Return receipt email Reader Amendments

Written and published Feb 2001, but not available at the original site

The Return receipt email column was barely up before wise readers nicely pointed out that I'd left out Netscape. They didn't say it this way, but I will: I blew it. So, thanks to Dierk Seeburg (and a few others who wrote) here's the info for Netscape 4.X.

Additionally, my old email expert pal, Julian Y. Koh wrote to fill me in on the details between the Return Receipt header and the Notification header. With his permission, his explanation is printed here too.

Netscape and return receipt for email

Netscape supports notification well. It makes it easy to send a notification request and also sends a response at the recipient's discretion (as it should be).

To send a request for notification, just check the box, aptly labeled "Return Receipt," as shown here in the screen shot Dierk kindly sent me to demonstrate. I'm told there's nothing else to set up. (Pretty cool.)

When the recipient gets your notification request, he sees two buttons and has two choices: OK and Cancel. It's as straightforward as it can get. (OK sends the notification, of course.)

Note about Netscape 6: I have version 6 installed on one Mac for my web site creation, but do not have email installed. (One can only have so many redundant apps....) I have not yet received info about whether NS 6 works the same way. If anyone knows, please post it for us and give it a clear subject. Let us know how to request the notification, and what options the recipient has. Thanks.

Disposition-Notification-To & Return-Receipt: A Clarification

Julian Y. Koh wrote to explain the difference between the two headings:

Dear Deb,
First of all, it's good to see you back from your time writing a book. I've missed your columns!

Next, Disposition-Notification-To: is an Internet standard, which can be found in RFC2298. <>

What is not a standard is the older Return-Receipt-To: header. RRT sends you back a notification when your message is received by the recipient's mail server. Obviously, the receiving mail server must support this kind of notification. It's use is "controversial" as per RFC2076. <>

Note that RRT is mostly designed to test network/server connectivity, while DNT is used to specifically notify you when your message has been displayed (nice work, BTW, making the distinction between displaying and reading - I love your attention to detail!).

You can make Eudora generate the old RRT headers as well as the proper DNT header. Check the box for "include outdated Return-Receipt-To" in the "Miscellaneous" section of the settings.

I hope this helps clarify some of what I left out. And once again, I thank the great people who wrote to help me share all this information. Thanks also for the helpful posts at MacCentral in response to the topic.

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