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#1: email addresses to have an incompatible change

Posted on 2008-04-19 02:06:27 by Mark Crispin

The fun-loving boys and girls at the IETF are in the process of developing
an "experimental" framework for doing UTF-8 email addresses that will
break every existing MUA (including user mail agents and IMAP servers).

Specifically, instead of the familiar
From: personal name <user@domain>
header lines, we will now see
From: personal name <uuser@udomain <auser@adomain>>
where uuser@udomain is in UTF-8 and auser@adomain is in ASCII.

The reason for this incompatible change is...compatibility! This is so an
SMTP server can "downgrade" the UTF-8 headers to ASCII on a system that
does not support UTF-8 headers. The purported precedent is 8-bit SMTP and
allowing 8BIT Content-Transfer-Encoding with SMTP downgrade to 7-bit and
BASE64/QUOTED-PRINTABLE.

We all know how well SMTP downgrade for 8-bit worked, and especially how
well it prevented leakage. NOT. But that was just a case of having to
tolerate high order bits being set, and relatively few programs and
environments had problems with that.

This is different. MUA developers need to be on the alert for this new
address format NOW, because "experimental" or not, we ARE going to start
seeing these.

-- Mark --

http://staff.washington.edu/mrc
Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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#2: Re: email addresses to have an incompatible change

Posted on 2008-04-21 11:03:58 by Kari Hurtta

And specially how to know if local mailbox (not IMAP or POP)
are " UTF-8 capable " ....

At least there these will leak.

That is area where IETF is not traditionally intrested.

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#3: Re: email addresses to have an incompatible change

Posted on 2008-04-22 00:31:17 by DFS

Mark Crispin wrote:

> From: personal name <uuser@udomain <auser@adomain>>
> where uuser@udomain is in UTF-8 and auser@adomain is in ASCII.

For those looking for links, there are drafts at
http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/eai-charter.html and the particular
draft mentioned by Mark is
http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-eai-utf8heade rs-10.txt

Regards,

David.

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