[dns-operations] email address in SOA

Phil Pennock dnsop+phil at spodhuis.org
Thu Dec 6 13:36:17 UTC 2012

On 2012-12-06 at 10:57 +0200, Daniel Kalchev wrote:
> On 06.12.12 06:29, Phil Pennock wrote:
> > Gmail offers what was, at the time they introduced it, an _unusual_ 
> > canonicalisation, which may have become more widespread now. It makes 
> > a lot of sense. Gmail says that, for mail to one of their domains, 
> > dots are not significant and canonicalise away. They're not wildcards, 
> > they're just noise that's skipped. So phil.pennock and philpennock are 
> > the same LHS. The dots from account sign-up are just remembered for 
> > presenting as the normal form of the address.
> Just for the record, Gmail (Google) hardly invented this notation. Gmail 
> launched in like... 2004? About 15 years earlier (my memory) we had 
> email systems employing it. Out of practical considerations: the UNIX  
> login name field cannot contain dots so any account would be created 
> without the dots, even if the requested e-mali address was supposed to 
> have dots. Dots in LHS were handled via sendmail aliasing. I am talking 
> about atomated e-mail provisioning systems, not handcrafting sendmail.cf.

There's a difference between aliasing of "john.doe" to "johndoe" and
being able to take an account "johndoe" and work around broken sites
that don't accept + in an email address by encoding your address as
"j.oh.ndo.e" and still have it work.

I didn't claim Google invented it.  I claimed that it was unusual at the
time.  I stand by my assertion that canonicalising away all dots was
unusual at the time.

Please criticise what I actually write.  There's usually plenty to
criticise in just that.  :)


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