On Tue, Apr 02, 2002 at 08:08:40AM -0000, D. J. Bernstein wrote:
By the way, in case anyone thinks that my sarcastic ``7 bits forever!''
is an exaggeration, here's an old quote from Mark Crispin: ``7-bit MTA's
will never go away. Ever. Mail goes on many paths besides IP, some of
which are forever 7-bits. You will always have to solve the problem of
getting your 8-bit mail into 7-bits for some 7-bit MTA.''
It is reasonable to demand time to upgrade, so that there are no
interoperability problems. It is not reasonable to demand that this
7-bit garbage be allowed to remain on the network forever, at the
expense of all future implementors and users.
Why change? It works as designed. If we change this, we risk
fragmenting the net. Yes, it costs some more bits when 7-bit
downgrading is used, but that is not a general cost for
normal email use. And it costs some maintenance and some
space in MTAs, but that is not much in total.