I've recombined these because they have an important connection, the
notion that the pronouncements of ITU, ANSI, IEEE, ATM Forum, the WAP
consortium, and the IETF are somehow necessarily better than those of any
other arbitrary group of people.
From: Keith Moore <moore(_at_)cs(_dot_)utk(_dot_)edu>
However, I've suddenly realized that the fault for some of the vacation
messages rests with the people running this list. Notice that they
are not including a "Precedence: bulk" or "Precedence: bulk" lines
which tell at least some `vacation` programs to do the obvious.
nor should they. Precedence is not a standard header field, and it's
used in so many different ways by different pieces of software
(to do everything from setting queueing priority to telling peered
mailing lists not to forward the message) that it's better to omit it.
None of those sound like bad things for IETF lists, except when
intentionally overridden by people running their own software.
Despite IETF snobbery, Precedence: has decades of use. It has defects as
a vacation program tamer, but those would be better fixed by coming up
with a replacement than by ignoring the problem. IETF effort on that
would be better spent than on some (but not all) of the newest SMTP
In other words, the IETF itself is not above some standads bending..
what standard are you referring to?
How about hoping that X-Loop will be preserved by those peered mailing
lists and other gateways and so prevent loops?
(I'm adding a Precedence: bulk to this to see what the IETF reflector
does with it.)
] From: Keith Moore <moore(_at_)cs(_dot_)utk(_dot_)edu>
] nothing that AOL does on its own is standard. to use the term "standard"
] in that way is to make the term meaningless.
In ancient days, there was a group of people, probably smaller than the
group now at AOL designing and implementing their protocols, who came up
with some protocols. Those old protocols were explicitly ad hoc or at
least unofficial. They were documented with informal and semi-formal
documents that really asked for comments, unlike any "real" standard,
including those from the IETF. After more than a dozen years of guerilla
war, those de facto protocols clobbered the official, de jure protocols.
As usually happens, as they won the revolution, many of the revolutionaries
moved into the deposed overlords' offices and accepted fealty from the
toadies, go-ers, empire builders, and courtiers of the old regime, and
things went back to normal.
My point is that in rational eyes, a blessing from the ITU in Switzerland
or the IESG is neither necessary nor always sufficent to make a standard.
A standard is what http://www.m-w.com/ says, "something established by
authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example."
I'd rather that AOL took outside comments on their standards, but they're
still standards, no more or less than the latest embrace-and-extend brain
fart incompletely described in RFC format from the Pacific Northwest.
AOL's standards are not non-proprietary, open, or sanctioned by the IETF,
but they're as much standards as the greats on which the IETF bases its
Vernon Schryver vjs(_at_)rhyolite(_dot_)com