Automatically configuring email

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Automatically configuring email

Post by paulej »


Several years ago when I worked on WebFinger, one of the original objectives was to be able to use it to automatically configure email. I have several different email clients and each one is a pain to configure each time. What's worse is that I have to help others set up their clients. It's such a time-waster and it should be a lot easier.

A colleague and I wrote this Internet draft: ... autoconfig

It's not complete, as all the meat is still missing. However, the aim was to serve as an illustration of how it could be done. Sadly, when we discussed it with people in the IETF, we got the usual set of responses such as "it's already been done", "we don't need it", and "who will implement it?"

Indeed, it has been done before. The problem is that there is no standard and the industry has not adopted a de facto standard, either. I personally do not care how it's done, but I'd love for all of my email clients to "just work" when I type in my email address and password-- completely setting themselves up without requiring me to enter any information (e.g., hostnames, ports, security settings).

I'd love to hear from more others who have felt this same frustration, whether you're an IT person, email client developer, or an end user who understands the pain. I'd like to help move this idea forward, but I can't do it alone.


PS - I don't care if it take several years. Any day interest gathers, I'm willing to invest time to see it through.
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