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Re: Why is From: limited?

From: Chuck Shotton <cshotton@biap.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 1995 16:14:41 -0600
Message-Id: <ab974f07040210042180@[129.106.201.2]>
To: Roman Czyborra <czyborra@cs.tu-berlin.de>, HTTP Working Group <http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
At 9:15 PM 3/23/95, Roman Czyborra wrote:
>> >1. Why is From: only a request header?  It would be nice to provide
>> >   the address of the file owner so you know where to send comments
>> >   if the author forgot to add a <LINK REV="made" HREF="mailto:...">
>>
>> Sure, it'd be nice. It's probably impossible to implement in an efficient
>> fashion on most servers today.
>
>No, not at all.  On Unix, every file already has an owner, and I could
>hack my httpd in no time to construct an email address from it.

#Up on the soapbox..#

First, not every server runs on Unix. (only about half do.) Assuming that a
feature in the protocol is easy to implement based on the effort to hack it
into Unix is not a valid measure.

Second, not every server serves files out of a file system, and not every
file system has file owners. If the server sits on a database, who's the
owner now?

Third, there is no correlation between an operating system-specific "owner"
of a file and the author of the file, and it certainly is NOT the case that
the owner of a file maps to the contents of a "From:" header field.

Fourth, this field has no place as a required header field for reasons I
mentioned earlier (not the least of which is a desire for privacy.) If it's
not required, then it is of little value. The bottom line is that
"authorship" of content should be specified in the content or in the URN.
It has no place in the transport protocol that moves content of
indeterminent type from point A to point B.

##Off the soapbox##

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Chuck Shotton
cshotton@biap.com                                  http://www.biap.com/
cshotton@oac.hsc.uth.tmc.edu                           "I am NOT here."
Received on Thursday, 23 March 1995 14:39:42 EST

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