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

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Changing the default for `send-mail-function'
Date: Sat, 09 Jul 2011 10:38:04 -0400

    suggestion of using make install is unlikely to work though. Most
    emacs users seem to work from pre-built binaries and never run make.

We discussed that issue several days ago.

    While we could then say this is a distro packaging issue, I doubt any
    distros will implement it due to the complexity involved.

Why do you think that the work to be done in a distro would be

What I have in mind is a single line, in the script to set up the
Emacs package.  This would run a script included in Emacs, the same
script that `make install' would run.  It would be easy for distros to
include this one line.

Heuristics are sufficient for detecting functioning MTAs,
because they don't need to recognize all cases.
If they recognize some cases of functioning MTAs,
they can DTRT in those cases.  In any other cases
which they don't recognize, Emacs will fall back
on the code that asks the user.

Some of the problem cases you mentioned are not our problem.

         - Misconfigure 'from' address i.e. wrong username or domain. This
    is surprisingly common.

It is not our problem.  A user who overrides the From address
is making himself responsible for whatever goes wrong.  So we
don't need to try to cope with any mistakes he might make.

    Imagine the benefits to many packages
    if there was a standard mechanism that could be used to determine if
    the client should use a local MTA or a remote server and in the case
    of the remote server, provide details, such as server name, port etc.

I agree.  At the system design level, that is the right solution.
sendmail should check this, and if there is no MTA functioning,
it should ask the user to configure to use SMTP.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
www.fsf.org  www.gnu.org
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
  Use free telephony http://directory.fsf.org/category/tel/

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