[nos-bbs] FW: smtp gateway options

Michael Fox - N6MEF n6mef at mefox.org
Tue Dec 13 07:24:36 EST 2011

Hi Bill,

Good points all.  When the network was originally designed, I understand that the use of SMTP was desired and one of the reasons why JNOS was chosen.  I have since come to understand that our current BBS naming convention is not compatible with the requirement that the haddress not include an SSID.  I wish we had known that before.  We may have to migrate away from that if we want better integration with the traditional BBS network.  The question we will have to grapple with is how important that is, given the shrinking population of traditional BBSs.  That’s not to malign packet in anyway.  It’s just the reality of today and the question I get from users when I bring up such issues.

If we were to move away from all SMTP to a mixture of SMTP and BBS forwarding, then, using the examples you provided earlier, address rewriting could be used to avoid the use of the gateway for some cases.  But I don’t think it would be correct to say it would eliminate all cases of local use of the gateway.

It will still be true that, if you have a local SMTP destination that can accept JNOS SMTP messages directly, then it’s still better to send it direct, than to ALWAYS send it to a gateway, which must then turn around and send it back over the air to the destination.


From: Wm Lewis 
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 9:34 AM
To: nos-bbs at tapr.org 
Subject: Re: [nos-bbs] FW: smtp gateway options

Your question asked if there was any 'objection'.
I have no objection to the 'proposal', but I do pick up a cringe at one of the reasons you mentioned for the proposal. It revolves around if your network is going to handle messages from/to other BBS's from around the globe.
You mentioned that most people are now just used to addressing messages in a format of internet email: user at domain.com
I think this statement is true, only of non-packet-radio people.
While a mandatory setup like that may work well for your network, and for your needs, I get extremely nervous when it comes to packet radio messages being addressed that way by default.
My primary resistance to that thought process has several reasons.

  a.. Packet Radio messaging is not email. The vast majority of packet users who send messages from BBS to BBS, know that packet messages headed to another packet station uses HIERARCHY format, and not email format.  
  b.. Email addresses are like phone numbers. If it isn't 100% correct, it isn't getting through, or it gets delivered to the wrong place. 
  c.. Traditional H-Addressing uses regions, so if you know the 'area' someone is in, you don't necessarily need to be 100% accurate when addressing the message, and the message can still have a chance at reaching the BBS where the intended recipient calls his "Home BBS". You just can't do that with 'email addressing'. (Remember the ham radio montra "When all else fails") 
  d.. NOS software is the only software I am aware of that 'also' included a module to 'export' and 'import' email as part of its 'default' functionality. And I say export and import because again, 'email' was not initially intended to be part of packet radio messaging. Most all other forms of packet radio 'BBS' software (like FBB) later had add-on modules developed to also import/export email messages, but those 'non-NOS' software's were never re-developed to handle email by default, for my #1 and #2 reasons stated above. The core software always stayed true to H-Addressing so the messages stood a high chance of reaching its intended target BBS. (Again, even if you didn't know what the intended target BBS was)
Again, I have no objections to your proposed type of functionality, especially if your LAN never intends to send or receive messages from other BBS's from around the world. Then your local users would never need to be trained on traditional messages using H-Addressing.
But if your network intends to handle messages outbound for other BBS's around the world, then the users of your network will also need to understand (be trained in) the H-Addressing method, so that messages headed to 'non-NOS' stations correctly traverse the world BBS network.
Just food for thought.
BTW - Good job at having one of the larger networks to support your community during disasters. You are to be commended.


From: n6mef at mefox.org
To: nos-bbs at tapr.org
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2011 09:37:36 -0800
Subject: [nos-bbs] FW: smtp gateway options

Does anyone object to the functionality proposed below (whatever the actual syntax may end up being)?

Bob Tenty?  Bill Lewis?


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