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Re: [yam] RFC 5321 (was: [Editorial Errata Reported] RFC5321 (1820)

2009-08-01 07:06:15

SM wrote:
Hi Alessandro,
At 01:56 31-07-2009, Alessandro Vesely wrote:
searching for "3.9.2" on mail-archive brings only up previous discussions between you and me on the same subject. You rejected all of them on various reason, e.g. because the last call had already been issued, or because of the nature of the forwarding model as expressed in I never found the discussion where that paragraph has been introduced, I guess it was not public.

I hadn't searched well enough...

There were some comments (most likely off-list) on that section prior to the message at the above URL.

The above URL is dated Sat, 16 Feb 2008 07:17:43 -0800. Much later than the phrase containing the typo, which I quote again:

                                                   Note that
 the key difference between handling aliases (Section 3.9.1) and
 forwarding (this subsection) is the change to the backward-pointing
 address in this case.

NOTE: This phrase appears _twice_ in RFC 5321. Its second instance is much further down in section 4.4, around lines 3282-3284 of the numbered draft. Please concede that at least this second occurrence has to be removed completely...

That phrase can be found in the differences from -02 to -03, in Version -02 is of April 17, 2007, -03 is of April 25, 2007, hence any message discussing that issue should be archived in In facts, there is a message entitled "RFC2821bis-02 Issue 26: Source routes, especially reverse-paths" by John C Klensin, 04/22/2007. That was actually concerned with "Appendix C. Source Routes". The text quoted above presumably belongs to other "editorial and related changes to improve clarity and consistency", in that version's changes.

Frank Ellermann noted the added phrase, and commented about it on April 26, 2007

 That's a point where you could mention that this used to be no
 key difference under RFC 821, because "in any case, the SMTP"
 added "its own identifier to the reverse path".  There might be
 better places to explain that RFC 1123 broke the original SMTP
 design in its quest to get rid of the source routes.

That was the concern of the discussion, rather about concepts than wording. In facts, Frank used to note discrepant usages of terms (e.g. "return path" vs "reverse path", in the same message) but missed also this spurious "backward-pointing address". (Currently, there are exactly three occurrences of the word "backward" in RFC 5321.) I found no other thread mentioning that phrase. John replied

 Send text, but my inclination is to not change this further,
 especially to reflect the long-dead "copy own address into
 reverse-path stuff".

That's it, almost. Frank had dropped that point in his further reply. I jumped on that list months later, after Frank's suggestion. I independently noted that phrase and had tried to leverage on its inconsistency for introducing a conceptual change which had been rejected.

P.S.: This is the first time I spell Frank's name on a public list message since September last year. So I also add the ietf-smtp list in CC; please change the subject appropriately if replying about this last paragraph. I haven't been able to gather any news about Frank, and I'm afraid to understand that the common saying "no news is good news" doesn't apply in this case.

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