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Re: values of notify ":priority" tag

2005-12-08 12:22:43

On Dec 8, 2005, at 8:31 AM, Peter Saint-Andre wrote:

Dave Cridland wrote:

I can only think of three levels of priority, and it's not really priority at all. 1) I'd like to be told about this sort of message, at some point, if you can.
2) I need to be told about this message.
3) I absolutely must be made immediately aware of this message.

Don't these levels map to "non-urgent", "normal", and "urgent" from RFC 1327?

The RFC 1327 values relate to MTA processing priority -- how "quickly" (relative to other messages) an MTA is supposed to try to deliver the messages, as in perhaps the MTA should try to delivery all "urgent" messages before trying to delivery any "normal" or "nonurgent" messages (even if "normal" or "nonurgent" messages have already been enqueued awaiting delivery). The X.400 MTS field that RFC 1327 suggests translating to and from an RFC 822 "Priority:" header line
value is not really intended as a field of user relevance at all.

In contrast, a header line such as "Importance" relates to what _users_ think about a message -- that some message is especially important, or that it is desirable to display some message with some sort of "notice me" icon. (And the discouraged Precedence: header line was sort of a ambiguous mess of both
-- perhaps part of the reason its use got discouraged?)

From RFC 2076 (Internet Message Headers):

   Can be "normal", "urgent" or "non-   Priority:      RFC 1327, not for
   urgent" and can influence                           general usage.
   transmission speed and delivery.

   Sometimes used as a priority         Precedence:    Non-standard,
   value which can influence                           controversial,
   transmission speed and delivery.                    discouraged.
   Common values are "bulk" and
   "first-class". Other uses is to
   control automatic replies and to
   control return-of-content
   facilities, and to stop mailing
   list loops.

   A hint from the originator to the    Importance:    RFC 1327 and
   recipients about how important a                    RFC 1911,
   message is. Values: High, normal                    experimental
   or low. Not used to control
   transmission speed.

I would like to retain the distinction between, at a minimum, priority and importance, priority influencing transmission speed (when practical) while
importance is an indication to be passed along to the end user (when
practical). Because while there is often overlap (and some defaulting may
make sense), whether a message is "time critical" really is not the same
thing as whether a message is "important".




Peter Saint-Andre
Jabber Software Foundation

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