ietf-nntp NNTP and 16-bit charsets

Russ Allbery rra at
Tue May 1 19:49:17 PDT 2001

Charles Lindsey <chl at> writes:
> Russ Allbery <rra at> writes:

>> Note that USEFOR currently requires relaying agents to support lines of
>> unlimited length (at the MUST level), which would imply that relaying
>> agents are required to apply some sort of transparent and reversible
>> content encoding to deal with longer lines if they have a lower limit.
>> I think that's a bit of the tail wagging the dog; the limit should be
>> relaxed in the primary transport protocol first and then it can be
>> relaxed in the message format description.

> What USEFOR actually says is that injectors/servers and the like MUST
> support at least 998 and SHOULD support unlimited. Pure relayers MUST
> support unlimited.

Which is what I just said.

> So it would seem that present INN behaviour is consistent with both
> MUSTs, which is fine.

Yes, but we're not just standardizing the behavior of INN.  Does anyone
know if any existing server has problems with lines over 998 characters?

> (I don't think it worth distinguishing between relaying and serving in
> NNTP, because the ARTICLE command gets used for both).

What are you classifying as "relaying" if you're using ARTICLE to do it?

> It's a change for the format standards, but not for the transport (since
> RFC 977 is silent on the issue AFAICS).

RFC 977 refers to other standards which clearly set a 998 octet limit;
that's been the only standard to which people can write code.  And the job
of this working group is to standardize existing practice.

Russ Allbery (rra at             <>

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