MAIL FROM: requires "<" ">"?

MAIL FROM: requires "<" ">"?

Post by Jonathan Georg » Fri, 25 Jul 1997 04:00:00

Section 4.1.2 "COMMAND SYNTAX" of RFC 821


        MAIL <SP> FROM:<reverse-path> <CRLF>

where (BNF notation):

        <reverse-path> ::= <path>
        <path> ::= "<" [ <a-d-l> ":" ] <mailbox> ">"

        <local-part> ::= <dot-string> | <quoted-string>
        <dot-string> ::= <string> | <string> "." <dot-string>
        <domain> ::=  <element> | <element> "." <domain>              

The implication here is that the argument to the "MAIl FROM:" command
*MUST* be enclosed in "<" ">" (from the definition of <path>).

I know that anything between "<" ">" is considered the address, as in

but I've not (until now) come across a version of sendmail that
*insists* on "<" ">" surrounding the address when passed via "MAIl

For example:

        Command Reply received : 501 Syntax error in originator address.

So, my questions are:

1. Is "<" ">" strictly required?
2. If so then does make versions of sendmail that don't enforce this
   non-compliant with RFC 821?

Any views?

Thanks, Jonathan


Jonathan George - Hewlett-Packard Ltd, Pinewood


MAIL FROM: requires "<" ">"?

Post by Wolfgang Rupprech » Fri, 25 Jul 1997 04:00:00

> 1. Is "<" ">" strictly required?
> 2. If so then does make versions of sendmail that don't enforce this
>    non-compliant with RFC 821?

At one time there was a saying "Be generous in what you accept and
strict in what you send."

I guess its a sign of the times when someone would worry that
something was non-conformant if it accepted a wider range of input.



MAIL FROM: requires "<" ">"?

Post by Jonathan I. Kame » Fri, 25 Jul 1997 04:00:00

"Be generous in what you accept and conservative in what you generate."

Yes, the RFC requires the <...> around the address in a MAIL FROM
command.  But there's really no harm in a particular SMTP
implementation not requiring it; it doesn't break anything, and it's
"generous."  So I don't see anything wrong with it (but anyone who
writes SMTP delivery software which doesn't include the <...> should be
chastised and made to fix their software so it's RFC-conformant :-).



1. "T <regex>" Before ";d' & "$", whichOnesARE tagged?

I've gone and tagged a whole bunch
of stuff, some tags applied via

Now, I want to ";d" thus getting each one of those
tagged-files marked for deleting.

Once I hit "$", it's forever-goodbye to those emails.


But I'm a bit scared; maybe one came from
my *boss*, eg:
    Urgent!  Take 5pm to Panama; sorry for the hot time!
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Question: is there currently an (easy) way
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So we can untag any mistaken choices.


Recall this about Emacs:

When you're in a DIRED buffer, you can go down
the file-list and mark this one and that one
and this other one "D" -- to be deleted from
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A somewhat dangerous operation, if you've made
a mistake and marked-D some files you later discover
that you actually needed to keep.

So, what emacs dired-mod does is, when you
hit "x" (char, bound to the "delete all D-marked
files" command),

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that it is now just about to actually
delete (due to you hitting the "x").

So, you scan your eyes over all those names,
and only if you are happy with what you've
chosen, you reply "yes" to your x-caused
prompt "delete these files?", will it then
actually delete them.

Similar safety-scheme would sure be nice in mutt!  


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