1993-01-11 - Re: .Sig suppression

Header Data

From: nowhere@bsu-cs.bsu.edu (Chael Hall)
To: 74076.1041@compuserve.com (Hal)
Message Hash: c277ec012830bbb3eab4e2074bf535902f95a7c9df95d62257fa2296fdb0ff22
Message ID: <9301112135.AA21344@bsu-cs.bsu.edu>
Reply To: <930111164833_74076.1041_DHJ37-2@CompuServe.COM>
UTC Datetime: 1993-01-11 21:42:36 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 11 Jan 93 13:42:36 PST

Raw message

From: nowhere@bsu-cs.bsu.edu (Chael Hall)
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 93 13:42:36 PST
To: 74076.1041@compuserve.com (Hal)
Subject: Re: .Sig suppression
In-Reply-To: <930111164833_74076.1041_DHJ37-2@CompuServe.COM>
Message-ID: <9301112135.AA21344@bsu-cs.bsu.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

>Chael> I'm
>Chael> sure there are a couple, but I agree with your point that most BBS's on
>Chael> any mail network append an identifying "tagline" or signature.  As a
>Chael> matter of fact, in many nets it is a requirement that your system append
>Chael> a tagline to all messages.  Incidentally, it is preceded often by "--"
>Chael> on a line by itself.
>I'd like to hear more about systems which do this.  What is the rationale
>for adding the system name at the end?  Do these networks not use
>Internet-style "From:" headers, so these automatic system-wide .sigs are
>used for the same effect?

     The reason why they were created (IMHO) was because most PC-based BBS
software only allows for a very limited space in the header for a From name
and for a To name.  For example, in ChaelBoard, a BBS package that I wrote,
this limitation is 31 characters (in order to make the string 32 bytes long).
Therefore, only names are used.  This gets ambiguous if two John Smith's
are sending messages to the same conference (similar to newsgroups).  So,
the systems started appending a line stating the origin of the message.
Sometimes it's as simple as "X BBS - (222) 222-2222 Smalltown, USA"  Other
times it's more complex.
     Some nets have decided upon a specific type of tagline so that they
all contain the same information in the same format.  Usually they contain
the phone number.  RelayNet(tm) and other popular nets provide for 
"Receiver-only, Routed" messages.  That is, the message is considered
private and sent from your system to a hub and that hub only sends it on
to other hubs or the appropriate node if it is connected to that hub.
Unfortunately, every SYSOP between your system and the receiving
system can read the message.  That's why encryption is important.

>I guess there must be gateways between these bbs's and the internet,
>for this issue to arise.  It's too bad that these gateways don't convert
>the .sig info into a more conventional RFC-822 style Internet header.

     Yes, gateways exist for many systems.  Most consider the tagline a
part of the message.  The de facto standard is to consider "--" on a line
by itself to mark the end of the message body and the beginning of the
tagline.  Users often append their own tagline before the system tagline.
Each mail reader has its own format, usually including the name of the
program on the line.

Chael Hall

Chael Hall
nowhere@bsu-cs.bsu.edu, 00CCHALL@LEO.BSUVC.BSU.EDU, CHALL@CLSV.Charon.BSU.Edu
(317) 285-3648 after 3 pm EST