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Re: First strawman for UTF-8 headers proposal
On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 14:14:12 +0100 Simon Josefsson <jas@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Both IMAP and POP(3) support capabilities, so it would not be
> difficult to add a UTF8HEADER capability. I'm skeptical about that
> approach though, there are many protocols that transfer e-mail, adding
> a capability negotiation mechanism, and a new capability, to all of
> them is not practical.
Yes, it would be difficult. Just because the protocol supports extension
does not mean that it is easy to extend ... particularly in ways like
this. It will take a long time to deploy code that both handles the
display issues (which we have to do no matter what) AND requires protocol
extensions. This is because both the client and the server have to be
appropriately extended. In 13 years of implementation experience with
IMAP clients and servers, not one extension has deployed either quickly or
You would be much better served to work within the constraints of the
existing protocol if possible. I'm sure that could be done with IMAP
which already supports UTF-7 encodings. You'd likely have to do a
mapping of some kind. Good luck with POP.
Please don't get me wrong. An extension is possible and maybe is the
right thing to do. But please don't pretend that it is either simple to
engineer or (more importantly) to deploy, because they aren't. The same
goes for SMTP as well ... even more so.
Chief Technology Officer - Billing and Payment Systems