Note about SPF record in test mail is wrong


(Gerhard Schlager) #1

While translating test_mailer.text_body_template I noticed the following text:

Note that you need to enter both SPF and TXT versions of this record for maximum compatibility.

AFAIK this is wrong. Only the TXT RR should be used. See RFC 7208 (section 3.1) for more details.

And here is what the Wikipedia entry has to say about this:

Current practice require the use of TXT records, just as early implementations did. For a while a new record type (SPF, type 99) was registered and made available in common DNS software. Use of TXT records for SPF was intended as a transitional mechanism at the time.

The experimental RFC, RFC 4408, section 3.1.1, suggested “An SPF-compliant domain name SHOULD have SPF records of both RR types”. The proposed standard, RFC 7208, says “Use of alternative DNS RR types was supported in SPF’s experimental phase but has been discontinued”.

I suggest we remove this note since it is wrong and will only confuse people.


(Jeff Atwood) #2

I’d rather people have both record types if they are confused. If they enter only the SPF record – it’s called SPF, right, why not enter the SPF record as SPF – they are in trouble, and I have done exactly that before.

So I disagree with your proposed change. There’s zero harm in doing both, and active harm when only SPF is entered.


(Gerhard Schlager) #3

Well, then we should recommend the usage of the TXT record instead.

I’ve setup SPF using TXT and after reading that note I started wondering if I missed something. But even http://www.openspf.org/ mentioned only TXT so I had to read the RFC to find out that there really existed a SPF RR and that it should not be used anymore. I should have trusted the check at Mandrill which was satisfied with the TXT record.


(Jeff Atwood) #4

OK, I just changed it to

  • Is your domain’s [SPF record][8] correct? [Test your SPF record][1] here. Note that TXT is the correct official record type for SPF.

(Jeff Atwood) #5