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Re: ambiguities in RFC 2821 regarding end of mail data

2003-06-21 06:31:43

It seems to me that we are working with two different ideas of the "end of mail data indication".

I would argue that it is a line containing only a period.

Others take the position that it is CRLF.CRLF

Those two are different, as someone writing a parser may discover. The ambiguity between the two motivated my questions at the start of this thread.

RFC 2821 does not seem to recognize the difference. Rather RFC 2821 confuses the issue. This sentence from section can not be true:

"The mail data is terminated by a line containing only a period, that is, the character sequence "<CRLF>.<CRLF>" (see section 4.5.2)."

because the character sequence "<CRLF>.<CRLF>" IS NOT a line containing only a period. Mail data may be terminated by one or the other but not both, because they are different and mutually exclusive.

We write "CRLF.CRLF" because that is an easy way to show that we intend a line containing only a period. But CRLF.CRLF emphatically is not a line containing only a period. A line -- one line -- cannot contain two CRLF sequences.


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