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CGI script question

Date: 2002/02/06 22:15

Is there a difference between SMTP and Sendmail? I am trying to write a
paper for a class on how to install a CGI script and I don't know how to
answer this question. BTW, I am teaching the class, not in it and it is
not a programming class, but a class on technical writing. Thanks!
Wow! I like it! I have never had the chance to attend such a class and I
do not have now. What a pity. Nevertheless I practice technical writing.
Presumably should have been better if I attended your couse.

But lets focus on your question.

First of all you have to understand that the difference between SMTP and
sendmail is like the difference between going to the next town by car or
by travelling.

What confuses you is jargon. sendmail is a program. Sending a mail from a
CGI script using the sendmail means that the CGI program starts the
sendmail program, passes the mail and addressing information to it and
lets the program deliver the mail the way the sendmail program likes.

SMTP is a mail delivery protocol. Some CGI scripts send mail using the
SMTP protocol directly talking SMTP communicating with the mail server.

You should be aware that the program sendmail does this also. The
difference is that sendmail can do a lot of other things. For example
store the mail, and send it later, retry in case of failure, schedule the
mail delivery for low load times and so on. But still: it uses SMTP as
protocol by itself as well.

So you can go to the next town by travelling inventing the wheel, and
building some travelling equipment (SMTP), or just get into your car and
not caring how it works drive (sendmail).

In some cases there is no sendmail available. In those cases you have to
go by feet (SMTP).


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