Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(March 2000)

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Subject: Re: case sensitivity?
From: bwarsaw @ python . org (Barry Warsaw)
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 02:21:53 -0500 (EST)
To: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
Cc: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM

>>>>> "CVR" == Chuq Von Rospach <> writes:

    CVR> Gotta quick philosophical question here, attached to
    CVR> practical reality.

    CVR> The email RFC makes it clear that the username should be
    CVR> considered case sensitive, while the domain part is case
    CVR> insensitive

    CVR> But this leads to a bit of a conundrum for me. To simplify
    CVR> reality, I coerce all email addresses to lower case -- this
    CVR> is especially useful for, where many users wouldn't
    CVR> be consistent on capitalization if their life depended on
    CVR> it. But technically speaking, that makes me non-compliant to
    CVR> the RFC, if I were to ever run into a mail system that IS
    CVR> case sensitive on the user name.

    CVR> Does anyone know of any systems that actually enforce case
    CVR> sensitivity on a user name?

Very good question, and one we addressed a while ago in Mailman.
Here's what we do:

For list membership purposes, email addresses are case insensitive.
Thus,,,, etc. are all
considereted the same subscription.  However, Mailman is case
preserving of the email address, and it uses the case-preserved form
of the address for all outgoing mail.  Thus if was the
address that was subscribed, that's the one that will get the list

This way we are RFC compliant where it matters, while maintaining a
subscription policy for Mailman that, while arbitrary, certainly helps
maintain list manager sanity.

I've seen no complaints about this policy since it was implemented in
Mailman before the 1.0 release.


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