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1992-01-03 11:31:07
I personally don't care for signature files ...
and I never use them. But a lot of people feel differently about them, and
nobody is going to be able to prevent their use.

Unfortunately, in a world full of diverse networks interconnected by
mail gateways that sometimes do, um, interesting things, signatures are
often a necessity.  One simply cannot rely on the headers, as finally
received several networks away, containing a reasonable return address.
This is the historical motive for signatures, and it remains valid even
though they are often abused for other purposes.  Preventing their use
is not merely impossible, it is actively undesirable.

The approach we took to signature abuse in C News's posting interface was
simply to take only the first four lines of the poster's .signature file.
This struck us as sufficient for any sane presentation of the required
information.  I don't think there is any reason to jump up and down in
affront at somebody including, say, an amusing quotation... provided
it stays brief.  (My own view is that I need two lines for name, group,
and addresses, and anything else I can fit into those two lines is fair
game. :-))  I don't see any easy way to legislate that, however.

                                         Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
henry(_at_)zoo(_dot_)toronto(_dot_)edu   utzoo!henry

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