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Re: SMTPD Policy Readme Suggestion

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  • Scott Kitterman
    ... OK. Nothing broke. I was trying to better understand a Kmail issue and an associate of mine who uses Sendmail got a 550 from Sendmail while I was
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 30, 2006
      On Sunday 30 July 2006 09:31, Wietse Venema wrote:
      > Scott Kitterman:
      > > Currently, the policy readme does not give guidance on when to use REJECT
      > > per Access 5 (thus using reject_code, which defaults to 554) or when it
      > > would be more appropriate to use a different rejection code. It just
      > > refers to Access 5. I believe it might be useful to have an informative
      > > note providing at least a hint that the default code is not appropriate
      > > at all stages of the SMTP dialogue.
      > >
      > > Based on at least my reading of RFC 821 (Para 4.3 Sequencing of Commands
      > > and Replies), the only SMTP command to which 554 is an appropriate
      > > response is DATA. RFC 2821 reads similarly (Para 4.3.2 in this case).
      > >
      > > In the Protocol description section,
      > > http://www.postfix.org/SMTPD_POLICY_README.html#protocol, there is
      > > already an Access 5 discussion near the end. My thought was that a
      > > sentence or two might be inserted after the current temporary reject
      > > discussion. Something like:
      > >
      > > "NOTE: Access 5 REJECT actions use reject_code (default:554) to determine
      > > the result code. The default code (554) should only be only in the
      > > "DATA" and "END-OF-MESSAGE" stages. For the "HELO/EHLO", "MAIL FROM",
      > > and "RCPT TO" stages Access 5 550 action is generally more appropriate."
      >
      > This is not necessary. All 5XX replies imply a permanent error,
      > and ALL 4XX replies imply a transient error. RFC2821 specifies 554
      > in responses other than DATA. See also section RFC2821 4.2:
      >
      > The list of codes that appears below MUST NOT be construed as
      > permanent. [...new codes may be added over time...]
      >
      > and:
      >
      > Whenever possible, a receiver-
      > SMTP SHOULD test the first digit (severity indication) of the reply
      > code.
      >
      > I suppose RFC821 has similar text, because that is what I used when
      > I implemented Postfix.
      >
      > The extra paragraph is redundant for someone who already knows the
      > RFC. And it does not help someone unfamiliar with the RFC. The
      > extra paragraph just increases their information overload problem
      > with irrelevant content.
      >
      > > I discovered an error in my policy server where I was incorrectly using
      > > 554 instead of 550 after RCPT TO. I don't know if this is actually
      > > significant enough to warrant an update, but I thought it might save
      > > someone else making the same mistake I did.
      >
      > It's not a mistake, and any software that breaks because of the difference
      > is has a serious robustness problem.
      >
      > Wietse

      OK.

      Nothing broke. I was trying to better understand a Kmail issue and an
      associate of mine who uses Sendmail got a 550 from Sendmail while I was
      producing a 554 with my policy service. It ended up being a distraction from
      the real source of the problem.

      It seemed like a minor point for increased correctness, but it certainly makes
      sense to not want to increase the information overload.

      Thank you,

      Scott K
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