasing mechanism. I'm surprised (but not
> very) that Earthlink would do something so broken.

Well, it was apparently an oversight.

That said, it lasted over a week, the Support group was worse than
useless, and I got it addressed, finally, by requesting three times that
the issue be escalated.   Which of course, it wasn't.  Mail to
postmaster@earthlink.net was ignored completely. 

So I Googled for ELNK's CTO and sent him mail at both corporate and
personal addresses explaining the problem and likely solution.

Took another two days after that.

I've been with Earthlink (originally Netcom) for a long time -- since
1997.  I've been disenchanted with their support for years.  So long as
there's IP when I dial in, I'm largely OK, but I *do* expect to get IP,
DNS, and web space.  And for the mail to get through.


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    How about outsourcing the Presidency?

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