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

Frank Ellermann <> Wed, 05 October 2011 20:26 UTC

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From: Frank Ellermann <>
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2011 22:28:47 +0200
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To: John C Klensin <>
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Subject: Re: [EAI] UTF-8 in Message-IDs
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On 5 October 2011 14:40, John C Klensin wrote:

> Trying to consider the perceived needs of every other mail-like
> protocol in order to avoid doing something that its implementers
> might consider an obstruction leads to paralysis and possibly
> madness.  Because there are IETF Standards-Track documents, NNTP
> gets some extra consideration, but not much -- the job of the WG
> remains Internet email, not, in your words, "mail-like
> protocols".

I'm not sure what Charles and you are discussing here.  Please
correct me if I'm wrong, but the "Internet message format" is not
only for e-mail, in essence it is also used by NetNews.  And that
is already the complete list.  Other mail formats are not based
on 822+, and other protocols (e.g., XMPP) are not about Internet
messages.  HTTP From: header fields not withstanding, "they" can
adopt EAI when they feel like it.  The mailto: URLs are almost
ready for EAI, and the news: URLs can be "fixed" by an erratum.

What can't be "fixed" might be thousands of NNTP servers, if the
operators pick the wrong of three alternatives:  (1) Do nothing,
(2) upgrade, or (3) uninstall and give up on NetNews.

> Speaking personally, I would be much more sympathetic to the
> position you are taking had I not seen all sorts of chaos caused
> over the years by news systems believing that netnews
> Message-IDs could be compared, uncritically, to Internet email
> Message-IDs and actions taken on the results.  But those
> disruptions have occurred and presumably continue to occur.
> People live with them, and I don't see the disruptions this
> change to Message-IDs are likely to cause being any worse.  YMMD.

A message-ID is a message-ID:  Any chaos you have seen presumably
involved naive or broken gateways from NetNews to e-mail, or more
obscure sources, e.g., Fido (FTN) echomail.  EAI won't make that
worse.  Sadly SASL killed it, otherwise CRAM-MD5 might be now in
theory ready for "EAI-IDs".  In practice I'd guess that CRAM-MD5
implementations never bother to check Message-ID syntax details.