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From "Daniel F. Savarese" <>
Subject Re: [Net] : benefits of commons Net SMTP implementation vs javax.mail?
Date Tue, 11 Mar 2003 01:01:46 GMT

In message <>, Simon Ki
tching writes:
>The commons Net project includes the SMTPClient class.
>There is a standard java api javax.mail which defines methods for

These are two different animals.  SMTPClient was written long before
there ever was a JavaMail API and its purpose is completely different.
The only intent of SMTPClient is to provide basic access to the SMTP
protocol.  It is not intended as a general purpose RFC822 and 2045
message manipulation and service providing framework.

>Can anyone suggest any benefits of using the commons Net implemenation? 

It's appropriate to use to send preformatted messages to known mail
servers.  Basically, it's good for the quick and dirty sort of duties
Mail or sendmail are used for in shell scripts (although some disreputable
folks are known to have written bulk emailers with it).  The only benefit
I can think of is that it doesn't carry all of the extra baggage of
JavaMail (e.g., JAF) if all you need is straight SMTP access.

>And is there any intention of providing a javax.mail API to this code?

I personally don't see a point to doing so for the same reason I've
been giving for years, which is that there's no market for it given
the availability of the Sun implementation.  When I say market, I
just mean potential user base.  The same forces that made Java
development library companies unviable continue to be at work today.
Unless there's a clear problem with a license, or performance, or that an
API is just so bad that programmers will flock to a better independently
developed alternative, there is little motivation to reimplement or
duplicate the functionality of Java standards that are already freely
available from Sun.

Still, that said, it's the community around a project that dictates its
direction.  If there is a community that sees a need for an Apache
implementation of JavaMail, there is no reason it could not be built
on top of the Commons Net package.  Although the endeavor could start
as part of Commons Net, it would probably be more appropriate to split
it off into a separate Commons component since Net tries to offer low
level protocol access rather than the higher level functionality that
can be built on top of it like that included in JavaMail.


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