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Re: Date in mail headers

> On 04-Sep-97 Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> >
> >       The RFC???? are all the rules that actually apply to the
> > internet. And if we all start ignoring the rules, the cooperative
> > process that is the internet (and, indeed, Linux itself is the
> > product of a similar cooperative process). 
> >
>    The RFC are Request For Comments, and not rules.  And to be perfectly
> sincere, there are only limited amount guidence taken from them in the
> corporate world.  Maybe because they never fully address the need of
> the Internet :-)

You are, in a sense, correct.  RFC stands for "Request For COmments", 
and are a series of publications by the IETF and others describing the 

However, I'd like to point you to a different set of documents, 
specifically the numbered "STD" documents, like STD 0001 "INTERNET 
OFFICIAL PROTOCAL STANDARDS", which describes the status of all 
Internet standards track protocols and their defining documents, STD 
0011 "Standard for the format of ARPA Internet text messages", which 
defines the standard format for all text messages (i.e., email) sent 
over the internet.  This -particular- *standard* is 15 years old, and 
has been updated (-not- replaced) by three other documents.  STD 0011 
is also known at RFC0822, which is the RFC that you have been accused 
of violating.

STD 0011 (in the guise of RFC822) defines the Date field to have the 
following syntax:

     orig-date   =  "Date"        ":"   date-time

     date-time   =  [ day "," ] date time        ; dd mm yy
                                                 ;  hh:mm:ss zzz

     day         =  "Mon"  / "Tue" /  "Wed"  / "Thu"
                 /  "Fri"  / "Sat" /  "Sun"

     date        =  1*2DIGIT month 2DIGIT        ; day month year
                                                 ;  e.g. 20 Jun 82

     month       =  "Jan"  /  "Feb" /  "Mar"  /  "Apr"
                 /  "May"  /  "Jun" /  "Jul"  /  "Aug"
                 /  "Sep"  /  "Oct" /  "Nov"  /  "Dec"

     time        =  hour zone                    ; ANSI and Military

     hour        =  2DIGIT ":" 2DIGIT [":" 2DIGIT]
                                                 ; 00:00:00 - 23:59:59

     zone        =  "UT"  / "GMT"                ; Universal Time
                                                 ; North American : UT
                 /  "EST" / "EDT"                ;  Eastern:  - 5/ - 4
                 /  "CST" / "CDT"                ;  Central:  - 6/ - 5
                 /  "MST" / "MDT"                ;  Mountain: - 7/ - 6
                 /  "PST" / "PDT"                ;  Pacific:  - 8/ - 7
                 /  1ALPHA                       ; Military: Z = UT;
                                                 ;  A:-1; (J not used)
                                                 ;  M:-12; N:+1; Y:+12
                 / ( ("+" / "-") 4DIGIT )        ; Local differential
                                                 ;  hours+min. (HHMM)

RFC1123 (which is also cited as part of STD0011 where it updates 
RFC822) modifies this definition to allow/recommend 4-digit years, and 
to depricate the use of the single letter alphabetic time zones (they 
are defined incorrectly in RFC822, so no software can rely on them for 
the correct timezone).

There is a current effort to update and fix some of the problems in 
RFC822 (the DRUMS working group), but even their drafts specify the use 
of "Mon", "Tue", etc for the days of the week -- when they are used at 
all.  They are perfectly optional.

>   There is no Debate... the question rose as somebody complained about his
> server software breaking on my mail... and I guessed it was because of my
> Date field being a quoted printable inside a header field.  This is
> a standard, period.  However, I did start my mail client in the "C" locale,
> that ensures that the Date was written in "C" locale... but I was still "kicked"
> out of the list for it... so, I don't think the problem has anything to do with
> my 'Date' field, do you? :-) So, I'll just have it the way I see fit ;-)

I have quoted and cited the standard that does -not- allow the use of 
non-English day names/abbreviations in standard-conforming Internet 
mail messages.  Since you state that quoted printable inside a header 
field is a standard, please -cite- the relevant standard.  
Specifically, cite where it allows Date headers like you are using.

>   There are still some 7-bit servers out there (and minds ;-)... I'm not going
> to, neither now nor in future to comply in making my software 7-bits just for
> those servers, they'll just have to break, until the administrators find it with
> in their time to comply to evolution.  These servers are out-dated by 50
> years.  :-)

Not really.  The current -standard- for email transmission is RFC821 
(also about 15 years old), and that explicitly states that SMTP is 
7-bits only.  ESTMP, MIME, and other standards-track protocols are 
designed to try to work around that problem, but not all sites use 
ESTMP yet, etc.

> ....Just me
> --
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     Buddha Buck                      bmbuck@acsu.buffalo.edu
"Just as the strength of the Internet is chaos, so the strength of our
liberty depends upon the chaos and cacaphony of the unfettered speech
the First Amendment protects."  -- A.L.A. v. U.S. Dept. of Justice

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