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Re: "Envelope", yet again

2005-05-24 08:32:19

Tony Finch <dot(_at_)dotat(_dot_)at> wrote:
On Mon, 23 May 2005, John Leslie wrote:

I believe we need to talk about SMTP-as-we-know-it, not SMTP-NG.

This is why I'm very reluctant to expand the term "envelope" to include
any message data. We should acknowledge the deliberate ambiguity of the
Internet message header, which contains user-level and transport-level
information and information that is somewhere in between. By contrast the
SMTP envelope has always been clearly defined, until recent discussions
which have tried to fit the X.400 layering model onto Internet email's
layering model. Unsurprisingly, the two don't match and the resulting
architectural description doesn't work very well.

   Philosophically I quite agree with Tony: I'd much prefer to use the
term "envelope" the way I used it ten years ago. I appear to be in the

   I can accept the need to change: what is _very_ hard to accept is
the idea that I should replace a clear an distinct meaning with one
which is neither clear nor distinct. Thus, I could accept almost any
change in meaning (no flames, please: it's a change to _me_ at least)
which results in something both clear and distinct; otherwise I'd much
prefer to keep the old term for the old meaning and choose a new term
for the new meaning.

   I well understand that the natural evolution of language is towards
less clarity and distinctness. I am probably in no position to stop
that tendency. However, when _I_ use a word, it means exactly what I
want it to mean, no more and no less. ;^)

   It would be a nice thing (TM) if we could agree on a meaning which
_is_ clear and distinct. Otherwise, IMHO, there's a serious danger of

John Leslie <john(_at_)jlc(_dot_)net>