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(dkubb) Re: (2) Net::SMTP Implementation Details

by dkubb (Deacon)
on Jun 29, 2001 at 23:33 UTC ( #92778=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Net::SMTP and templates/ here docs

boo_radley I feel your pain. But I'd like to make an argument against using here doc syntax, or constructing email messages by hand.

A while ago I decided that it just wasn't (time) efficient to mess with lower level details when I don't have to. Sure, I know how to construct a raw email message by hand, or speak to an SMTP server directly, etc, but why would I want to keep repeating the same code or logic over and over in my programs when CPAN modules would deal with all the details for me.

My personal philosophy is to not deal with implementation specific details as much as possible. That's not to say that I don't see the value in learning how these protocols work, I do - it is very valuable, especially during debugging. But, I just don't see the value in re-inventing the wheel, or trying to remember every little implementation detail, each time I need to engineer something.

This means when I make CGI's, I use CGI.pm. When I parse HTML, I use HTML::Parser. And when I need to create a message body I use a combination of Mail::Header and Mail::Internet to both construct and email it.

The benefit of using those modules is that they have utility methods that wrap around Net::SMTP. Once you build the message, it's just a matter of a few lines of code to send it out. Here's a short, working, example of how I use them:

#!/usr/bin/perl -wT use strict; use Mail::Address; use Mail::Header; use Mail::Internet; use Net::SMTP; use constant SMTP_HOST => 'smtp.domain.com'; #Build the Email Addresses my $to = Mail::Address->new('Firstmame Lastname', 'user@domain.com') +; my $from = Mail::Address->new('My Name', 'me@domain.com'); #Build the Headers my $header = Mail::Header->new; $header->add(To => $to->format); $header->add(From => $from->format); $header->add(Subject => 'test subject'); #Build the Message my $mail = Mail::Internet->new( Header => $header, Body => ['test body string, or an arrayref of body lines'], ); #Send the Message $mail->smtpsend(Host => SMTP_HOST) or die 'Could not send message to ', $to->format;

The above code, while it may not be perfect, illustrates my point. We've taken ourselves farther away from the specifics of constructing the email body, right down to dealing with only the important information. All specifics about how the emails addresses, headers, body, and how SMTP works are hidden from you.

IMHO, one of the biggest benefits of this is that all the methods are documented and tested. Ever try to read an official RFC from beginning to end? Do still you remember every detail? Yeah, me neither. =) You won't need to, for example, just type perldoc Mail::Internet and you can read about how to use the smtpsend() method without worrrying about details regarding the SMTP protocol. Besides, I shudder to think of how many RFC's you'd need to memorize in order to duplicate just the short example snippet I posted above.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
(here docs) Re: (2) Net::SMTP Implementation Details
by $code or die (Deacon) on Jun 30, 2001 at 05:08 UTC
    Wow. Looks like more work to me.

    I just don't see the value in re-inventing the wheel, or trying to remember every little implementation detail, each time I need to engineer something.
    I don't see how boo_radley using Net::SMTP is reinventing the wheel. It's a great module, flexible and lets you send an email in as little as 8 or 9 lines.

    just type perldoc Mail::Internet and you can read about how to use the smtpsend() method without worrrying about details regarding the SMTP protocol.
    Have you tried perldoc Net::SMTP?

    Personally, I find using Net::SMTP much easier, the mail headers really aren't that difficult: Probably easier than the method you are using. But it all depends on the application.

    boo, here's how you can use here docs with Net::SMTP (and I don't necessarily see a problem with using a here doc for this, a template might be overkill):
    use Net::SMTP; use strict; my $mailserver = '127.0.0.1'; my $smtp = Net::SMTP->new($mailserver); $smtp->mail('me@mydomainname.org'); $smtp->to('recipient@theirdomain.org'); $smtp->data(); $smtp->datasend(<<MYEMAIL); To: recipient\@theirdomain.org Subject: This is my subject An example of Net::SMTP with here docs See ya later! MYEMAIL $smtp->dataend() or print "Message sending failed!"; $smtp->quit;
    In the above example, the mail() and to() methods actually tell the mailserver the recipient and sender, if you leave out the To: and From: (even subject:) headers, it shouldn't be a problem, but you still need the blank line before your real message begins. That's really all there is to remember, the rest is in the Net::SMTP docs.

    $ perldoc perldoc
    Updates: changed one or two words and qualified the opening "wow"

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