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Re: A proposal
This proposal seems quite coherent and reasonable if we accept the
premise that we want to modify SMTP. But it says nothing about the
important issue we must decide first, which is whether or not to do that
at all. It is clear from the discussions thus far -- as argued by Dave
Crocker, Einar Stefferud, myself, and many others -- that no SMTP
changes are really necessary because we can encode 8 bit multipart data
in a form that can be passed through SMTP as it currently exists. Such
a solution is a bit less efficient in its use of bandwidth, but requires
no changes to existing MTA's and relays.
It seems to me that in the absence of a compelling need to change SMTP,
any proposal for HOW to change SMTP is a non-starter. With regard to
SMTP, the obvious thing to say is, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
(Working as I do for one of the many fragments of the former Bell
System, I feel particularly strongly that people should take this simple
How do we come to a consensus on this issue?