Subject: Re: bin/3286: sendmail doesn't escape 'From'
To: Christoph Badura <>
From: Andrew Wheadon <>
List: netbsd-bugs
Date: 03/06/1997 00:49:16
> > > I still resent this.  It hasn't been shown that this is actually
> > > necessary.  So far there have been only vague references to unnamed
> > > mailers that might get it wrong.
> > I don't resent it. I'm getting that problem for
> > elm 2.4 pl25 and elm 2.4 pl3. I am only getting it for PURE elm.
> So how do these From_ lines get into the folder in the first place?
Well elm just creates a header (maybe sendmail add's the correct From)
and adds a line "Forwarded message:" and pastes the message (including
an existing From line header and all) to it and feeds it into sendmail.

One could argue that "elm" should be changed to escape the "From" line
it pastes. BUT that would be forgetting that other people are forwarding
mails with elm and other mailers to a NetBSD machine. We can't enforce
changing all the existing and future mailers on other machines just so
our NetBSD machine doesn't get mixed up.

> No, filter wasn't the problem.  I copied a From_ line manually to to middle
> of a message in a test folder.  I don't know yet why I couldn't reproduce
> the problem on flatlin.  I can reproduce it on a different machine.
wierd. I can reproduce it on both NetBSD-machines sending mail from "elm"
from any machine (HPUX, NetBSD) etc. I can't reproduce it on HPUX because
sendmail escapes the From lines (as my first change-request requested).

> Setting it to yes doesn't change the behavior if there isn't a Content-Length:
> lines in the message that breaks.
Yes that's what I understood too, and there aren't any other related
options so I can't have misconfigured it.

> Anyway, here's a patch to elm 2.4 PL25 that makes it ignore any valid
> From_ line that isn't preceded by a blank line.
Now the patch is useful to me, but it would still be more sensible
to change mail.local or local.m4 since they are part of the standard
distribution, so we make sure that every NetBSD machine gets it. As it
is every person trying to port elm or any other mailer with the same
idea of the mbox-format will have the trouble, will need a patch.
Sure we can make it a FAQ and have patches available but it doesn't
make NetBSD a friendly system easy to port stuff to, which I still consider
it to be. It's also a pain maintaining all those different patches when
a change to mail.local would be much more simple. 

Why are we so certain that a mailer that considers any line beginning
with "From " to be a new mail is faulty ? It is a perfectly good
description of an mbox-format. It is very easy to implement.

PS I think all pro's and con's have been mentioned. Why doesn't
core and/or bin-maintainer weigh up, act or leave as is, and 
close the PR?
PS2 I just checked and xbuffy-3.2.1 doesn't expect an empty line
and wants the From line to look like this:
realfrom.c:	From <user> <weekday> <month> <day> <hr:min:sec> [TZ1 [TZ2]] <year> [rem...

The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity. (Mark Twain)
current	release=doc \ "NetBSD-current mirror"
hostbase=/mit/ftp/pub/NetBSD base=/usr prefix=/usr backup delete use-rel-suffix