W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-discuss@w3.org > June 2000

Re: Only include implemented features in a draft standard

From: Jacob Palme <jpalme@dsv.su.se>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 11:56:48 +0200
Message-Id: <v0421012ab56e545b94dd@[]>
To: Keith Moore <moore@cs.utk.edu>
Cc: IETF Applications Area Discussion List <discuss@apps.ietf.org>
At 16.58 -0400 0-06-14, Keith Moore wrote:
>> In the example of complex MIME multipart structures, most
>> implementations are not all all able to generate such
>> structures. There is simply no command in the command
>> structure of the mailer which the user can use to generate
>> most complex multipart structures. It is not a problem of
>> storage, but a problem of the design of the user interface.
>> Should then such structures be part of the standard?
> no.  that would be adding a lot of complexity for little value.

The MIME standard is presently a DRAFT STANDARD. The MIME
standard says (RFC 2046, section 5.1.2):

   It is essential that such entities be handled correctly when they are
   themselves imbedded inside of another "multipart" structure.  MIME
   implementations are therefore required to recognize outer level
   boundary markers at ANY level of inner nesting.  It is not sufficient
   to only check for the next expected marker or other terminating

Note that the above text in the MIME standard is specified
as only for receipt by the words "MIME implementations are
therefore required to recognize". How can an IETF DRAFT
STANDARD *ever* have a statement of that kind, with a
requirement which is only for receipt? Such requirements
cannot be tested in interoperability tests, since these
requires that some implementation can both send and
receive. Should it not then be forbidden for an IETF DRAFT
STANDARD to contain any words which say that an
implementation should do certain things at receipt, unless
the standard also says that implementations must be able to
generate the same structure. Is thus the above quoted
paragraph from the MIME standard incorrect, since it
specifies a requirement only for receipt?

When the MIME standard was advanced to DRAFT status, did you
then check if any implementation could produce deep nestings
of multiparts? If you did not check this, how can then the
standard include a paragraph like the one quoted above,
since the statement requires any level of multipart nesting,
but since this has not been interoperability tested?

If no existing implementation can produce more than, say,
4 levels of multipart nestings, why, then, does not the MIME
standard say that it is only valid for multipart nestings
up to 4 levels deep?
Jacob Palme <jpalme@dsv.su.se> (Stockholm University and KTH)
for more info see URL: http://www.dsv.su.se/jpalme/
Received on Thursday, 15 June 2000 06:09:17 UTC

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