As I don't know how it exactly looks now I can say only some general
comments on how I'd like the external referencing to be done.
First the type external reference should be replaced by content type
that refers to the particular access method used to reference the
external data. Here's two examples of the most usefull types that
I'd like to see in the base document:
Content-Type: application/ftp ;
site=[site-list] (basicly the as in the draft)
ftp-command is a command to be given in the ftp control connection
to that particular site (e.g. USER, CWD, LIST, RETR, STOR...)
ftp-parameter is a string to be given as a parameter to the particular
command. E.g. "x.y.z A.B"
Maybe even better way would be to have the set of commands to be given
to that particular site as text lines in the body of that message so
that it would be easy to even cut/paste them to some user application.
Since many user interfaces don't support directly the standard command
words but some others like cd or ls it may still be necessary to add
commands like quote 'CWD a/b/c' while pasting but using the standard
commands in the body would make it easy to make simple integrated ftp
agents in the messaging UA without the need for long and complicated
multiline header parsing.
In the spirit of putting only the external parameters needed for
selecting/starting/contacting the right application or server to the
headers and all other commands to be given to that application inside
the body here's my second proposal:
Subject: Demo message
GET h.j /format=base64/zapopt=127.25
In which the body would contain a full message that could be mailed to
the particular server to achieve the desired action. The
Address/Subject part could also be given as parameters of the content
type if you see that giving headers in the "body" part is a bad idea
(you have it anyway in digests). Maybe
subject="xyz";header="xyz"; could make
it easier (harder?) for an user agent to check the address and possibly
give the user the choice of selecting the best one (e.g. listserv(_at_)*)
although it might make the UAs unncessarily complex? Ideas?
Ps. I did send my proposal on the Rich-Text message-ID referencing
feature just to Nathaniel. Or should I have sent it also to the
list, I don't remember excactly anymore what was said at Santa Fe.
Anyway this issue is more complex and possibly controversial so I'd
like to give the opportunity for early comments in the list.