Draft specification for future X-Trace header

Olaf Titz olaf at bigred.inka.de
Wed Jul 5 11:04:16 UTC 2000

>  >However, this SHOULD NOT be done in the normal forwarding of articles,
>  >but only at injection points and gateways (of any kind).
> I think this should really, really be a MUST NOT.

OK. But "normal forwarding" is not exactly defined.

>  >header          = "X-Trace:" LWSP systemid *(LWSP item)
>  >LWSP            = linear-white-space
> Does LWSP contains newlines? (To allow folding.)

Yes. RFC822 effectively defines LWSP as /([ \t]|\n[ \t])+/.

> I don't think X-Trace should be extended to do that, it looks very
> unclean.
> If Message-ID munging is a problem, the Message-IDs should be munged
> the same way by all gateway. Look at News::Gateway about this topic.

The problem is precisely that you can't count on all gateways to
behave well. (Some incoming messages even don't have a Message-ID at
all.) So I want to store away the original (or first assigned) MID at
my gateway in case another gateway munges it.

>  >Any X-Trace header present in an article coming in, whether by POST or
>  >regular feed, MUST NOT be changed or deleted. One additional X-Trace
>  >header MAY be added. An article SHOULD NOT be rejected just because of
>  >the presence of an X-Trace header. (Note this is changed from current
>  >practice.)
> I don't agree. Please provide a rationale.

This makes POST feeds possible and provides additional info at each
POST feed.

> How could people find the right header then?

By the /systemid/ item. If someone finds a problem and can't see the
precise source, he should contact the administrators at all the
systems listed in X-Trace headers.

> POST newsfeeds are evil.

But in the real world you can't avoid them. There is no other way for
a news system to get articles into a regular ISP's server. You can't
require ISPs to give their customers feed permission (a) because of
the spam problem and (b) because they just won't do it. You can't
force people to only use Netscape or Outlook instead of a real news
system either.

The only difference between POST and regular feeding is that POST may
add additional headers anyway.


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