Re: [EAI] UTF-8 in Message-IDs

Frank Ellermann <> Wed, 05 October 2011 22:10 UTC

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From: Frank Ellermann <>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 00:12:51 +0200
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To: John Levine <>
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Subject: Re: [EAI] UTF-8 in Message-IDs
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On 5 October 2011 22:44, John Levine wrote:

> Mail message format is described in RFC 5322, while news article
> format is described in RFC 5536.

Yeah, I'm aware of 5536, it is firmly based on 5322.  An earlier
Usefor draft already had UTF-8, but it did not make it (roughly
at the time when I felt that the "making of RFCs" is fascinating):

5536 is an application of 5322 + MIME.  Son-of-1036 (1849) already
had 822 + MIME, so this was not really a new idea after UTF-8 got
no consensus back in 2002 or 2003.

> it is just wrong to assert that you can turn one into the other
> without using a gateway that deals with the differences.

Nobody said that there are no gateways.  About twenty years ago I
ended up maintaining a list of gateway software for some time (at
that time RFC822 <-> NetNews was an *apparently* simple case, and
consequently this caused more troubles than the more convoluted
scenarios involving other networks).   IIRC that was in one of
the "gatebau GABELs" (Group, Area, Boards, Echo, List; this was
a "politically correct" acronym using the German word "gabel",
i.e., it was no Usenet newsgroup also available in Fido or v.v.,
it was a neutral territory wrt the transport technologies and the
resulting different admin structures.)

> I read this list via a gateway that turns it into a local
> newsgroup) and there's a lot of little nits they have to deal
> with.

For more than six years I read all IETF mailing lists on Larsi's
GMaNe (Gateway MAil NEws), at the moment I try my luck with Gmail.

Somewhere the EAI drafts should mention that the first ideas for
UTF-8 in Internet message header fields was created by Usefor or
more precisely by Charles about ten years ago.