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Re: MIME-Version is *not* useless

1993-06-04 04:23:01
Personally, I agree that it would be better if the spec said what to do
if the MIME-Version header is anything other than "1.0", and that the
"what to do" would be more or less as has been suggested on this mailing
list.  (Probably the reason the spec doesn't say this is that at some
level I thought it was obvious -- silly me!  By now I should know that
NOTHING is obvious, but frankly MIME-Version was never the most
important part of the document in my mind, and at the peak of the MIME
debates I was personally processing several hundred email messages per
day....)  I don't think this is really a big deal, but I would certainly
have supported this change at one time -- for sure before June of 1992,
and probably until about January of this year.

However, although I hate to say it, this discussion is simply too late. 
This topic was, in fact, discussed in some detail in the IETF-822
working group at the last IETF meeting, and the consensus of the group
is, I believe, reflected in the current document.  Two salient points:

1.  There are already MIME implementations out there from MAJOR vendors
(I won't point fingers) that will apparently die horribly if they get
anything other than "1.0".   One could certainly argue that they
shouldn't do this, but RFC 1341 didn't offer them any clear guidance on
this score, so they're not really out of spec, and it is RUDE to break
specs in people's faces.  Sometimes you have to, but I really don't
think this case is important enough to do that.

2.  Making this change *might* be enough to set the clock back a few
months on MIME's soon-to-be-achieved (I hope) status as a Draft Internet
Standard.  Is it really worth it if that's the case?

I sympathize with your goals, but I think this train has already left
the station.... -- Nathaniel