[Standards-JIG] Extending SMTP with XMPP?

Justin Karneges justin-keyword-jabber.093179 at affinix.com
Sun Jan 22 00:58:25 UTC 2006


Hi Pete,

On Saturday 21 January 2006 15:46, Pete Birkinshaw wrote:
> I'm not alone in thinking that SMTP mail is beyond help. Could XMPP and
> Jabber replace SMTP and conventional email? I think so. With a few more
> extensions to the current Jabber protocol, all of SMTP email's
> functionality could be provided by XMPP.

The idea of email over XMPP surfaces frequently.  There was even an attempt at 
an implementation called NGMP (next-gen mail protocol).  However, that 
project did not really take off.  There is still plenty of room here to come 
up with new ways of tackling this problem.

And you're right, for this to be effective it would have to be possible to 
migrate slowly.  Ideally we want a situation where two XMPP users can safely 
email each other, and unsafe SMTP is only used as a fallback when emailing 
with non-XMPP users.

The "trick" is coming up with a decent fallback method, such that it is 100% 
compatible with the existing email system, but also so that it doesn't bring 
all of SMTP's problems along with it and thus negate the benefit of using 
XMPP in the first place.  For example, suppose you and I are both XMPP users: 
what happens if I receive a SPAM email that contains your forged email 
address?  It seems like for this system to be effective, XMPP users should 
never use SMTP with each other.

Keep in mind that SMTP is not that bad of a protocol from the perspective of 
MUA->MTA.  We already have plenty of email applications and we'd like to keep 
using them.  A server-based solution would be best, at least at first.

Sorry to not reply to your specific solution, I'll see about that later.  I 
just wanted to post some general things first.

-Justin



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