Re: SMTP question


postel@ISI.EDU
Wed, 5 Aug 87 14:07:35 PDT


Drew:

Once upon a time long ago and far away there were computers that
internally stored characters as 7-bit bytes.

At the time that the mail protocols were designed such computers
were a significant part of the network population. There are still
some of these computers in existance, and some of them do a lot of
mail forwarding.

If a message passes through one of these computers the (high-order)
eighth bit will be lost as it is stored (however temporarally) and
a zero value (high-order) eighth bit will be supplied as the message
is forwarded on.

If somehow your message does not pass through any of these aging beasts
and passes only through computers that work on eight-bit bytes internally
it probably will keep all eight-bits of every byte just the way you wanted
them. But there are no guarantees about it.

Go ask some old time BBN-er "What does 'TENEX' mean?".

--jon.



This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu Mar 09 2000 - 14:38:49 GMT