|WikiProject Internet culture||(Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)|
Saying that an RFC is "just a request for comments" is like saying that evolution is "just a theory". What makes RFC 1855 "informational" is its category. 220.127.116.11 (talk) 22:56, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
"Canonical" quote mark?
A recent edit called the ">" character "the canonical quote mark", apparently because the RFC 3676 calls it so.
However, that use of the adjective "canonical" is appropriate only because the RFC's proposal includes making ">" the *only* valid quote mark, in the proposed "format=flowed" subtype of the "text/plain" MIME type. The RFC needs to make ">" canonical in order to allow quoted lines to be cleanly unquoted, re-wrapped, and re-quoted. I do not think that ">" can be called "canonical" outside that RFC, except perhaps in the loose sense of "most widely used option".
By the way, observing that the previous edition of this proposal (RFC 2646, 1999) failed to get wide approval and is being retracted, I suspect that RFC 3676 will not become a standard either. Its proposal will only work perfectly if all participants in a discussion use agents that are compliant to it, and only if the original message is generated and tagged as "format=flowed". Even those agents will not work properly with the gazillion older messages that are sitting in people's folders and internet archives, which are either non-compliant or not tagged as "flowed". Note that any failure of a mail agent to properly handle quoted text in a non-compliant message will be perceived by users (rather rightfully, I would say) as a "bug" of the agent, rather than of the message. All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 04:22, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
- Nope. text/plain; format=flowed is very carefully designed to be compatible with the normal text/plain format. It is widely used by Mac OS mail clients. And RFC 2646 is not "being retracted", as you claim, it's been obsoleted by 3676, with the latter a superset of the former. Jec (talk) 20:54, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
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