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Re: My greatest fear

1991-08-25 22:09:58
On Fri, 23 Aug 91 15:37:45 -0400, leo j mclaughlin iii wrote:
Don't be obtuse.

Who is being obtuse?  I've gotten tired of these circular arguments, not to
mention wasting huge amounts of my time answering them....

I too grow tired of circular arguments.  And I apologise for any flamage,
but it becomes difficult to reach agreement when responses consist of
seemingly intentional misinterpretations of my statements and questions.

Today I find my mailbox filled with handwaves such as "why should you think
that people will do the wrong thing just because you make the protocol messier
for the sole reason of allowing them to do the wrong thing?"...

...I am beginning to suspect a filibuster....

No, you are seeing a number of people (and I wish Robert was among them)
willing to devote the time necessary to achieve agreement rather than
acquiesence.  I *really* would prefer that the IETF be able to design
a mail system capable of integrating existing 7-bit systems and existing
8-bit systems while allowing new TCP/IP based mail systems to enter the
modern era.

It seems to escape the minds of certain individuals that whatever is specified
in this WG will NEVER be generally implemented by the overwhelming majority of
e-mail UA's and MTA's.  None of it.

I beg to differ.  If we manage to do the right thing, I would expect that
the overwhelming majority of email UAs and MTAs would have it within 3 years.
Consider, if we build something which ran on a PC somewhere between 500,000-
1,000,000 (existing base of commercial vendors) to 3,000,000-5,000,000
(3 year guesstimates) would be so equipped.  The UNIX numbers should be
equally impressive, with SUN seemingly intent on shipping something and
(I would assume) a version for BSD 4.3 available.  Moreover, if SUN users
can blithely mail pictures and sound to each other it is unlikely that
DEC/HP/IBM would do nothing.

...People freely banter around terms such as
"declare X broken" or "no more work should be done on Y" as if somehow the
issuance of an RFC will make things happen.  It won't.  What's more likely to
happen is that we'll get various non-interoperable subsets, none of which
interoperate with the most important one -- today's 821/822.  We have enough
trouble getting people to interoperate with 821/822.

The only "declare X broken" statements I've heard are "declare existing
7-bit UA/MTAs broken and discard them" and "declare existing 8-bit UA/MTAs
broken and discard them" neither of which will happen because of an RFC.

The only way to avoid having the world continue in its current divided
state is to provide a means of integrating current and future mail systems
for which users/administrators are willing to pay be it in time or money.

leo j mclaughlin iii

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