The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Yet more reasons to lookout for Outlook

I tried sending Spring the following email:

To: XXXXXX@springdew.com
From: XXXX@conman.org
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 03:42:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Greg's Geocities Site

http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Launchpad/4891/

  -spc

It seems that Lookout (another fine Microsoft product) had problems with that email. All Spring got was:

To: XXXXXX@springdew.com
From: XXXX@conman.org
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 03:42:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Greg's Geocities Site

  -spc

Nice, eh?

Of course, in talking with Spring about it, she's of the opinion that this isn't a Lookout problem, as it's happened with someone else we know when he sent email to a mailing list.

Actually, now that I think of it, I think what's happening is that Lookout (and the mailing list software) is not RFC 822 compliant. Or at least, it gets a few details wrong. The line of text can be interpreted at a header line, but the email headers are separated by a blank line:


     3.1.  GENERAL DESCRIPTION

          A message consists of header fields and, optionally, a body.
     The  body  is simply a sequence of lines containing ASCII charac-
     ters.  It is separated from the headers by a null line  (i.e.,  a
     line with nothing preceding the CRLF).

§ 3.1 of RFC 822

What the programs in question seem to be doing is looking for the first line that doesn't seem to be a header line, and ignoring blank lines altogether.

You know, there are standards for a reason … [As I was writing this entry, I sent another test to Spring, making the first line appear to be a header line. She got the message as I sent it. Perhaps Lookout is explicitely looking for H-T-T-P-: … ]

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