Unicode.org mail system maintenance

Martin J. Dürst duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp
Thu May 20 02:40:35 CDT 2021

Hello everybody,

On 2021-05-20 06:12, Michael Everson via Unicode wrote:
> On 19 May 2021, at 01:06, Ken Whistler via Unicode <unicode at corp.unicode.org> wrote:
>> On 5/18/2021 4:20 PM, Michael Everson via Unicode wrote:
>>> After decades of stability, this cosmetic change seems to be extraordinarily unfriendly to users.
>> First of all, the change is *not* cosmetic.
> If you say so.

Given his past track record on all things Unicode, I have great faith in 
what Ken says.

Given my own experience with email, I have to admit that Michael's 
arguments make a lot of sense to me.

For some additional details, see below.

>>> Is there a reason for it,
>> Yes. It is very long and very technical, having to do with OAuth 2.0 and its interaction with our mail service, and involves seeking a solution that doesn't end up with Gmail users having mail from unicode.org not being swallowed up and disappeared with no notification.
> Well, again, if you say so. I’ve been using the internet and many different kinds of discussion forum mail services for decades and this is the first time I have heard of an organization being forced to change the mailing address in this way.
>>> or is it just propaganda underscoring the corporate nature of the Consortium?
>> The name of the particular subdomain that the mail service is running on predated any of this most recent set of required reconfigurations. The name of that subdomain was deliberately suppressed earlier, to keep the list delivery addresses consistent with earlier practice.

The MX record has been everybody's friend for this kind of situation for 
decades. Although I have heard many things about OAuth, I have my 
sincere doubts that it was designed to essentially eliminate the MX 
record, or that it accidentally lead to such a result.

Also, in many settings, multiple MX records allow several hosts to be 
responsible for mail, either to share the load or to serve as a backup. 
I am *very* sure that OAuth wouldn't in any way interfere with this 
feature, because it's too important especially for the big providers 
(which includes Google).

> That is no longer possible, for the technical reasons cited above.

> If you say so. Again, I’ve used lots of mail software and haven’t heard that Gmail has some sort of bug or feature or unintended consequence that forces anybody to change their addresses. Sounds like a problem on the Google side rather than the Unicode side, but of course I couldn’t possibly be right about that.

I think it's no unheard of that big providers such as Gmail exhibit such 
problems. The reasons are twofold: 1) the bigger, the more they can get 
away with it, and 2) they have to take each and every measure possible 
to get a grip on spam, which may lead them to take extreme measures.

>> Please take your conspiracy mongering elsewhere.
> There’s no need to be caustic about it. The new e-mail address isn’t @mail.unicode.org or @lists.unicode.org — it’s @corp.unicode.org, which I’ve never seen before even if it has been suppressed for decades. And it’s not unreasonable for a person to read some sort of meaning into “corp” without thinking it a “conspiracy”.
> Michael

Regards,   Martin.

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