RFCs, standards, pink bunnies and flower patterns was -- Re: GPG Outlook Plug-In and Signatures

Ryan Malayter ryan at malayter.com
Mon Oct 16 20:50:12 CEST 2006

On 10/16/06, Mica Mijatovic <blueness at gmx.net> wrote:

> RFCs are not any "standards" nor they are by (their own) definition
> supposed to be.
> They are just collection of less or more recommended routines, and often
> also nothing but the lists of (most usual/mass) _habits_.

Many RFCs *are* standards. Those that are not are identified as
"informational". Even the IETF thinks so, identifying them as the
basis for "the Internet Standards Process". See:

The only reason you can read this message is because RFC 2822 is
universally recognized as the *standard* protocol for email.

> In order to define a _real_ standards, quite another criterions are
> needed, created after essential _sense_ of a given act/procedure.
> In this sense HTML definitely does not satisfy elementary needs to be
> included in a crypto scheme (due to the very HTML's technical
> characteristics).

This statement makes no sense to me. Surely you are not suggesting
that HTML is incompatible with cryptography? That's like saying apples
are incompatible with cooking. Not only is it untrue, but you're not
even really comparing similar entities.

> Of course that it doesn't mean that HTML should be banished completely
> from the 'lectronic mail world, but it has its essential limitations as
> for the cryptographic routines.

Again I must state that one has little to do with the other. MHTML's
MIME format may not play nice with PGP/MIME's encapsultation format,
but it didn't *have* to be that way. S/MIME, for example, seems to
make provisions for playing nicely with other MIME structures such as
MHTML, as well as arbitrary attachments.

All problems can be solved by diplomacy, but violence and treachery
are equally effective, and more fun.

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