Hopefully the last on headers

Dal Allan 0002501752 at mcimail.com
Wed Feb 1 12:41:00 PST 1995


     TO:  ATA Reflector            NOT SENT TO:  ATAPI Reflector  
          Fibre Channel Reflector                SSA Reflector  
          HIPPI Reflector                        ESCON Reflector  
          SCSI Reflector                         FC-IP Reflector  
          SFF Reflector                          Others I forgot I am on.... 
   FROM:  Dal Allan  (dal_allan at mcimail.com) 
 
Neither Rick's email nor mine was an attempt to blame any service. We both  
appreciate there being reflectors, but we cannot all control the receipt of  
information as well as we would like.  
 
I do not know which of you who responded did so over the reflector or  
personally unless it was stated specifically in the body. Therefore, in an  
effort to reach the parties involved, this is another broadcast item.  
 
Those of you who get full information have no problem, but there is a  
variety of reasons why some of us do have a problem. 
 
 - Yes, full information is available on some systems. 
 - Yes, it is a software matter if headers are not provided.  
 - No, it is not the fault of the reflectors.  
 - No, it is not always controllable by the receiver. 
 
The problem is not isolated. Some receiving services strip off all header  
material except the line which that service thinks is most important e.g.  
MCI Mail and MIS departments. Software packages under MIS management are  
used to control Internet access, and site managers can choose an option to  
strip all but the originator. BTW, the definition of originator varies. My  
thanks for an explanation from John Lohmeyer which is paraphrased below:  
 
> - On my new mail reader (MS Mail), the From address listed is picked out  
>   of the internet header with preference to the 'Sender:' line  
> - On my old cc:Mail mail reader the From address listed was picked out  
>   of the internet header with preference to the 'From:' line.   
> - My unix-based ELM mail reader gave me all the header lines.  
 
Although MS Mail has an option to provide header lines, it does not work for  
all sites for all email e.g. when dialing in remotely, John tells me MS Mail  
strips the headers even when you have the option set to get them.  
 
Hale Landis provided the sequence which should be followed by a mailer to  
provide information on originator: 
 
> 1) the Reply-To: field, 
> 2) if no Reply-To:, it should use the From: field, 
> 3) and finally, if no From:, it should use the Sender: field. 
>  
> This is a common design error in older generation email software. 
 
What does Hale's last comment say about MS Mail then?  
 
Devon Worrell advised that the WD reflectors repeat source information. The  
only reflector I see as a source does not tell me the sender, so those of us  
with stripped headers get either reflector OR originator, but never both.  
 
BOTTOM LINE: This is not a big enough deal to suck up any more reflector  
time. Rick made a simple request and I endorsed it, and there are more than  
Rick and I/me that have the problem. 
 
 - It is not so easy for Rick and others in a similar boat to convince their  
   MIS site management to change procedures to get the header information. 
 - I am not going to give up worldwide access to my email over MCI Mail (via 
   local numbers in the countries I visit) to get header information.  
 - Larry Lamers has pleaded for the use of signatures which provide complete  
   response information but few have complied (including me for one).  
 
One solution would be a burden on reflector administrators, which is to  
extract the originator and reflector information and include it at the start  
of the reflected email. I assume that if this was easy to do, it would be  
happening now, so this is not a request for administrators to do so. 
 
The simplest solution requires an effort on all our parts, especially by  
those who are all-knowing because they get the headers. I am asking that you  
be courteous enough to remember your unfortunate brethren.

  Please adopt the etiquette of in-body AUTHOR and REFLECTOR addresses.





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