Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(June 1998)

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Subject: Re: Finding A Listowner
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 17:43:58 -0700
To: nolan @ tssi . com, list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM (List Managers)
In-reply-to: <199806151459 . JAA05143 @ celery . tssi . com>

At 7:59 AM -0700 6/15/98, Mike Nolan wrote:
> When Chuq says it wasn't
> designed without feedback from the key players, what key players does he
> have in mind here?

To my knowledge, the ListServ folks had never heard of the RFC. Neither
have the majordomo people. I don't know about the ListProc people (but
I don't care, either... grin). But between ListServ and Majordomo,
that's probably about 90-95% of the extant mail servers out there. I
also am pretty sure that neither the ListStar or LetterRip Pro folks
were consulted on the RFC, and those are the two main mail servers on
the Mac.

If you don't ask the experts for feedback and advice, don't be
surprised when the experts ignore you.

> Anyone writing e-mail or list software who doesn't know what the IETF is
> and what it does is incredibly naive.

But IETF does lots more than e-mail. It's reasonable to assume that if
you're going to write a mail list standard, SOMEONE in the mail list
community is going to be consulted, and generally, they'll pass the
word to get everyone else involved. And that didn't happen.

> I was aware that IETF was working
> on an RFC dealing with mailing lists,

And how will you be aware of it if they don't tell anyone?

> If this new RFC is flawed, I think we need to work WITHIN the system
> to get it repaired, especially if it isn't finalized yet.

And I don't have a problemw ith that myself, although if I consider it
badly flawed, I won't implement it until it's fixed. But just because I
won't adopt it now doesn't mean I'm not willing to try to improve it.
And that's the proper attitude to take. but if you feel it ought to be
adopted ANYWAY, well, refusal to adopt is one of the main pressure
points we have to FORCE necessary updates. If we give that up, why
should they bother?

> Lastly, how many complaints have we seen about Microsoft or AOL or
> [insert favorite target here] not conforming to this or that
> RFC standard?

a great example of the old carrot/stick problem. There are no sticks to
force anyone to implement this stuff. So unless there are carrots,
people won't. And the carrot to an RFC is it makes life better for
users impacted by the RFC (and users include admins...). But you can't
make anyone. You have to convince folks it's in their best interest.

>It strikes me as a bit high and mighty for some of us to
> claim that we're not going to play ball just because we weren't invited
> to help write the rules.

Bad misinterpretation, Mike. I didn't help write RFC822, but I adopt it
fully. This isn't a Not Invented Here problem. This is a "this is a
stupid RFC problem. And it's stupid in many ways because the people who
wrote it did so while not involving the people most able to help build
an RFC that worked right. If they'd gotten it right without us, we'd
STILL adopt it, just to spite them. But it's not that we weren't
involved. It's that they weren't involved AND THEY BOTCHED IT.

it's the botched part that causes us to spurn it, not the not involved part.

Chuq Von Rospach (Hockey fan? <>)
Apple Mail List Gnome (mailto:chuq @
 apple .
Plaidworks Consulting (mailto:chuqui @
 plaidworks .
<> + <>

Indexed By Date Previous: Re: Big Picture
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
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From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
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From: Jason L Tibbitts III <tibbs @ hpc . uh . edu>
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From: Eric Thomas <ERIC @ VM . SE . LSOFT . COM>

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