8. Filter Engine vs. End-user as SSP Target
Human Factors ("usability") design is an arcane topic largely resolved only by
experimentation. Certainly effective design of user interfaces is a black
art. As a consequence, the IETF has made it a practice to avoid the topic
entirely. This issue came up repeatedly during the early -- and later -- days
of DKIM and was resolved by deciding that DKIM's target is the receive-side
delivery filtering engine, rather than the human recipient.
The current SSP has re-introduced a range of assumptions about use with human
recipients, and has used those assumptions for dictating specification
details. The specification needs to remove all consideration of human issues
or else to provide substantial empirical basis for its inclusion.
To the extent that the above is not sufficiently clear:
The SSP specification needs to remove all references to end-users, human
factors, or the like and it needs to remove all consideration of them from its
Absent that removal, the working group needs to develop an empirical basis for
specific human factors assertions that drive the design and demonstrate
working group consensus that these assertions are valid as well as necessary
to the use of SSP.
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