#220 accepted
Bill Cole

No way to specify sending server

Reported by Bill Cole | January 20th, 2012 @ 05:07 PM

Background: I use patterned (akin to "tagged") ad hoc addresses in my own domain for different uses, with a unique address in a subdomain for every mailing list I am subscribed to and a different address for every business that I give an address to. Because my mail system recognizes those addresses based on patterns, I don't need to tell the server about each one and I have a very large collection of addresses that I may get mail at. My authentication username for my own mail server is not easily recognized as related to the patterned ad hoc addresses. I also have accounts in other mail systems, including GMail and MobileMe. I use MailMate on 2 different Macs with slight variations in their configuration, with both running 1.4r2651

Problem: When replying to a mailing list this morning, MM correctly determined the ad hoc sender address for my new message, but when I tried to send the message it failed with an odd error message about a bad sender address. When I used the Activity Window to investigate, the reason for the failure was made clear: MailMate was trying to send the message out via the SMTP server for my MobileMe account, rather than through the one set up for my local mail system. This failed because MobileMe (reasonably) restricts SMTP sender addresses. I can find no way to tell MM to send a message via a specific SMTP server. Strangely, I was able to work around this by closing MM on that computer and using my other one to open the message from the Drafts folder (which was the right one, i.e. on my local mail system) and sending it.

Proposed fix: Making a reliably better guess for how to send messages would be adequate, but ideally there would be some UI for specifying which outbound path to use for each message. Clearly the default should be to associate replies with the mail account of the message being replied to and to use the SMTP server set up for that account, but it can also be useful in some circumstances to be able to switch to another SMTP server in special circumstances. For example, if I take my laptop traveling I could find myself connected to a restrictive network where I cannot get to the SMTP servers I normally use via port 25 but can get to my own server that handles port 587 submission and will let me send with any address once authenticated. With SMTP servers tightly bound to mail retrieval accounts, this would be cumbersome. See Thunderbird and Mail.app for examples of good approaches to this issue.

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • benny

    benny January 24th, 2012 @ 01:21 PM

    • State changed from “new” to “accepted”

    There are two issues here. The first one is a bug where MailMate uses the wrong SMTP settings. I have fixed that now, so that should not be an issue.

    The other issue is the lack of any way to easily switch between SMTP servers. I think a solution for this should include that MailMate automatically retries with alternative SMTP servers when the main one fails. In your example it should have the effect that you would never have to explicitly select an SMTP server. For example, MailMate should initially try the primary SMTP server (configured for the IMAP account) and if it fails then it should try the SMTP servers of other accounts. It should also cache the success/failure of the primary server (for some limited time, e.g., until a sleep/wake cycle).

    If something like the above is implemented, it should be combined with an account setting which states whether or not MailMate is allowed to use an alternative SMTP server.

    This does not rule out the possibility of implementing an SMTP server popup in the account settings and/or the composer window -- or maybe in the “Retry” requester when sending fails. But the main priority is avoid a requester if possible.

  • benny

    benny August 31st, 2013 @ 10:22 AM

    @infotexture: Thanks for yet another aspect of SMTP settings I should keep in mind when I have time to improve this.

    @Ricardson: Gmail allows you setup additional addresses for an account, but you must verify that you “own” them. I think this is where it is described: http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=22370

  • benny

    benny July 10th, 2014 @ 09:40 AM

    @Amy: You should check that you have the correct SMTP settings for each of the IMAP accounts. Go to “File ▸ Edit IMAP Account ▸ ...” to do this.

    Unrelated to this problem, r3905 is the latest public release, but there is also a beta available on the homepage.

    Let me know if you still cannot make it work.

  • benny

    benny April 4th, 2015 @ 10:49 AM

    @Dmitry: Sorry, no news yet and it's still not near the top of my list. It's not requested very often, but it's one of those features that should be provided by a power user email client. I think it's actually possible to implicitly force MailMate to use a different SMTP server. This can be done by moving a draft to the Draft mailbox of the corresponding IMAP account before sending (I haven't verified this).

  • m (at rkw)

    m (at rkw) June 4th, 2015 @ 08:05 PM

    I'd like to add my support for this feature, although my requirement is slightly different. I have one IMAP account configured in MailMate, but when replying from one of my identities I'd like it to use an alternative SMTP server. I can't see any way to do this at present.

    The reason I want this is because I use getmail to retrieve messages from some external accounts and pull them into my maildir, and if I send replies through my own SMTP server then the third party system doesn't have a copy in its "Sent" folder. It would be really cool if someday we could have custom rules that determine which outbound SMTP server to use.

    Shame MailMate isn't open source or I'd have a go at implementing it myself :)

  • fnurl

    fnurl June 20th, 2015 @ 08:59 AM

    Hi, I just wanted to add my vote for multiple SMTP servers per account. Here are my use-cases:

    • I need to switch SMTP-servers to be able to redirect email (send as another user)
    • I need to switch SMTP-servers when replying as another identity (multiple email addresses are forwarded to a single email address for reading)
  • benny

    benny January 15th, 2016 @ 08:54 PM

    See this this mailing list post for a solution to some of these problems.

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