I wrote to one vendor who's mail UA had a real problem with this.
They wouldn't "fix" the program. I had to complicate the lives of a
I sympathize with that vendor. The problem is that this fix is actually
the deliberate introduction of non-compliance. It makes compliant messages
fail so that non-compliant messages succeed. This makes me afraid, even
given that I've never seen the construct used "the right way".
No it doesn't. That is, given the sample sets I've had,
there has not been on "hit", not one instance of (as you note yourself)
a legit mail item that would have been broken by said non-compliance.
There's nothing now that tells people that something like:
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 95 12:58:52 CST$
From: Rick Troth <TROTH(_at_)UA1VM(_dot_)UA(_dot_)EDU>$
Hey! This is important!$
I'm setting it off with whitespace$
for extra emphasis!$
To: Steve Dorner <sdorner(_at_)QUALCOMM(_dot_)COM>$
shouldn't be expected to "work".
We're coming from two different worlds, and we're trying to
be able to "work together". I think that's the fundamental goal
of the Internet. The above example is problematic on my system.
Your excellent example demonstrates precisely the kind of thing
that this vendor would want to have work. And I'm one to say, let's
let things continue to work. But I think we all agree that this is a
poor choice on the part of the composer. It's not just on my system
where it would fail. I could produce situations where it failed on
your system too (probably, not having actually *seen* your system).
I don't mean intentional ham-strings, I mean the kinds of things that
users might try. Such reliance on white space is just plain dangerous.
Given that it seems intuitively obvious, where are the words?
I am (I think) incapable of coming up with the strong and logical argument
that would sway the consensus to "fix" the rules. I'm talking about a
fundamental difference in thinking. Mail, even STMP (that is, on the
wire) isn't a stream of bytes, it's a sequence of records, sometimes
"continued", and we find that one of the rules for continuation is
difficult to implement reliably across all Internet-connected platforms.
I tell you, this would be to everyone's advantage in the long run.
I'd feel a lot better about the "fix" if there was somewhere some advice
for composers that CR LF SPACE CR LF, even though legal in headers, be
avoided. The mailproblems RFC seems to me like a good place for that
Sounds good. Let's do!
Steve Dorner, Qualcomm Incorporated. "Oog make mission statement."
Rick Troth <troth(_at_)ua1vm(_dot_)ua(_dot_)edu>, Houston, Texas, USA