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Re: 7/8-bit conversion vs. bouncing

1991-07-01 13:53:06
On Mon,  1 Jul 1991 13:35:21 -0400 (EDT), Nathaniel Borenstein
<nsb(_at_)thumper(_dot_)bellcore(_dot_)com>, wrote, in part...

Imagine, for a moment, that a group of people who have no connection
with the Internet world go off and develop a brand-new hypothetical mail
system that has to have 8-bit transport.  (Perhaps they'd call it by
some dumb name like "X.400".  :-) )  Now, they have their own [growing?]
mail world, and we have ours.  It will clearly be in the interest of
both worlds for there to be gateways, and it is not legitimate, in my
opinion,  for the people in either world to specify that such gateways
are "not permitted."  

Once again, to state things yet a different way, the "no conversion, 
bounce" provisions of the two transport extensions RFCs are intended to 
address exactly one case, which is conversions, within the SMTP context, 
between 7-bit-SMTP and [extended, enclaved,...] 8-bit SMTP or vice
versa.  In a way, they say "this situation does not constitute a
gateway, and there is no authorization floating around to declare it 
such.  Those restrictions don't apply to *real* gateway situations, as 
Nathaniel says, "it would not be legitimate...".  So, some old non-SMTP 
situation (e.g., Tom Moore's concerns), some old non-ASCII (and 
therefore non-SMTP) situation (e.g., BITNET), some contemporary 8-bit 
situation (e.g., X.400), or some future Internet Complex Mail Transfer 
Protocol using separate ports and maybe out-of-band data transfer (e.g., 
some of Paul Nixie's suggestions or an X.400 over IP protocol) are all 
real protocol changes, implying real gateways.  For them, no one has
intentionally said a word about what they can, or cannot, do, or even
what they should do, other than that trashing mail beyond recognition is 
considered to be in poor taste.
  Do we still have a disagreement here somewhere (other than a (hopefully 
now retired) misunderstanding?)?  If so, could someone explain to my 
feeble mind what it is?

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