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Re: RFC2821bis-02 Issue 24: ABNF overhaul

2007-04-24 05:40:51

John C Klensin wrote:
Pro: Clearly, a complete ABNF cleanup, to make the set closed
and consistent and, ideally, to eliminate and formalize as many
of the comments as possible would be a nice thing.

I'd class it as considerably more than "nice". The current document uses ABNF at a level I would call "minimal" and I have occasionally found some questions a challenge to resolve because of this.

That said...

Con: The odds of being able to do this in a reasonable amount of
time and to do so without introducing new errors --either within


Given that ABNF is, essentially, like writing code, any massive overhaul to it would be certain to a) take a long time, and b) introduce new errors. This is not the stuff of a bis or ter effort.

I suggest that new SMTP ABNF would make a nice, independent project for someone. It would take the task out of the current critical path and would permit the ABNF to be subject to extended and independent analysis.

If a community consensus emerges that the new ABNF is preferable to what is already in the official SMTP, then it would be worth considering re-issuing the document with those changes folded in. But what I've described would take years to happen.


  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking

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