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PICList Thread
'[OT] compliant e-mail systems ..... was [EE]:Eagl'
2008\07\07@103010 by Rolf

face picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:
> alan smith wrote:
>  
>> Hijacking the thread...since the question was answered...
>>    
>
> What, your mail program can't start new threads?
>
> ********************************************************************
> Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
> (978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.
>  
Ooi!. Olin, your mail program is not exactly thread-compliant..... it
fails to process the References: header correctly

As a result, your mails do not appear where they belong in the thread.

Here is an example of a broken mail header of yours:

Message-ID: <003401c8deaf$fc7eca70$0300a8c0@main>
From: spam_OUTolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamembedinc.com (Olin Lathrop)
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <.....piclistKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu>
References: <00c701c8ddcc$09654dc0$89aafea9@ivp1><001b01c8ddd0$5510a770$0300a8c0@main><00ff01c8ddd4$f7399350$89aafea9@ivp1><005101c8dde3$959fc650$0300a8c0@main>
       <486E3C46.5010906spamKILLspamtelia.com><003401c8ddec$afa9a490$0300a8c0@main>
       <.....486E6E02.8000300KILLspamspam.....telia.com><
Subject: Re: [PIC] Code packing
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2008 11:01:20 -0400
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1914
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2800.1914



This contains a truncated References: header... your actual mail begins
with:

Jinx wrote:
>> Sure, but I bet there is a lot of common code between projects
>
> Hmmm, no. Not really. I mean that, I thought long and hard. They're
> all so very different, on everything from 10F to 18F, and they have
> very little in common


In fact, the message you were replying to is:



Date: Sun, 06 Jul 2008 02:09:45 +1200
From: Jinx <EraseMEjoecolquittspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTclear.net.nz>
Subject: Re: [PIC] Code packing
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <piclistspamspam_OUTmit.edu>
Message-id: <009e01c8dea8$e063d490$89aafea9@ivp1>
MIME-version: 1.0
X-MIMEOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2600.0000
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-priority: Normal
References: <00c701c8ddcc$09654dc0$89aafea9@ivp1>
       <001b01c8ddd0$5510a770$0300a8c0@main>
       <00ff01c8ddd4$f7399350$89aafea9@ivp1>
       <005101c8dde3$959fc650$0300a8c0@main> <@spam@486E3C46.5010906KILLspamspamtelia.com>
       <003401c8ddec$afa9a490$0300a8c0@main> <KILLspam486E6E02.8000300KILLspamspamtelia.com>
       <012801c8de9f$8420af40$0300a8c0@main>


Which has the headers formatted just fine.

For what it's worth, it is only you and 'Funny NYPD' who repeatedly get
the references wrong in the headers.

Funny NYPD has a scary mail client though:

X-Mailer: YahooMailRC/814.06 YahooMailWebService/0.7.134.12




The way I see it is that you keep complaining about other people using
long lines to send mails, and that it screws up the formatting, etc. I
believe you are the only person who ever experiences these 'truncated'
posts from others, and I believe it is because there is some
server/client in your environment which does the truncating.

So, it is worth spending some of your 'idle' time investigating your
mail system(s) to see why it can't process RFC2822 compliant mails.


At least keep in mind that when the 'thread levels' become deep, your
mail system fails to produce valid headers, truncates header lines, and
generally misbehaves. You also may want to think about that before you
accuse other people of producing too-long mail lines (which are
perfectly standards compliant) that get truncated (by your systems) .....

Rolf

2008\07\07@112203 by olin piclist

face picon face
Rolf wrote:
>> alan smith wrote:
>>
>>> Hijacking the thread...since the question was answered...
>>>
>>
>> What, your mail program can't start new threads?
>
> Ooi!. Olin, your mail program is not exactly thread-compliant..... it
> fails to process the References: header correctly

You totally missed the point.  This guy said he was hijacking a thread to
ask a new question, but that it was OK since the original question was
answered.  My response was intended to be sarcastic, in essence saying
something like "So start a new thread, duh.", but James frowns on such
things so I didn't.

> As a result, your mails do not appear where they belong in the thread.
>
> Here is an example of a broken mail header of yours:

This is a totally independent issue.  I use Outlook Express, right now on a
Windows 2000 system.  Frankly, there is way to much garbage in PIClist
headers.  If my (very common) mail program decides to strip some out, I
don't really care.  I have no problem reading PIClist mail, and the thread
names show up in my mailer just fine.

I guess there is some wrinkle that this version of OE doesn't do.  It
doesn't seem to effect what I get, so I don't have a problem with that.  If
others do, it points out that there are too many wrinkles in the email
standards, and that if you want the broadest possible compatible
interchange, stick to plain old 80 character ASCII text lines with no fancy
assumptions.

> At least keep in mind that when the 'thread levels' become deep, your
> mail system fails to produce valid headers, truncates header lines,
> and generally misbehaves.

If you say so.  Seems to work fine for me.  And since this is a very common
mail program (Microsoft OE), it's probably not a good idea for your system
to rely on others implementing that part of the standard as you think they
should, reqardless of who is right.

> You also may want to think about that before you
> accuse other people of producing too-long mail lines (which are
> perfectly standards compliant) that get truncated (by your systems)

Perfectly standards compliant and a good idea are two different things.  I
know that my POP3 server apparently truncates lines at 256 characters, and
that is wrong.  The standard guarantees 1024 if I remember right, but
"encourages" more.  So to be truly standards compliant, a mailer would still
have to deal with paragraphs that are longer than 1024 characters and break
them up somehow.

Once again, whether the standard says you need to or not, to write email
that the broadest possible audience can reliably read, send it in plain
ASCII text with lines not exceeding 80 characters unless necessary (like a
long URL, for example).  You can be right or you can be effective.  Pick
one.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\07\08@064935 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> You can be right or you can be effective.  Pick one.

Ouch... if that's how you work (or live), you're missing out on a lot :)

You can be both, in most cases, especially if you're also nice (that's the
glue that joins the two :). There's pretty much nothing that prevents
anybody from using effectively a mailer that doesn't break the rules.

Gerhard

2008\07\08@075504 by olin piclist

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> There's pretty much nothing
> that prevents anybody from using effectively a mailer that doesn't
> break the rules.

Or course there is.  I am writing this in Microsoft Outlook Express on a
Windows 2000 system.  It works fine for what I want it to do.  Anything else
would require additional work on my end to find, install, learn, and get
used to.  Ain't gonna happen, especially since there is no problem to solve.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\07\08@090150 by Rolf

face picon face
Hi Olin.

I just don't understand this...

you admit your mail system (which includes your POP3 server) is
deficient in that it truncates at 256 characters, yet, "it works fine
for what you want it to do"...

fine.

But, when someone else points out the deficiency you claim it would
require "additional work to find, install, learn and get used to. Ain't
gonna happen, especially since there is no problem to solve."

The paradox is that you are on the other end of this situation so often....

absolute vs relocatable code, banksels vs. bsf/bcf, and so on and so
on.....

People do things differently, but, 'some' would suggest that you were
'stupid' or 'lazy' for not doing things the 'right' way.

Why is it that you can't see the irony in all this....? Fascinating.

I am going to bookmark this mail of yours because it is a perfect
quotable response for the next time I do things different to you:

> It works fine for what I want it to do.  Anything else
> would require additional work on my end to find, install, learn, and get
> used to.  Ain't gonna happen, especially since there is no problem to solve.


Rolf



Olin Lathrop wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\07\08@092740 by olin piclist

face picon face
Rolf wrote:
> I just don't understand this...

Of course you do.  You are just trying to diguise your dig at me.

{Quote hidden}

They can suggest all they want.  I don't recall asking for advice on my
mailer.  But in any case I've read what people have said and find the
arguments unconvincing and to keep doing what I'm doing in my best interest.
Maybe some day I'll find the limitation in the POP3 server and extend it to
1024 characters or more, but that's as far as I currently plan to take it.
I haven't asked for other people's opinion or help on the matter and don't
care what they think.  I've got stuff to attend to, and this isn't even on
the long list.

If I remember right, this started when someone was whining about my mailer
not doing something right with threads.  They showed some header barf, never
pointed out exactly what OE did wrong, and certainly never explainined how
this was adversely effecting me.  The only conclusion I could draw was that
it isn't effecting me, so there is nothing to solve.  If someone has a
problem with OE, they need to take it up with Microsoft.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\07\08@104148 by Rolf

face picon face
part 0 44 bytes
his is a multi-part message in MIME format.
part 1 4823 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed (decoded 7bit)

Hi Olin...

First, you are right, it is a dig. I believe I do understand.... anyway,
I don't try to disguise my digs when I make them... they are pretty
transparent.

Still, two things... we read our mail's differently. I like to have
threads so that I can see what belongs with what. You have indicated in
the past that you read your mails in the order they arrive. I have no
problem with that (but, for the record, it leads to inefficiencies on
your side because you often reply to questions that have already been
answered by others.... I'm surprised you have the time for that).

Secondly, there really is something broken in your mail systems, and, it
leads to inaccuracies in many places.

I have attached a snippet of what things look like when your mail
systems start 'truncating' headers. It means that the associations of
the mails are lost. This is akin to a person not using correct comments
in the code... you should appreciate that analogy where the actual code
does not do what the comments suggest it should.... this is what happens
when your mails are referenced to the wrong place. You do PIC's
professionally, I do computers professionally... we each have our
expertises. In this case, your systems are broken.

Regardless, there is some affliction that affects only your mails...
when the threads get 'deep', your mails are misfiled. I have identified
that in your mail headers the Reference header is being truncated. Your
last e-mail on this subject is a good example. You have suggested it may
be your POP3 server.

Fixing this is of some significance, and not just for me. The internet
archives all have the wrong reference chains for your mails. This can
lead to confusion for people trying to follow a discussion. This thread
in Nabble, for example, is broken the same way as I see it in my reader.
This is a problem unique to you. Further, as the internet evolves, these
chains of reference can only become more useful too. It is a huge
benefit to be able to easily back-reference people's comments to mails
in order to quickly ascertain a context to a discussion. This is not
possible with your mails in the one place it matters most: where threads
are deeply nested and complicated.

So, you are in the situation where your contributions to Piclist are
being partially compromised by your mail technology. Only you are in the
position where you can do something about it.

For the record, here is the (incomplete) references header from that
last mail of yours which is mis-filed:

Message-ID: <000e01c8e0fe$ac01e720$0300a8c0@main>
From: RemoveMEolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamembedinc.com (Olin Lathrop)
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <spamBeGonepiclistspamBeGonespammit.edu>
References: <TakeThisOuT765517.51414.qmEraseMEspamspam_OUTweb51710.mail.re2.yahoo.com><004201c8e036$d4c11aa0$0300a8c0@main><RemoveME48722854.305spamTakeThisOuTrogers.com>        <002601c8e045$84cd2020$0300a8c0@main>        <1qz347urjpt64$.dlgEraseMEspam.....connectionbrazil.com><01c901c8e0f1$c643a040$0300a8c0@main>
       <4873653A.1090802@r
Subject: Re: [OT] compliant e-mail systems ..... was  [EE]:Eagle question
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 09:29:38 -0400



Your call.

Rolf



Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Rolf wrote:
>  
>> I just don't understand this...
>>    
>
> Of course you do.  You are just trying to diguise your dig at me.
>
>  
[snip]
{Quote hidden}


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2008\07\08@111806 by olin piclist

face picon face
Rolf wrote:
> I have attached a snippet of what things look like when your mail
> systems start 'truncating' headers. It means that the associations of
> the mails are lost.

I guess you are saying that the header is supposed to track the many layers
of "threads" the message is in reply to?  Seems a bit silly, although I can
certainly believe someone cooked up a "standard" for that.  In theory, the
chain could be infinitely long.  Sounds like a good solution would be to
completely delete that part of the header.  If I did things right, all that
thread nonsense should be reset with this message.

> This is akin to a person not using correct
> comments in the code.

Not even remotely.  For one thing, these thread references are purely
machine generated.

> In this case, your systems are broken.

I guess by this thread tracking standard.

> Fixing this is of some significance, and not just for me.

Actually I think your biggest gripe is that it breaks the way you chose to
look at PIClist threads.

> The internet
> archives all have the wrong reference chains for your mails.

No, only some.  The official PIClist message archive seems to get it right,
and that's the only one I ever use.  It gets it right probably because James
realized that this thread tracking standard can not be relied on and found
some other way to determine threads, probably from the subject line.  Maybe
you should use the subject line too instead of relying on everyone adhering
to this standard.

> This can
> lead to confusion for people trying to follow a discussion. This
> thread
> in Nabble, for example, is broken the same way as I see it in my
> reader.

Oh well.  That puts it at about 1000 on my list of 100 things to worry
about.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\07\08@120415 by Peter Todd

flavicon
face
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On Tue, Jul 08, 2008 at 11:20:13AM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
{Quote hidden}

There are three headers related to this, References, In-Reply-To and
Message-ID.

The Message-ID is a globally unique message ID. IIRC it's fairly
free-format, so long as the globally unique part is maintained. Random
uuids would be completely acceptable, especially if postfixed with the
domain.

In-Reply-To is simply what Message-ID the email is replying to.

References is an oldest first list of In-Reply-To's, which the email
client is allowed to arbitrarily tuncate as needed. Just additional data
really.


This guy, http://www.jwz.org/doc/threading.html, claims to have written
the best known algorithm for threading messages, and has a bunch of
other detail on that site. He's probably right, this is jwz we're
talking about, one of the original Netscape people. :) Sounds like the
standards were screwed up, but it's quite possible to implement robust
threading detecting, and equally email clients can easilly give useful
output. The system generally workes, my Mutt email client has does a
great job of thread display and it pretty much always works. Equally,
most email clients give useful and workable References an In-Reply-To
headers. For that matter, Mutt even manages to figure out where your
messages, with those headers removed, go, though for the life of me I
don't know exactly how it manages that feat. :)

In any case deleting that "thread nonsense" is definetely a bad idea.

- --
http://petertodd.org 'peter'[:-1]@petertodd.org
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2008\07\08@124858 by olin piclist

face picon face
Peter Todd wrote:
> In any case deleting that "thread nonsense" is definetely a bad idea.

Actually it worked fine.  I got the message back from the list intact.  You
obviously did too since you replied to it.  I just checked, and the
piclist.com list archive put the message in the right thread, with your
reply correctly following.

You said email clients are allowed to abritrarily truncate the references
list, so deleting all the thread nonsense is even standard compliant
according to you.

Everything is working fine for me to the level I care about.  There is no
problem to solve.  If you don't like the way it looks in your mailer, fix
*your* mailer.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\07\08@125144 by Rolf

face picon face
Peter Todd wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Hi Peter

Where is it that you found that mail clients can truncate the
"References" header?

Also, I can't seem to figure out where we are losing the 'In-Reply-To'
header either.... I am adding it when I send (well, Thunderbird is...),
but it is not appearing in the list posting (nor for anyone else).

I imagine that the 'mailman' software is stripping off more than just
the 'Reply-To' header, but the 'In-Reply-To' header as well. This is a
definite bug with the mailman handling. List Admins... are you there?
There rules set up to replace the 'Reply-To' header with
'"Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <EraseMEpiclistspammit.edu>' ... are
these rules also stripping the 'In-Reply-To' header?

Thanks

Rolf

P.S. will be out of town this weekend (including Friday). Hope you have
a good and successful  time at Nathan Phillips Sq.



2008\07\09@000213 by Peter Todd

flavicon
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On Tue, Jul 08, 2008 at 12:51:19PM -0400, Rolf wrote:
> Hi Peter
>
> Where is it that you found that mail clients can truncate the
> "References" header?

jwz mentions it in his page, I haven't actually read any of the relevent
RFCs myself.

> Also, I can't seem to figure out where we are losing the 'In-Reply-To'
> header either.... I am adding it when I send (well, Thunderbird is...),
> but it is not appearing in the list posting (nor for anyone else).

You sure? I see it being correctly set; remember that In-Reply-To is
usually hidden by your email client. The References header is again
correctly set, and again usually hidden.

> I imagine that the 'mailman' software is stripping off more than just
> the 'Reply-To' header, but the 'In-Reply-To' header as well. This is a
> definite bug with the mailman handling. List Admins... are you there?
> There rules set up to replace the 'Reply-To' header with
> '"Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <RemoveMEpiclistEraseMEspamEraseMEmit.edu>' ... are
> these rules also stripping the 'In-Reply-To' header?

Again, check your email client...

Of course, Reply-To munging is a totally different issue again with some
rather strong opinions surrounding it. :)

> Thanks
>
> Rolf
>
> P.S. will be out of town this weekend (including Friday). Hope you have
> a good and successful  time at Nathan Phillips Sq.

Thanks! Once I get some photos I'll post them somewhere online for
people to see.

- --
http://petertodd.org 'peter'[:-1]@petertodd.org
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2008\07\09@003328 by Peter Todd

flavicon
face
part 1 2505 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=us-asciiOn Tue, Jul 08, 2008 at 12:51:11PM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Peter Todd wrote:
> > In any case deleting that "thread nonsense" is definetely a bad idea.
>
> Actually it worked fine.  I got the message back from the list intact.  You
> obviously did too since you replied to it.  I just checked, and the
> piclist.com list archive put the message in the right thread, with your
> reply correctly following.

Not quite. The message got in the right thread, due to the obvious "same
subject line and close time" rule, correctly following due to the latter
"date based" rule. Add a complication or two and something would have
broken. Mutt for instance displays the attached "broken, and best guess
thread" symbol in such situations. It also has commands to explicitly
break threads up.

> You said email clients are allowed to abritrarily truncate the references
> list, so deleting all the thread nonsense is even standard compliant
> according to you.

You can be right or you can be effective, pick one. By truncating the
References, your email client/smtp server combo may be "right" but
definetely not effective.


I was curious enough to actually look up the relevant standard, RFC
1036: 2.2.5, which was written for Usenet news, but is de-facto applied
to email:

   It is permissible to not include the entire previous "References" line
   if it is too long.  An attempt should be made to include a reasonable
   number of backwards references.

And RFC 822: 4.6.3, which is the original email standard:

   The contents of this field identify other  correspondence which  this
   message references.  Note that if message identifiers are used, they
   must use the msg-id specification format.

Looks like pretty plain language to me. If anything, I suspect the
reason why the language was never tightened up, is that email clients do
a generally very good job of following the obvious de-facto
interpretation, and as for the ones that don't, no standard is going to
change silly implementations. Hell, your setup almost works perfectly,
aside from one line truncation bug that crops up sometimes.

> Everything is working fine for me to the level I care about.  There is no
> problem to solve.  If you don't like the way it looks in your mailer, fix
> *your* mailer.

My mailer can not recover information deleted by your mailer.

--
http://petertodd.org 'peter'[:-1]@petertodd.org


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