Re: finger in your face?

Philippe-Andre Prindeville (
Thu, 2 May 91 13:12:26 +0200

And I kill you... (see face)

> This is out-and-out silliness. The statement is ludicrous on its very face
> and betrays woeful and complete ignorance of the ARM. Justify that, you say?
> (Thus revealing your own woeful and complete ignorance of the ARM, but
> never mind...) Well, last I heard, there was this thing called the File
> Transfer Protocol. "ftp". Heard of that one? Sure you have. Indeed,
> you've probably used it. Can it transfer binary files? Sure it can. No
> problem at all. Are binary files human-readable? Not the last time _I_
> tried to read one.

Well, you aren't doing a very good job of separating a few things here,
namely: control vs. data information (do you know the difference between
TCP port 20 and 21? Sure you do.) and between data that is destined to
be viewed (such as an 822 header or finger info) and that which is not.
Certainly and 822 header is meant to be seen by the user, and in most
cases (except perhaps on a Mac) the user sees (for example) FTP control
commands. In fact, he even types them himself typically...

Binary files are typically not meant to be viewed. They are to be
executed or post-processed.

> The logic here is airtight, with only one route of escape for Philippe: he
> might wish to suggest that FTP does not conform to the alleged ``Internet
> protocols philosophy''. I won't dignify that with a refutation.

Airtight... or vacuous?

> Having disposed of Philippe's laughable claim, let's imagine he might
> have meant something else. He might have meant (even though this is
> quite a leap of the imagination from what he actually _said_) that everything
> moved by _SMTP_ is meant to be (directly) human-readable. He was talking
> about finger, but then claimed:

(It would be nice if someone could point out the difference between RFCs
821 and 822 to this misguided person...) SMTP is a wrapper. It is used
between Transfer Agents. It is not seen by users, but rather by their
sponsors (typically User Agents). Even still, it was designed to be
debuggable by people with nothing more than an ASCII terminal.

> [ ... ]

> thus clearly implying that stuff moved by SMTP is supposed (in his twisted
> view of the ARM) to be directly human-readable. I needn't expatiate the
> stupidity of this at any length; merely see, for one of a myraid of examples,
> RFC1154.

My twisted view of the ARM was sufficient to contribute two new protocol
definitions to it, RFCs 1048 and 1051. A third is on the way. I'm also
on a number of IETF working groups (and have been since 1988).

> I hear a rumour that, in France, it is illegal to send encrypted mail.
> I don't know if this is true. If it is, perhaps it is fascism such as this
> that has led Philippe into confusion. If that is the case, Philippe, allow
> me to suggest that you ought not to confuse the jackbooted tactics of your
> government with the Arpanet Reference Model.

That's probably true -- but you should ask someone french to confirm.
You see, I'm American (you know, where the ARPAnet came from?). In
any case, my jackbooted government invented the ARM. So they should

You should be careful about jumping to conclusions, mate. Especially
about names (for that matter, try to get mine right: it's either
Philip or Philippe-Andre). `What's in a name?' (Shakespeare said that,
you've heard of him, haven't you?) I'll refuse the impluse to take a
swing at Aussies -- any slurs are probably cliches by now anyway.

> And to all those ISORMites out there -- look, I don't give a good damn _what_
> you do in private, as long as you wash your hands afterwards. But DAMN

> O F F O F T H I S L I S T!!!!!!!

> I trust I have made myself as clear as an azure sky of deepest summer.

Appropriate image -- got your club out and your jockstrap on, druggie?


P.S. Don't bother replying to this publicly. I'm sure we have
exceeded whatever entertainment value (if any) this conversation
might have held for the non-rabid readers of this list.