a French mail digest...

Glazman Daniel (Daniel.Glazman@der.edf.fr)
Wed, 4 May 1994 15:55:32 +0000

Hello folks.

The following is a summary/translation of a mail exchange in the
smtp-fr@grap.insa-lyon.fr list.

Please forgive grammar mistakes...

Of course, the subject is the X-Face field and its location in the
message header...


================== DIGEST BEGINS AFTER THIS LINE ==================

<Alain.Michard@inria.fr> 2 May 1994, 09:35:05

The most part of PC/Mac agents are unable to display a Face. I use Eudora.
Eudora displays the X-Face fields in Ascii.
The X-Face field is a *content* inserted in the header. Don't find it
very clean.

<Sylvain.Langlois@der.edf.fr> 2 May 1994, 11:06:48

The X-xx fields use, even if authorized by RFC-822, is a bit 'dirty' because
it vehicles 'out-of-band' information which have nothing to do with the
message itself. Why not include the Faces as a MIME body-part ?

<bloch@pasteur.fr> 2 May 1994 11:13:03

XFACES are awful.

<Jean-Paul.Le-Guigner@univ-rennes1.fr> 3 May 1994 09:54:04

If you know the sender of a message, you do not need his Face.
If you don't and if see his Face, I'm not sure you'll be able to recognize
him at a meeting
Never forget:

- sending your Face to everybody is boring and it costs
- a URL solution is better
a MIME solution costs too much
- X-Face implies gateway problems
- Who has the time to watch photos ?
If someone has the time to do it, he has to warn about his job.

It's me ! <Daniel.Glazman@der.edf.fr> 3 May 1994 10:48:18
This is an answer to the previous <Jean-Paul.Le-Guigner@univ-rennes1.fr>

The 'X-Face field is ugly' is an unacceptable.
Do you find:
Message-Id: <199405030750.AA13527@mailimailo.univ-rennes1.fr>
beautiful ?
A Mail user agent must show the following info:
1) info taken from the header but not the header itself
2) the message content
The nature itself of the header is without great significance for the final
Ok, a B&W Face is a bit insipid but a color XPM Face is quite 'sexy'...
[5 lines about Le Guigner stupid arguments...]
The only important thing is the user-friendly look of a software. I do
think Faces bring a plus in that way.

<Sylvain.Langlois@der.edf.fr> 3 May 1994 11:09:26

I use a xbiff-like mechanism plugged into the X500 directory. It
displays the photo of the sender of incoming messages.
The main point is that this mechanism does not rely on Face transmission
through smtp.

<Alain.Michard@inria.fr> 3 May 1994 11:55:02

- a message header is not made for 'immediate' display. It contains route
information and UA information but the final user does not need it. Even
if in the _real_ world, the final user sees the header
- X-Face permits to identify a message with a logo. Nothing against that.
- A good Mail User Agent must be nice for non specialists
- e_mail is more and more each day used by non specialists
- PC and Mac agents can't manage X-Face fields
- it is normal to be ahead of the standard when you build something new

<pays@faugeres.inria.fr> 4 May 1994 10:17:13

However long is the X-Face compliant softs list, it is a bad thing for
smtp/RFC services.
It is much better to:
. transmit a reference than a content
. put the info into the body than in the header. Mime can be useful
with an external-access part
. there will NEVER be any consensus at IETF to standardize the X-Face

<Daniel.Glazman@der.edf.fr> 4 May 1994 10:58:09

. a non-local reference to a Face is absurd because of connexion delay
. a MIME external-access: same problem. A image/face MIME body part
could solve the problem
. why not move the X-Face field from the header to the very first line of
the body part ? (for instance, no flames please...)