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Case-sensitivity in newsgroup names and message-IDs
Following a discussion between Mateusz Viste, Russ Allbery, Urs Janßen
and me on news.software.nntp (see <bsjlf6-frq.ln1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>),
it appears there is a problem with case-sensitivity of a newsgroup name
and a message-ID.
The following paragraph from RFC 3977 applies:
3.1. Commands and Responses
Keywords are case insensitive; the case of keywords for commands MUST
be ignored by the server. Command and response arguments are case or
language specific only when stated, either in this document or in
other relevant specifications.
In practice, news servers implement:
211 3219 149 6892 news.software.nntp
411 No such group news.software.NNTP
that is to say that news.software.nntp and news.software.NNTP are *not*
the same newsgroup. The same behaviour occurs if I use:
in the headers of an article. The post is rejected.
Message-IDs are also parsed case-sensitively but that fact is not
said in RFC 3977.
Besides, I read in RFC 5536 (USEFOR):
Some software will try to match the <id-right> of a <msg-id> in a
case-insensitive fashion; some will match it in a case-sensitive
fashion. Implementations MUST NOT generate a Message-ID where the
only difference from another Message-ID is the case of characters in
the <id-right> part.
NOTE: All-digit <component>s conflict with one widely used storage
scheme for articles. Mixed-case groups cause confusion between
systems with case-sensitive matching and systems with case-
insensitive matching of <newsgroup-name>s.
It does not say pretty well what is the expected behaviour! For
message-IDs, only <id-right>s are dealt with. What for <id-left>?!?
(In RFC 5322? but I did not find it clearly.)
And nothing explicitly states that newsgroups are case-sensitive...
In Son of 1036, it was said:
| 2.5. Case-Sensitivity
| Text in newsgroup names, header parameters, etc. is case-
| sensitive unless stated otherwise.
| NOTE: This is at variance with MAIL, which is
| case-insensitive unless stated otherwise, but is
| consistent with news historical practice and
| existing news software. See the comments on back-
| ward compatibility in section 1.
| As with From addresses, a message ID's local part is case-
| sensitive and its domain is case-insensitive. The "<" and
| ">" are parts of the message ID, not peculiarities of the
| Message-ID header.
| NOTE: Possibly newsgroup names should have been
| case-insensitive, but all existing software treats
| them as case-sensitive. (RFC 977 [rrr] claims
| that they are case-insensitive in NNTP, but exist-
| ing implementations are believed to ignore this.)
| The simplest solution is just to ban use of upper-
| case letters, since no widespread newsgroup name
| uses them anyway; this avoids any possibility of
Such comments are no longer present in USEFOR.
Shouldn't something be done on that subject?
« Les idées fausses ne sont pas toujours mauvaises. » (Marcel Aymé)