Recently, gateways have clamped down on malformed message bodies that contain
single LF instead of the proper CF/LF mandated by RFCs:
2.1 "A line is a series of
characters that is delimited with the two characters carriage-return
and line-feed; that is, the carriage return (CR) character (ASCII
value 13) followed immediately by the line feed (LF) character (ASCII
and it clarifies further:
2.3 "CR and LF MUST only occur together as CRLF; they MUST NOT appear
independently in the body."
I believe there is no ambiguity as to the ONLY acceptable line-ending anywhere
in an Internet email?
Historically though, many programmers who grew up in the Unix/Apple world are
used to seeing “LF”-only line-ends in their text files, and (out of
understandable) ignorance of the written standards, have used their regular
programming technique in any form handlers and other applications that
generated automated SMTP messages.
The main source of these emails that I see being caught by gateways in hundreds
every single day, are PHP-based form handlers, many of which are using the
PHPmail extension. Of course, when programmers read the PHP official manual
(the mail() function) they are event “educated” to ONLY use “LF” as the
line-end – perpetuating this myth.
I have attempted to point their standards-violation to the PHP and PHPmail
folks – but when the open source community (who usually points to the big bad
wolf “Microsoft” for ignoring standards) is called to follow RFCs, they
suddenly are full of excuses themselves.
I invite you to share your professional opinion:
PHP Manual on mail() function:
They actually fixed it – and then REVERSED that fix (probably because of a
bunch of lazy/ignorant developers who feel that following RFCs is NOT desirable
if they would have to follow the lead of Microsoft in this case – which is
getting it RIGHT).
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