Re: history of using a comment for display-name?

Keith Moore <moore@cs.utk.edu> Mon, 12 March 2001 16:48 UTC

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From: Keith Moore <moore@cs.utk.edu>
To: "Maynard Kang" <maynard@pobox.org.sg>
cc: "Keith Moore" <moore@cs.utk.edu>, drums@cs.utk.edu
Subject: Re: history of using a comment for display-name?
In-reply-to: Your message of "Mon, 12 Mar 2001 08:23:05 PST." <00b201c0ab10$f50006e0$0200000a@maynardibm>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 11:38:59 -0500
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> I guess as a developer of e-mail software I find it mildly irritating that
> I've always had to write code to support both the "phrase route-addr" and
> "addr-spec (comments)" formats in e-mail headers. You can imagine the
> problem getting worse when dealing with non-ASCII in headers.. 

I have had the same irritation for mail software that I write
(even though it's not for public consumption, at least not yet)
I try to find a name in either the phrase or a following comment, 
and naturally I decode encoded-words.  I also try to deal with
extra quotes, untagged 8-bit characters (guessing whether they're
utf8, iso-2022-*, or something else), and phrases which are
entirely redundant with the address.

(so I translate each of the following:

"foo" <foo@domain> 
"'foo'" <foo@domain>
"foo@domain" <foo@domain>
"'foo@domain'" <foo@domain>

to simply 

<foo@domain>

it's a major pain, but the resulting display is a lot easier to read)

Most mail client these days seem to generate phrase rather than comment, 
but this doesn't help someone writing a new mail reader.  Mail readers
may have to deal with messages that are decades old, so they end up 
needing to understand old conventions long after they are no longer 
generated.  

Keith