[erlang-questions] smtp server

Steve Davis steven.charles.davis@REDACTED
Thu Feb 2 03:52:52 CET 2012

Hi Kaiduan,

For sure, with "old ssl", I could never get a reliable socket upgrade at 
all. Comparatively, new ssl is indeed far more advanced than old ssl.

Nonetheless, for the qualification of "awesome" in a platform comparison 
(i.e. with NOT erts version X versus erts version Y) there's a massive 
task that perhaps you can't appreciate without reviewing the following 


...and test suite referenced here...


There's also connection cost/memory overhead to take into account, and 
possibly process spawning cost under high load (which I have not 
measured but "wonder about")... but I digress.

I think the team at Ericsson that we rely on have made incredible 
strides with tls, but the overall task is undeniably huge and will take 
quite some time yet to settle into a mature implementation. Fortunately, 
the motivation to solve these issues appears to be higher now than it 
was a couple of years ago, and will definitely benefit all (also note 
that some of the earlier application-level enterprise platforms e.g. 
ejabberd had even gone to the extent of implementing their own ssl 

Well, that's where I am with this but feel free to disagree/correct, as 
I still feel there's a ways to go :)


On 2/1/2012 9:50 AM, Kaiduan Xie wrote:
> "For instance, START_TLS is still not "easy" in erlang owing to the
> long, and continuing, struggle
> to get good TLS protocol support."
> Steve, do you mean the TLS support in Erlang is not good? Can you
> explain a bit more? I think the new SSL in Erlang is awesome compared
> with the old openSSL based implementation.
> /Kaiduan
> On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 8:21 PM, Steve Davis
> <steven.charles.davis@REDACTED>  wrote:
>> I have noticed that a great number of SMTP projects fail with a
>> whimper. In particular, I observed that the JBoss project ran an SMTP
>> project for a long, long time before even barely having something
>> reasonable, and it's still not really "production quality". While the
>> underlying protocol for SMTP is straightforward, I think things run
>> aground owing to the teams initially underestimating the number of
>> rfcs and protocol extensions that you are essentially *required* to
>> support (especially wrt authentication etc) to have a production level
>> server; and also the storage issues such as the user directory and
>> message store.
>> There's no reason it couldn't be done, of course, but there's a lot of
>> moving parts that need to come together to make it a real production
>> competitor to the venerable sendmail or servers like MS exchange.
>> As far as Erlang is concerned, it's hard to see it happening until
>> certain requisite libraries are mature. For instance, START_TLS is
>> still not "easy" in erlang owing to the long, and continuing, struggle
>> to get good TLS protocol support.
>> Assuming that does get "finished" (and there's a whole raft of crypto
>> work still to do), perhaps a good start towards such a goal would be
>> to integrate, at the very least, an LDAP client into the base
>> libraries...
>> ok before I ramble too much, I'll leave my 2c there.
>> regards,
>> /s
>> On Jan 29, 12:56 am, Roberto Ostinelli<robe...@REDACTED>  wrote:
>>> dear list,
>>> are you aware of any existent production-ready SMTP server in Erlang? I've
>>> only found, maintained:https://github.com/Vagabond/gen_smtp
>>> thank you,
>>> r.
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