[ic] WARNING: Your mail will soon be bounced if you send TNEF

Mike Heins mikeh@minivend.com
Mon, 2 Oct 2000 14:53:38 -0400

Quoting Warren Odom (warren-odom@stenocall.com):
> >I am steamed enough that I may start bouncing email that doesn't comply
> with Internet standards.
> I have never gotten in the habit of using a Vcard, but according to my
> investigations, they are defined as a standard in RFC 2426.  (And although I
> try not to send HTML mail in general, HTML is nothing if not an Internet
> standard.)

Thanks -- I didn't know that VCARD was a standard. Since it is, it is
no longer prohibited. It is discouraged as duplicated bandwidth if you
also have a signature in your message.

HTML mail may be derived from a standard (*ugh*) but it is against the charter
of this list. Period. 

> What I'm getting at is I've seen several comments on this list about
> complying with "Internet standards" but they obviously are referring to some
> subset of these standards.  And I don't recall seeing any link to where that
> subset is enumerated.  Such a link would be helpful.

No, if it is a standard, defined by an RFC or IETF standard, and not expressly
forbidden on the charter of the list, then it is OK. "charset: windows-1522" 
is not an ISO standard charset, and should not be sent to the world at large.
On your own network you can do anything you like -- if you talk to our network
you have to follow standards.

TNEF is not only not a standard, it is vendor-specific. It is also expressly
forbidden in the charter of the list and has been for 2 years.

My argument is that putting extra junk in the message is not necessary,
uses bandwidth, and causes problems for other programs.

When you are producing software that will be used by millions, and
it is talking to diverse systems, there is a responsibility to follow
common standards.

Microsoft doesn't follow standards in their mail software. For
years now, the only mailer which consistently misroutes messages to
minivend-users-admin and interchange-users-admin is Outlook. I had to
set up a special filter to handle this -- I am sure there are some among
you who have seen the message.

By not following standards, countless hours of re-tooling is spent
by other people to handle that junk. They sucked up several hours of
my time this weekend, as I fixed what went wrong with the mail list
archive. Cause: improperly-formatted TNEF attachments which should never
have been sent in the first place.

I understand MS Exchange even has a mode whereby it automatically adds
TNEF attachments -- it may not even be the user's fault.

Some people have had the temerity to *demand* that I put a virus-checker on my
mail transport software. To check for virii that are not created by me and
which will not affect me. Which will only affect machines running Microsoft
operating systems and Microsoft applications software, via a transmission mode
which never should have been possible, and which *certainly* shouldn't have been
possible after the first occurrence.

OK -- I will specify RFC 1855 as the general guideline for this group. And
it says:

- Do not include control characters or non-ASCII attachments in
  messages unless they are MIME attachments or unless your mailer
  encodes these.  If you send encoded messages make sure the
  recipient can decode them.

Since there are hundreds or thousands of recipients seeing these messages,
and the one standard is plain text, that is what this list is about.
MIME attachments are OK, but not if they are just bandwidth-suckers
like HTML mail or TNEF.

Akopia, Inc., 131 Willow Lane, Floor 2, Oxford, OH  45056
phone +1.513.523.8220 fax 7501 <heins@akopia.com>

Few blame themselves until they have exhausted all other possibilities.
 -- anonymous