cf/README for sendmail 8.12.3

Eric Allman of the Sendmail Consortium

Using Userdb To Map Full Names

The user database was not originally intended for mapping full names to login names (e.g., Eric.Allman => eric), but some people are using it that way. (it is recommended that you set up aliases for this purpose instead -- since you can specify multiple alias files, this is fairly easy.) The intent was to locate the default maildrop at a site, but allow you to override this by sending to a specific host.

If you decide to set up the user database in this fashion, it is imperative that you not use FEATURE(`stickyhost') -- otherwise, e-mail sent to will be rejected.

To build the internal form of the user database, use:

makemap btree /etc/mail/userdb < /etc/mail/userdb.txt

As a general rule, it is an extremely bad idea to using full names as e-mail addresses, since they are not in any sense unique. For example, the UNIX software-development community has at least two well-known Peter Deutsches, and at one time Bell Labs had two Stephen R. Bournes with offices along the same hallway. Which one will be forced to suffer the indignity of being Stephen_R_Bourne_2? The less famous of the two, or the one that was hired later?

Finger should handle full names (and be fuzzy). Mail should use handles, and not be fuzzy.