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Re: Making group syntax do-not-generate

2005-01-14 05:04:36

1. Mail senders SHOULD NOT generate group syntax.

maybe, maybe not. groups are useful. if we deprecate the group syntax we will wind up reinventing it.

in general it seems like internet mail and MUAs are suffering from too small a feature set - our tools aren't powerful enough to make email a really effective medium, especially given the volume at which many of us use it. which is not to say that we should keep useless features, but groups are useful. IMHO more people would use them if MUAs supported them better - not just parsing them but providing good UAs for them.

at least both Apple Mail and gmail are being actively maintained, so there's hope that they can be fixed soon. (though if I could figure out how to get apple to listen to bug reports, I'd be giving them an earful...)

2. Mail receivers are urged to test that they can parse empty groups, since several current senders generate that, e.g. "To: unknown-recipients:;" and "To: ietf-announce:;".

mail receivers should be able to parse groups anyway, since they want to be able to read legacy messages.

this proposal strikes me as one of the form: since people won't adhere to RFC X, presumably because they don't bother to read it fully, let's write RFC Y that tells them to do something else. surely it's harder to read and adhere to the combination of both RFCs X and Y? particularly when they give conflicting advice?

and as long as we're trying to fix mailers, why not fix them to have more utility? unless we believe that it's the humans who can't deal with groups. (but as far as I can tell, humans seem to understand the concept better than mailers).