That's me. I never said to make all messages fixed length. I said to make a 
fixed number of fields per protocol. So given a protocol version number, you 
know the number of fields in a message. This is not only easier for parsing 
messages, but just good practice. I don't see why a 1 byte flag needs to be 
optional anyway.

 From: Mike Hearn <>
To: Turkey Breast <> 
Cc: Bitcoin Dev <> 
Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 9:48 PM
Subject: Re: [Bitcoin-development] Missing fRelayTxes in version message

It's not a bug (although there was recently a change to make bitcoind/qt always 
send this field anyway). 

I don't know where Amir is going with BIP 60. Version messages have always been 
variable length. There's nothing inherent in the Bitcoin protocol that says all 
messages are fixed length, indeed, tx messages are allowed to have arbitrary 
data appended after them that gets relayed.

On Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 7:45 PM, Turkey Breast <> wrote:

See this BIP. I'm not sure if this is a bug or what, but it would be good if 
messages always had a fixed number of fields per protocol version.
>This BIP details everything that needs to be done and proposes a protocol 
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