[UA-discuss] mail software

John Levine john.levine at standcore.com
Sat Nov 21 19:42:25 UTC 2020

On Sun, 22 Nov 2020, Don Hollander wrote:
> I still hope that the UASG will be able to help seed some of the largest
> email software providers.

Gmail and MS Hotmail/Outlook/Live have good EAI support.

In the open source world the two most popular mail packages Postfix and 
Exim have good EAI support.  Roundcube webmail's EAI mostly works with 
bugs that don't look hard to fix.

The missing piece of open source softwware is a full featured EAI IMAP/POP 
server.  The Courier server works but it is missing all of the extra 
non-EAI stuff that Dovecot and Cyrus have.  If the UASG wanted to spend 
some money, paying for EAI upgrades for those two packages would be a good 
place to do it.

I haven't tested Oracle's mail package that is widely used by big 
companies but after talking to people there, it appears to have
good EAI support, written by people who understand EAI well.

Apparently many of Oracle's customers turn on L1 support to communicate 
with people elsewhere with EAI addresses, but nobody turns on L2 support 
because the mail addresses are invariably managed as part of their overall 
internal IT systems.  Upgrading all of those to handle UTF-8 addresses 
would be an enormous and expensive task with very speculative payback.

There is an old maxim that You Can't Change Just One Thing which 
definitely applies here.  Getting mail packages to support EAI is a nice 
start, but there is much. much more involved in getting organizations to 
provide local language EAI addresses to all of their staff and users.


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