I'm not entirely sure I understand the direction of your comments, but
here's an attempt to formulate a constructive response:
1. Specifications need to be as clear, precise and accurate as the folks
writing them can make them, given the usual constraints of time and
2. Later efforts to write specifications in the same technical arena
must continue this effort. However these later documents must perform a
difficult balancing act, between the history of the earlier documents,
the reality of current practise and discussion, and the needs of future
No specification is ever perfect, either technical or linguistically.
We all just do the best we can. And we revise things as we learn more.
When we discover errors and ambiguities, later, we need to develop
Right now, it is clear that the word "sender" is highly ambiguous. So
we should stop using it, unless it is qualified enough to make the
What is also clear is that the world of anti-spam discussion is littered
with vague terminology. This is not viable as a foundation for
conducting standards discussions.
A specification that is so ambiguous as to result in highly differential
interpretations among different readers is a specification that fails.
It is not possible to build interoperable implementations if everyone
reads the specs differently.
Dave Crocker <dcrocker-at-brandenburg-dot-com>
Brandenburg InternetWorking <www.brandenburg.com>
Sunnyvale, CA USA <tel:+1.408.246.8253>