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Re: Intent to revive "expires" header from draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-15

2008-07-23 05:44:13
Frank Ellermann wrote:
Paul Smith wrote:

All I can figure out so far is that the expiry of a
message implies it's possibly not quite as important,
urgent or valid to the sender/recipient/some-other-
person as it would have been before it expired.
I'm not sure that's a tight enough definition :)

From a sender's POV "expired" could mean "if you read
this mail later whatever I wanted is not more relevant".

"confirm your subscription to list X in the next 3 days"
"special offer valid until 2008-06-30"
"I'm out of office until 2008-07-18"
So, what would you want the recipient MUA to do with these. The consensus seems to be that they should still receive them - so what difference does the 'expires' make? Automatically moving them into another folder when they arrive is nearly the same as automatically deleting them as far as many users goes! Showing them in grey or another colour doesn't stop people having to read them to see if they've missed something important.

"confirm your subscription to list X in the next 3 days" is still important if you receive it 4 days later. Now you know you need to try again to get onto the list.

"I'm out of the office until ..." may be important, you may have been bad-mouthing a contact because they hadn't replied to you earlier, and now you'll know why

"special offer valid until ..." may still be important from the sender's point of view as a "buy our wonderful flying car for only $15,000 before 30th July, look how amazing it is..." is still a good advertisement if it's received on the 1st August, and the recipient may still want it even though the special offer has expired.

Good examples apparently require some kind of mailbot
on the sender's side.  It is less useful for ordinary
(sending) MUAs, e.g., "happy birthday" with Expires: makes no sense, or does it ?
No it doesn't. If 'happy birthday' arrived late, you'd still want the recipient to know you'd thought of them, so in that case 'better late than never' applies.

'expires' only makes sense (IMV) if it would reduce the mail to be read by the recipient by getting rid of stuff that's absolutely no use any more. In that case, it may as well be deleted automatically - but no one wants that. My problem is that I can't think of anything which is *absolutely* no use after a certain date (which *would* have been of some use before that date). So, you'd still need to read expired mail to see if it's of some use to you - in which case what's the point?

Paul Smith

VPOP3 - POP3/SMTP/IMAP4/Webmail Email server for Windows

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