Re: Last Call: draft-resnick-2822upd (Internet Message Format) toDraft Standard

"Frank Ellermann" <nobody@xyzzy.claranet.de> Fri, 04 April 2008 12:41 UTC

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From: "Frank Ellermann" <nobody@xyzzy.claranet.de>
Subject: Re: Last Call: draft-resnick-2822upd (Internet Message Format) toDraft Standard
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 14:43:58 +0200
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Brian E Carpenter wrote:

> I am disturbed that the messy situation of X- headers,
> created by RFC 2822's silence on the subject, has not
> been fixed.

As far as 2822 and 2822upd are concerned header fields
not specified in 2822 or 2822upd resp. are covered by
<optional-field> in section 3.6.8.  This section does
not talk about field-names starting with "X-" or not.
 
> See http://www.ietf.org/IESG/APPEALS/klensin-response.txt
> for an example of the issues that this silence can create.

Gateways are always a difficult topic, and the 2822upd
syntax *minus* obs-* constructs is hopefully friendlier
to gateways than RFC 2822 *minus* obs-*.  

Including obs-* constructs:  2822upd is slightly better
than before, a few RFC 822 #-cases not covered in 2822
are now accepted as obsolete, ASCII art with commas and
similar oddities.

> I believe it would be appropriate to document that 
> although X- headers are widely used, they are not part
> of the standard format and their treatment by Internet
> MTAs MUST NOT be relied on, unless registered under
> RFC 3864.

RFC 822 said that X- headers will *not* be standardized,
they are reserved for e-X-periments (my interpretation).
Do you propose that 2822upd should copy this rule from
RFC 822 ?  Sorry, but I'm not sure what you are up to.

An MTA not supporting header X-foobar is not forced to
support header foobar only because it has no X-.  As
far as 2822upd is concerned both are <optional-field>s.

 Frank

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