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

2008-07-29 01:49:25

Hector Santos wrote:
The only way I see you can do this is to give it some obscure header field name that 100% relates to user rendering.

But calling it "Expires?" Sorry, don't be surprise if someone uses this outside the proposal intent to keep backends or operators from using it. Its too juicy. Nothing like it exist (in email) to get rid of mail with zero false positive. The sender says "On this date, this message is no longer useful, valid, its useless", rest assured it will be taken literally and they are not going to wait for a user to get rid of it, especially when their 3rd party offline user is not prepare to support it. Centralize systems will be the key beneficiary,


I have no real problem with a header which says 'you may delete this message after this date' (IMHO, that's what 'expires' means). I have no problem at all with the concept of a header which says 'you may display this message in a different form after this date, to signify it's past its "best before" date', but calling that 'expires' leads to massive ambiguity IMHO (maybe that should be the name for it - 'Best-before: ...' ;-) ).

You could say 'but the spec says the mail server MUST NOT delete it after that date' - but anyone who's been working with email for more than a few months should know that most people who should know better don't properly read/understand the standards. (TBH, if you're reading this mailing list, you're already in the minority of email software developers/admins!). How many times have you seen timeouts which breach the specs? How many times have you seen big ISPs have mail servers which either use or can't handle line endings other than CRLF? Have you seen POP3 servers which allow multiple concurrent logins to the same mailbox? (I have, from very large ISPs - in breach of the standard, with very confusing consequences). Many people read standards and then treat 'MUST NOT' as 'SHOULD NOT', 'MUST/SHOULD' as 'MAY', 'SHOULD/MAY NOT' as 'MAY' etc. Let's not give them another gun to shoot themselves with.

Paul Smith

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

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