[nos-bbs] Sending Mail via wl2k to internet address using Thunderbird

Michael Fox - N6MEF n6mef at mefox.org
Mon May 16 19:36:50 EDT 2016


I'm confused.  You started off talking about Thunderbird and WL2K.  Then you switched to JNOS.  I'm going to guess that maybe you have:

Thunderbird <--POP/SMTP--> JNOS <--B2F/Radio--> RMS/CMS <--SMTP--> Internet
Perhaps your JNOS machines can also forward with each other over radio.

If that's not correct, then ignore the rest and please explain.

The problem, of course, is WL2K's bizarre "SMTP:" prefix.  As you pointed out, it's not a valid Internet address and everything else in the world has difficulty with it (and rightly so!).

I have not tried forwarding over radio between JNOS and WL2K.  But, assuming it works similarly to forwarding with other BBSs, namely that I use spool/rewrite to drop mail into a mailbox and then use forward.bbs to send that mailbox to the WL2K station, then I can think of an alternative for outbound (JNOS to Internet) mail:

Have your end users write addresses as normal Internet addresses, no SMTP: prefix.  That should keep Thunderbird or any other standard mail client happy.  Then send those messages to JNOS as usual.

In JNOS spool/rewrite, for anything that you want to go out to the Internet, rewrite it to add the SMTP: prefix and add an "r" at the end of the rule.  The "r" sends it back through the rules again.  Add another rule near the top (so it doesn't have to go through so many rules again) to match anything with "SMTP:" at the start of the address and put it into a mailbox like "inet" (or whatever).  In forward.bbs, list the inet mailbox to forward to Winlink.

Again, I haven't tried this.  But if forwarding to WL2K works like forwarding to other BBSs, it should work.

Also, I don't know what the inbound situation would look like from WL2K to JNOS.  If WL2K includes SMTP: in the message it sends JNOS, then the above won't work (it will create a loop) and more thought will be needed.  (How about a JNOS system on the mainland?!)

Another option is to use the Outpost client.  It's intended specifically for packet messaging and is not as feature rich as Thunderbird.  Therefore, other workflow factors may preclude that choice.  But it does accept SMTP: and RMS: prefixes since it has to deal with WL2K and other BBS types.  We have a rather large (200+) user community all using Outpost.  Again, I don't have experience using it in your scenario.  But the Outpost yahoo group would be a good place to ask questions.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: nos-bbs [mailto:nos-bbs-bounces at tapr.org] On Behalf Of Peter
> McCorison
> Sent: Monday, May 16, 2016 3:00 PM
> To: TAPR xNOS Mailing List <nos-bbs at tapr.org>; Maiko Langelaar
> <maiko at pcs.mb.ca>
> Subject: [nos-bbs] Sending Mail via wl2k to internet address using
> Thunderbird
> Maiko and all:
> Here in San Juan County, WA, we have four Auxiliary Comms stations
> located on three different islands. We cannot rely on internet to
> communicate among the stations, but can pretty reliably reach a mainland
> RMS station to relay mail to regular internet addresses. All comms are
> radio only; there's no internet at the stations.
> We use Thunderbird to send and receive emails among the stations and
> receive emails from internet addresses via winlink. The reason for this
> requirement is that our small populations leave us depending on
> relatively unskilled operators. All this works as expected except
> sending emails via wl2k to ordinary internet addresses.
> Sending an email from Thunderbird to a standard internet address
> requires 'SMTP:' in front of the normal address going to wl2k. The
> resulting address is not rfc-822 compliant, so Thunderbird turns the
> SMTP:<user> part of the address into a quoted string. When this is
> forwarded to wl2k, the address is not recognized and the message is
> dropped.
> The upshot is that after receipt by the JNOS SMTP server we need to
> rewrite the actual <To:> address in the email to remove the quotes. All
> of the rewrite facilities in JNOS seem to apply only to the internal
> address used for forwarding and delivery.
> Am I missing something here or is this a real problem? I would be happy
> to hear any suggestions or work-arounds.
> Might it make sense to simply remove double quotes from addresses at the
> SMTP server threshold? I can't think of a circumstance where they would
> be used in sending mail direct from the BBS.
> --
> 73 - Peter, K2SPR
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