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8-bit transmission in NNTP
The issue has come up recently about the use of quoted-printable vs. 8-bit in
netnews postings and in particular in the NNTP protocol. It appears, from a
cursory examination of the status quo, that officially netnews is 7-bit;
however, ``just send 8 bits'' is common practice within the netnews community.
``Common practice'', as opposed to an IETF standard, does little to give us
warm fuzzy feelings; and as a veteran of the ``just send 8 bits'' SMTP wars I
am particularly nervous about travelling down that slippery slop.
On the other hand, it is arguable that the ``all the world is UNIX'' attitude
is an acceptable one for netnews and there really is no problem with ``just
send 8 bits'' in netnews. There is, of course, a problem for implementors of
software that supports both mail and news, since they would have to keep
firmly in mind that they can't ``just send 8 bits'' in mail (read: we'll see a
lot of illicit 8-bit SMTP to non-EHLO servers).
The purpose of this message is to get discussion going on this question, if it
isn't already, and hopefully result in a ruling. Maybe (shudder!) it's time
for an IETF-NNTP working group? ;-)
-- Mark --