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"Subject" in the envelope (was: Re: Comments requested on draft-malamud-no-soliciting-04.txt)

2004-01-26 17:17:51


I just wanted to comment on one aspect of your proposal outline...

--On Sunday, 25 January, 2004 06:40 -0500 Hector Santos <winserver(_dot_)support(_at_)winserver(_dot_)com> wrote:

However,  it
is too restrictive to a particular need where the same result
can be achieved with a simple SUBJECT line.    The SUBJECT
line idea can address this and many other neat concepts such
as overhead reducing mail driven events. For example,
subcribing to a mail list:

        MAIL FROM: <jsmoe(_at_)example(_dot_)com>
        RCPT TO:  listadmin-somelist(_at_)whereever(_dot_)com
        SUBJECT: subscribe

The feature and product benefits  offered by a SUBJECT line
design change is much greater and wider than this specific
EHLO/MAIL FROM design change which targets only one concept.

If one really wanted to do this, and I'm not yet convinced,...

(1) You need to work out a number of details, preferably in the form of an Internet-Draft, if you expect this to go anywhere. For example, Subject lines can get pretty long, and there is no equivalent to 822 continuation lines in SMTP sender dialogues. Some of the internationalization issues also raise coding questions, and it isn't clear to me that the right answers for 2822 would be the right answers for the envelope.

(2) You will find that it is easier to establish interoperability with a wider range of SMTP servers if you confine the verb to four characters, e.g., SUBJ and not SUBJECT

(3) I would think that you would want SUBJECT to precede RCPT and possibly MAIL, not follow them. If you are trying to conserve resources, it would be good to not need to validate RCPT commands (or give the sender a clue about what is and is not valid), and probably not even apply whatever testing is done to the return path, if you are going to reject the transmission on the content of a subject command.