Exim lecturing its users (April 29, 2006)
It is frustrating when programmers decide to lecture their users
instead of supporting them. I just spent over an hour trying to get
my mail to relay through EPFL's mail
servers using the
restrictive channels EPFL allows, only to find that Exim has its
own restrictions. The two sets of restrictions are workable by
themselves but do not have a solution together. The only way to make
Exim and EPFL both happy is for them not to talk to each other.
Bleh. I think I will stick with EPFL and replace Exim.
The specific constraints, for the morbidly curious and the
- Some of the EPFL mailing lists I need to use only allow
mails from on campus.
- I use this thing called the Internet, though, and do a lot
of my work away from campus.
- EPFL's IT, recognizing that 1 and 2 together are a problem, keeps #1
but adds an extra on-campus relay server to work around the problem.
- Alas, port 25 is blocked when trying to connect to the relay
server. The university firewall says no, for some reason.
- EPFL's IT, recognizing that 1-4 are a problem together, provides a
workaround for the workaround that is blocked: it lets you connect
to port 465 instead of 25.
- However, on port 465 the relay server only offers the semi-standard
SSMTP protocol, not vanilla SMTP.
- Exim, as flexible as it is, can talk SSMTP.
- However, it will only speak it to clients, not to servers, because
"ssmtp is a legacy protocol (and has been for some time)".
I wish EPFL's networking were more permissive, that it erred
towards working instead of erring towards making its users work
harder. I wish Exim's authors would swallow their taste, that they
would support the Internet as it is instead of the Internet they wish
for. I wish I had a slice of pie.