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Daniel Nashed

Recipients with unquoted commas

Daniel Nashed – 26 August 2013 10:40:02

There is an issue that is hitting almost every customer who receives messages from other mail-systems.

Many applications send mails in the following format Doe, John <>.
The comma is a delimiter for separating addresses in Notes.
So the correct address would be a quoted address "Doe, John" <>.

If you reply to an unquoted address you can run into very odd unpredictable results because Notes treats the entry as separate addresses and will lookup the first part in your Domino directory.
Unquoted addresses with a comma are not really RFC compliant but some email applications send mail that way.

There is a notes.ini setting that I did not notice before even it is around since 7.0.2.

notes.ini RFC822StripUnquotedDelimiters=1 on your SMTP Server should avoid those issues and also helps for encoded sender names that contain umlauts and other special characters.

IMHO this setting should be default.

-- Daniel


SPR# JALS658T7S - Mail is parsed into two separate addresses on a reply/reply with history. This fix prevents splitting of RFC822 addresses caused by unquoted commas and semicolons. This fix requires setting the Notes.ini variable "RFC822StripUnquotedDelimiters=1".


1Oliver Regelmann  26.08.2013 15:09:11  Recipients with unquoted commas

One of the ugliest bugs of Domino I ever encountered. Has led multiple times to e-mails going to the wrong, partly external recipients.

But I always I understood this has to be set on the SMTP server (not the client). There's a remark about the server configuration document in

{ Link }

And this is currently not working for semi-colons:

2Daniel Nashed  26.08.2013 15:30:54  Recipients with unquoted commas

Oops you are correct. It's on the server side. There is a Wiki entry also stating it's for the server. The SPR document is not really specifiy about what happens.

I would say this is not a Domino bug more an interoperability issue.

"Garbage in, garbage out" -- IT principle. The data is wrong. If you have special chars you need quotes!

I have updated the blog post.

-- Daniel

3Daniel Nashed  26.08.2013 15:36:53  Recipients with unquoted commas

SPR #AJAS99PCNY states that semicolons do not work and there is no fix yet even in 9.0.

But in 95% of the cases the "special char" is a comma because of "lastname, firstname" or an umlaut.

-- Daniel

4Reinhard Fellner  29.08.2013 6:14:42  Recipients with unquoted commas

As stated, this is not a bug in IBM Domino, it's just strict RFC-compliant

5Daniel Nashed  29.08.2013 6:38:09  Recipients with unquoted commas

I would say the other side is not RFC compliant and Domino did not expect unquoted special charaters.

So I would say Domino expects RFC compliant behavior.

The best way is to be as RFC compliant for own created email/data etc and be as flexible as possible for email/data received from other systems.

Other systems often have their own intepretation of a RFC/standard. But in this case the other side is just missing the quotes which more looks like an oversight than a different interpretation.

-- Daniel

6Reinhard Fellner  30.08.2013 6:30:00  Recipients with unquoted commas

True and thanks for the info. We already set the parameter and tested it successfully

7Oliver Regelmann  30.08.2013 15:23:44  Recipients with unquoted commas

It IS a Domino bug. See this technote:

{ Link }

Quote: "The problem arose only in the case of special extended characters used in the From field. The reason is that these caused the sending system to convert the whole descriptive part into an ISO-8859-string which does not contain any spaces, commas or special characters. This phrase is used unquoted and makes the From field completely RFC-822 compliant."

8Daniel Nashed  02.09.2013 8:29:39  Recipients with unquoted commas

It's arguable if this is a bug when the comma occurs in the friendly name and it is not enclosed in quotes.

My point is more that this setting should be set by default to avoid the issue.

-- Daniel

9Jörg Asmussen  03.10.2013 9:16:55  Recipients with unquoted commas

Oliver's link suggests that it's a combination of international characters and commas in the same from field. What if it only contains commas, but no international characters?



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