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Re: [ietf-822] "--" first in lines to indicate start of signature

2016-01-04 13:54:15
On 1/4/2016 8:39 AM, Jacob Palme wrote:

On 3 jan 2016, at 00.05, Murray S. Kucherawy wrote:

What other uses of "--" on a line by itself are there?  The only thing I can 
think of is ASCII art.

I have used "--" to separate sections in a longer plain text document. I
have learned to not use it in that way in mail messages, and use "=="
instead of "--".

That will still get you in trouble. Overall, when you begin to depend on such ideas, you need ways to escape it as well.

But it is a simple mistake to make if you are not aware of its special
meaning in mail messages.

IMO, there is no "special meaning." The idea of a 'Signature" may be traditionally at the bottom, but there is no real hard core rule you (a mail processor) can rely on.

The MUA software does not use normally this. It is the USER with his optional signature fields and thats just added straight to the bottom. The same software COULD check if the same block was already added but I don't believe it will add "-- " for you, well, at least my TBird doesn't. I noticed that TBIRD can not tell the difference between the signature fields when you change your "From: " field in the MUA, so you have to clean that up yourself.

Which probably many mail users are, everyone is not an expert on mail protocols,
as we who subscribe to this mailinglist are.

Right, outside the tech forums, you generally don't see this in the user market unless the MUA has direct support for this where it works off a "standard delimiter" of some sort.

We had such logics in older Fidonet/QWK readers. When we began to use RFC based formats, it felt like we began to deprecate the idea. It wasn't a big thing anymore because the body text can have anything. The then "new" Internet Format brought on a new Democracy of mail where it can have anything. I was more concerned with transport related network control lines. The signature is not a network or mail control Line. Offhand, I would not classify it as such.

I guess the point is unlike MIME block where we have distinct line delimiting logic to separate blocks of text lines with border lines, etc, we don't have such a thing for signatures. What would be the rules? Is there a MIME type for signatures? Are there limits (length of line, # of lines) in what junk people can add? Look at the extra stuff a few of the IETF guys add.


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