[Mailman-Users] A rant on parsing RFCs

Ruben Safir mrbrklyn at panix.com
Mon Oct 23 18:51:54 EDT 2017

On 10/23/2017 12:57 AM, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> Grant Taylor via Mailman-Users writes:
>  > RFC 6377 - DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Mailing Lists, 
>  > disagrees with you.  (RFC 6377 is also currently known as BCP 167.)
> tl;dr version: RFC 5598 (non-normative but authoritative) disagrees
> with you.  In practice, the mailing list *decides* whether it is
> producing new messages or not, and adjusts Message-ID if "new".  The
> RFC recommends that a message undergoing only Mailman-style changes
> should be considered the *same* message.
> I appreciate you going to the source here, but you shouldn't read RFCs
> the way you read Wikipedia.  As I joked before, you need an education
> comparable to a Jesuit's Bible study to parse RFCs with facility.
> Anybody can read RFCs, of course (I have no training in this!), but be
> careful: context matters.

RFCs are a record of a process.  Unless you were directly involved that
that process, RFCs are about as useless as garbage.  They are not only
without clear explanation, but they are often just plain wrong and

People who suggest reading them need to have their meds adjusted.

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that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998

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