[erlang-questions] smtp server

Andrew Thompson andrew@REDACTED
Mon Feb 13 17:28:03 CET 2012

A few inline comments:

> > 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.

gen_smtp isn't a full SMTP server, its a library for working with SMTP.
You can actually specify the extensions to advertise and you can even
implement them in your callback module by defining the appropriately
named function. gen_smtp supports some of the more basic extensions, at

> > 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.

Using new_ssl I've been able send SMTP over SSL to a bunch of major
email servers, including gmail. So it's certainly not completely
impossible, although I admit there might be configurations that erlang's
ssl can't talk to. Both STARTTLS and connecting to a SSL socket both work.

> > 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...

I doubt that adding LDAP to the base libraries would be very helpful to
most of erlang's userbase, but maybe I'm just being cynical.


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