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Re: Changing the default for `send-mail-function'

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Changing the default for `send-mail-function'
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2011 23:58:15 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

> So, for me, the change in default will have no effect. However, I'm not sure
> how it would work for those who are using a local MTA - especailly one which
> is not configured to listen on port 25 i.e. just dispatches mail via calls
> to sendmail or something similar. If smtpmail-send-it can be setup to
> default to the local MTA and handle local MTAs which don't bind to
> localhost:25, when no other configuration information is provided, then
> wouldn't that change in default be invisible and therefore a non-issue? (I'm
> ignoring the win32 issues as I don't run that platform and have no idea what
> strangeness it does).

The main reason for the change is that using a misconfigured MTA leads
to silently dropped mail which is *really bad*.  Furthermore, it's
becoming every time more challenging to properly configure a local MTA,
so it's pretty safe to assume that if an MTA is available it's
probably misconfigured.

I.e. sendmail-send-it should only be used if the user asks for it
explicitly (yes, this is very sad).

> Many of the other suggestions in this thread have some merit, but I think
> are largely a distraction from the main issue - how to change the default
> with minimal impact on established user expectations. If we cannot make the
> change largely 'invisible', then it needs more change
> management/communication so that fewer people are caught by surprise.

Exactly, which is why I think we should use a new mailsetup-send-it
default which first checks if there's a local MTA, then asks the user if
Emacs should use it (i.e. if it's properly configured) and if not
whether to use smtpmail-send-it (and then potentially prompts to
configure it) or mailclient-send-it.


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