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Versions: 00                                                            
Network Working Group                                       Jacob Palme
Internet Draft                             Stockholm University and KTH
draft-palme-newsmail-00.txt                                 August 1997
Category-to-be: Proposed standard                Expires: February 1998



                  Messages between Email and Netnews

                         Status of this Memo

 This document is an Internet-Draft. Internet-Drafts are working
documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its areas, and
its working groups. Note that other groups may also distribute working
documents as Internet-Drafts.

 Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
time. It is inappropriate to use Internet- Drafts as reference material
or to cite them other than as ``work in progress.''

 To learn the current status of any Internet-Draft, please check the
``1id-abstracts.txt'' listing contained in the Internet- Drafts Shadow
Directories on ftp.is.co.za (Africa), nic.nordu.net (Europe),
munnari.oz.au (Pacific Rim), ds.internic.net (US East Coast), or
ftp.isi.edu (US West Coast).

 This memo provides information for the Internet community. This' memo
does not specify an Internet standard of any kind, since this document
is mainly a compilation of information taken from other RFC-s..
Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


                            Abstract

Messages can be transported through gateways between email and netnews.
Combined clients for mail and netnews can submit the same message at the
same time to email and netnews. Many netnews clients can produce email
replies to the author of netnews articles. This standard specifies how
to handle these kinds of messages. This standard specifies three new
email headers: 'Posted-To', 'Group-Reply-To' and 'Personal-Reply-To'.
Further discussions on this memo should take place in the mailing-list
MAILNEWS-L@SEGATE.SUNET.SE. More info in the full text of this memo or
at URL http://www.dsv.su.se/~jpalme/ietf/jp-ietf-home.html#newsharmony.


Table of contents

1. Mailing List
2. Status
3. Introduction
4. Definitions
5. Headers in Combined and Converted Messages
    5.1 References and In-Reply-To
    5.2 Message-ID Header
    5.3 "Followup-To" and "Group-Reply-To" Headers
    5.4 "Posted-To" header
    5.5 "Newsgroups" Header
    5.6 "Approved" Header
    5.7 "Subject" Header
    5.8 "Received" and "Path" headers
    5.9 "Control" messages
    5.10 Other Headers
    5.11 Headers Mandatory in Netnews but not in Email
    5.12 Headers Optional in Netnews and not Defined in Email
6. Preparation of Replies to Combined Messages
7. Cooperating Clients and Gateways
8. Security considerations
9. Acknowledgments
10. References
11. Author's Addresses
Appendix A: Examples
Appendix B: Algorithm for Assigning Message-IDs to Messages in Gateways
from Email to Netnews
Appendix C: Example of two partially overlapping threads

1.    Mailing List

Further discussion on this memo should be done through the mailing list
MAILNEWS-L@SEGATE.SUNET.SE. To subscribe to this list, send a message to
LISTSERV@SEGATE.SUNET.SE which contains the text
SUB MHTML <your name (not your email address)>

Archives of this list are available by anonymous ftp from
FTP://SEGATE.SUNET.SE in the
directory /lists/mailnews-l. The archives are also available by email.
Send a message to
LISTSERV@SEGATE.SUNET.SE with the text INDEX MAILNEWS-L to get a list of
the archive files,
and then a new message GET <file name> to retrieve the archive files.

You can also browse the archives by http from
HTTP://segate.sunet.se/archives/mailnews-l.html. The FTP archives are
better if you want to
download all messages, the HTTP archives are better if you want to
browse and find a
particular message only.

Finally, the archives from December 3, 1996 are also available in
searchable format from URL
http://www.reference.com/cgi-bin/pn/listarch?list=MAILNEWS-L@segate.sune
t.se


2.    Status

This standard updates current email and netnews standards [RFC822],
[RFC1036], [RFC1123] and [MIME].


3.    Introduction

Clients which can handle both email and netnews are becoming more
common. Also those clients which are mainly intended for netnews often
provide facilities for replying by email to the author of netnews
articles. Messages are often gatewayed between netnews and email, for
example by having a mailing list paralleling a newsgroup. Thus the same
message is often sent to both email and netnews, or an email message is
a reply to a netnews article. This standard specifies the use and
interpretation of certain header information in such messages. This
standard specifies three not-previously standardized email headers:
"Posted-To", "Group-Reply-To" and "Personal-Reply-To" and gives
additional advice on the use of other email and netnews headers. This
standard also registers a global domain name, "md5.net" which should not
be used except as specified in this standard.

One goal of this standard is that the recipient should be able to
unambiguously identify the recipients (newsgroups and/or email) of a
message and get information as a basis for decisions on where to send
replies and followups to such messages.

In particular, some existing practice can cause the undesired public
posting of private email messages to news. It is for this reason that a
solution is necessary.  Because of the installed base of software which
is based on two irreconcilable meanings of the "Newsgroups" header, when
it occurs in email, it is not feasible to simply change the definition
of these headers. New agents which use one of the two uses of this
header might increase the likelihood of very undesirable results, in
particular the undesired and unintended automatic conversion of private
messages to public newsgroup postings.

This standard does not repeat information which is in the email and
netnews standards [SMTP], [RFC822], [RFC1036], [RFC1123] and [MIME],
except where this is needed for clarity.


4.    Definitions

The following terms are used in this standard. These terms may have a
broader meaning in other standards, but are limited to the specific
definitions within this document.

News Client        A program used by a user to read and post news.

Mail Client        A program used by a user to read and send mail.

Combined Client    A program which combines the some or all of the functions
                   of a mail client and a news client.

Message            A message sent to either netnews, email or both.

Mail Message       Any message prepared by a client for transmission by mail
                   only.

News Message       Any message prepared by a client for transmission by news
                   only.

Combined Message   Any message which a combined agent distributes via both
                   news and mail.

Group              A group of people receiving a message. A group can be a
                   newsgroup (representing its subscribers), a mailing list
                   (representing its subscribers), a set of nested mailing
                   lists, or a number of recipient names in To, Cc or Bcc
                   headers, or any combinations of these kinds of groups.

Original Message   The message to which the current message is a reply.

Root Message       A message which does not have any References, In-Reply-To
                   or Supersedes headers.

Thread             The set of messages which can be found by finding all
                   messages which have "References", "In-Reply-To" or
                   "Supersedes" references to a certain root message, and
                   continuing this operation recursively. Note that a message
                   which has "In-Reply-To", "References" or "Supersedes"
                   headers referring to messages in more than one thread, will
                   not cause these two threads to merge into one thread.
                   Successive messages, however, will in this case belong to
                   more than one thread. See appendix C for an example.

Netnews Standards  See [RFC 1036]

Email Standards    See [RFC822], [RFC1123], [SMTP], [MIME]


5.    Headers in Combined and Converted Messages

5.1   References and In-Reply-To

Messages which are sent at the same time to both mail and news MUST use
the References field according to the definitions in netnews standards
[RFC 1036], both for the copy of the message sent via email and the copy
sent via netnews.

Gateways from news to mail SHOULD not modify the "References" field.

Gateways from mail to news MUST, if needed, modify the syntax of
References and In-Reply-To to agree with netnews standards (where the
"phrase" variant is not allowed).

Gateways from mail to news MAY transport the "References" and
"In-Reply-To" header unchanged except for necessary syntax changes
("phrase" is not allowed in netnews). If they are able to do it
correctly, they MAY convert the "References" and "In-Reply-To" field
contents from the usage specified for email to the usage specified for
netnews. Note that such a conversion requires a check on the messages
whose Message-ID are given in the "References" and "In-Reply-To" field,
and this check may have to be performed recursively all the way back to
the root message of a thread (since the netnews usage of the
"References" field requires the "References" field to contain the first,
the last and as many as possible of the intermediate earlier messages in
the thread, see [RFC 1036] clause 2.2.5). Thus, such a conversion is not
easy to perform. Conversion should not be done unless the gateway is
capable of doing it correctly.

Netnews messages can get replies, which are sent only as personal mail
and are not to be gatewayed to netnews. Such replies SHOULD use the
netnews (? or email?) conventions for "References" and "In-Reply-To".

Email replies to news messages MAY indicate the newsgroup of the
original message as a comment in the "In-Reply-To" header. Example:

In-Reply-To: <message.id@some.host> (article in newsgroup foo.bar)


5.2   Message-ID Header

The "Message-ID" header MUST [RFC1036] be used (with its netnews syntax
[RFC1036]) in messages sent to netnews and in combined messages and
SHOULD be used with this syntax in messages sent via email to gateways
from mail to news.

A message to be gatewayed from email to netnews may lack a "Message-ID"
header. For creation of the Message-ID, the algorithm described in
appendix B is recommended. Mail and news software should however not
assume, without further checking, that a Message-ID which looks like it
had been generated according to this algorithm is the same for copies of
the same message which have been gatewayed at different places.


5.3   "Followup-To" and "Group-Reply-To" Headers

If the sender wishes to specify that further discussion on a message
sent to more than one newsgroup and/or mailing list is to be sent to
only one newsgroup, the "Followup-To" header MUST be used according to
netnews conventions in both the email and netnews version of combined
messages. It MUST only contain newsgroup names or the string "poster",
never email addresses, not even email addresses which are gatewayed to
newsgroups.

If the sender of a message wants followups, intended for the group of
people who saw the replied-to article, to be sent to a mailing-list,
this SHOULD be indicated using the "Group-Reply-To" header. The
"Group-Reply-To" header has the same syntax as the "Reply-To" header in
email standards, thus, multiple values are allowed. The "Group-Reply-To"
can be used to indicate a recommended reply-address for replies intended
for the same group of people who read the original message. Like
"Followup-To" in netnews, this header can suggest followups to only some
of the groups who got the original message. Readers of messages that
contain "Followup-To" or "Group-Reply-To" headers, who want to read
followups, should ensure that they are subscribed to one of the
newsgroups in "Followup-To" or one of the mailing lists in
"Group-Reply-To".

If the sender wants group followups to be sent to both a newsgroup and a
mailing-list, both a Followup-To and a Group-Reply-To header can be
used. This SHOULD however not be done if there is a gateway between the
mailing-list and the newsgroup.

A person who sends a message to a mailing list, and does not want to get
group replies except via this list, can include the list name in a
"Group-Reply-To" header. If this person wants group replies both
directly to his e- mail address and through the list, or if the person
does not subscribe to the list, s/he can put both his/her personal
e-mail address and the mailing list name in a "Group-Reply-To" header.

If "Group-Reply-To" refers to a mailing list which is run in parallel
with a newsgroup, gateways from mail to news may translate the
"Group-Reply-To" mailing list to its newsgroup equivalent in a
"Followup-To" clause, and gateways from news to mail may translate the
"Followup-To" clause to the equivalent "Group-Reply-To" header referring
to its parallel mailing list.

The "Reply-To" header in e-mail is unfortunately used in two conflicting
ways: (A) to indicate a replacement for the author as recipient of
personal replies, (B) as specified above for "Group-Reply-To". Because
of this, it SHOULD be phased-out, and replaced by the more explicit
headers "Personal-Reply-To" and "Group-Reply-To". However, because of
the wide usage of "Reply-To" (in both meanings) its phasing-out may take
some years. "Personal-Reply-To" can be used both in e-mail and netnews
to indicate where personal replies should be sent.


5.4   "Posted-To" header

This standard defines the new header "Posted-To".  The "Posted-To"
header shall have the same syntax as the "Newsgroups" header defined in
netnews standards.

The email version of a combined message MUST use the "Posted-To" header
to indicate the newsgroups which this message is sent to. "Posted-To"
MUST NOT be used in the netnews version of the message (there, the
"Newsgroups" header is used instead). "Posted-To" must not be used for
any other purpose than described here.

Gateways between netnews and email SHOULD convert the "Newsgroups"
header in netnews to the "Posted-To" header in email and the reverse.
Gateways which do not perform this conversion MUST remove the
"Newsgroups" header from outgoing email messages and remove "Posted-To"
from outgoing news articles.


5.5   "Newsgroups" Header

The "Newsgroups" header SHOULD not be used in email messages, even if
these messages are also sent to newsgroups or are replies to news
messages. If a message arriving via email has a "Newsgroups" header, the
value of this header should be ignored. The value of this header shall
in particular not be interpreted either to indicate the newsgroup to
which this message is also posted (use Posted-To see 5.4), or to
indicate the newsgroup of the original message (use a comment in the
"In-Reply-To" field instead, see 5.1).

Note: the reason for this rule is that older software uses the
"Newsgroups" header in either of these two very different ways in email.
It is not possible to agree on a single meaning of the "Newsgroups"
header in email, therefore its use is deprecated and replaced by other
notation instead.


5.6   "Approved" Header

The "Approved" header defined in netnews standards may be used in email
with the same meaning: This message has been approved by the moderator
for distribution to members of a moderated group.


5.7   "Subject" Header

Combined messages SHOULD follow the netnews rules for the "Subject"
header.

It is the responsibility of the client to create "Subject" headers which
are correct. It is recommended that the netnews "Re: " convention is
used also in email.


5.8   "Received" and "Path" headers

Email to news gateways MUST remove "Received" headers from incoming
email messages while converting them to netnews. Attempts at converting
"Received" headers to "Path" header MUST NOT be done. It is STRONGLY
RECOMMENDED that the original email message be stored in the gateway
(including all headers) for a period following processing, to allow
tracing of forged or otherwise problematical articles. Netnews to email
gateways MAY copy the "Path" header from the news article into the
outgoing email.

Note: The "Path" header in netnews has as one of its uses to avoid
duplicates of the same message. Because of this, trying to convert
"Received" headers to "Path" headers might cause a message to be skipped
in netnews, and that is why such conversion MUST NOT be done.


5.9   "Control" messages

Mail to netnews gateways should provide the ability for users to cancel
articles they have used the gateway to post. To prevent the use of such
gateways for illegitimate cancels, gateways should not post cancels for
articles which were not posted through that gateway, and should require
some authentication for cancels it does post.

For example, the gateway may generate a key which is returned to the
user by email for each article posted. The user would include this key
in the cancel message he sends to the gateway.


5.10  Other Headers

Headers defined for netnews only can occur in email, and headers defined
for email can occur in netnews. An exception to this is the "Newsgroups"
header, which must be handled as described in clause 5.4 and 5.5 above.
Headers defined only for netnews should not be interpreted by email
clients, nor should email-only headers be interpreted by news clients.

Some headers have a more restricted syntax in netnews than in email, in
that case, the netnews syntax shall be used in combined messages.
Gateways must restrict the syntax of such headers if they are conveyed
from email to netnews.


5.11  Headers Mandatory in Netnews but not in Email

The following headers are mandatory in netnews but optional in email:
"Newsgroups", "Subject", "Message-ID" and "Path". Combined messages
SHOULD include these fields in both the mail and the netnews copy of the
message, except that the "Newsgroups" header in netnews is replaced by
the "Posted-To" header in email.


5.12  Headers Optional in Netnews and not Defined in Email

Headers optional in netnews and not defined in email may occur in email
messages. Combined clients MUST, and email to news gateways SHOULD,
include these optional headers in the netnews versions of any messages
they post.


6.    Preparation of Replies to Combined Messages

Combined clients generating replies intended only for the author or for
only a few email recipients shall follow the email conventions for
replies and MAY indicate the newsgroup of the original message in a
comment in the "In-Reply-To" clause as specified in section 5.1 of this
standard.

Combined clients generating replies intended for the group who saw the
original message should use the information in any "Followup-To" (or
"Posted-To"/"Newsgroups" header, lacking a "Followup-To") to determine a
default list of newsgroups to which the reply may be posted, and
information from "Group-Reply-To" to determine a list of email
recipients for group replies. The client MUST allow the user to modify
any default list of email and newsgroup destinations.

"Group-Reply-To" indicates recommendations by the author of where to
send group replies, when these recommendations are email addresses (or
email addresses of mail gateways to newsgroups). "Followup-To" also
indicates such recommendations as specified in RFC 1036. A message may
include both "Followup-To" indicating a newsgroup, and "Group-Reply-To"
indicating a mailing list, which for example is run in parallel with the
same newsgroup or where the message is intended for recipients of both
the newsgroup and the mailing list.

A client which knows that a followup will reach a mailing list in a
"Group-Reply-To" header through a gateway from a newsgroup in a
"Followup-To" header may send a followup only to the newsgroup, relying
on the gateway to forward it to the mailing list. In this way, the risk
of recipients getting multiple copies of the message can be reduced. If
the client is not sure this will work, it should send the followup to
both "Followup-To" and "Group-Reply-To" recipients.

The choice of the appropriate recipients for a reply to the same group
as the original message is not always easy, and good user interfaces
will help users by clarifying to them what they are doing and where
their reply will be sent, and make the user aware if s/he is moving a
mail discussion to a news discussion or the reverse.

In particular, any "Newsgroups" header in an email message SHOULD NOT be
used as an indication that the original message has been sent to this
newsgroup. Use of the "Newsgroups" header can otherwise easily result in
a reply to a private message being sent to a newsgroup even though the
original message was not sent to this newsgroup.


7.    Cooperating Clients and Gateways

If an email client is designed to cooperate with a certain gateway from
email to netnews, then messages sent only between clients of this type
and gateways of this type may employ additional information, not
standardized here, to improve the cooperation between them. Such
additional information MUST not be specified in ways which can cause
misunderstandings if the message gets to other than the specified
cooperating recipients.


8.    Security considerations

This standard will reduce the risk of various unexpected results for
combined messages. Some existing risks in email and netnews may stay
even with this standard, but no new risks are expected as a result of
this standard. In general, increased transportation of messages between
news and email may mean that existing risks in news are propagated to
email or the reverse, but these risks would not be reduced by the lack
of a standard for such combined messages.

One security problem is that many Usenet News servers will totally
reject an incoming article, if the server already has an article with
the same Message-ID. This is of course proper if the new copy is
destined for the same newsgroup, but if the new copy is destined for
another newsgroup, the proper handling would be to distribute it to that
group, but not to the group where it already appears.

Newsgroup servers SHOULD accept articles even if the server already has
an article with the same Message-ID, but only if the new article has as
recipient some newsgroup where this message is not already stored, and
then only distribute the new copy to the new newsgroup. Until all Usenet
News servers have been modified to work this way, there is a security
risk with gatewaying mailing lists to news, in that a message sent to
more than one mailing lists, which are gatewayed to news at different
hosts, might not get to both newsgroups. The best way to handle this
problem is to change the behavious of news servers. An alternate
solution might be to change the Message-ID in gateways, but this
alternative has obvious drawbacks and is not recommended.

The algorithm for generating Message-IDs for messages lacking them can
slightly increase this security risk, but since most messages have
Message-IDs, the problem is there with or without this algorithm.


9.    Acknowledgments

This standard is based on an earlier draft written by John Stanley.


10.   References

Ref.          Author, title                         IETF status (May 1997)
                                                    ----------------------
---           -------------

[SMTP]        J. Postel: "Simple Mail Transfer      Standard, Recommended.
              Protocol", STD 10, RFC 821, August
              1982.

[RFC822]      D. Crocker: "Standard for the         Standard, Recommended.
              format of ARPA Internet text
              messages." STD 11, RFC 822, August
              1982.

[RFC1036]     M.R. Horton, R. Adams: "Standard      Non-standard (but still
              for interchange of USENET             widely used as a de-facto
              messages", RFC 1036, December         standard).
              1987.

[RFC1123]     R. Braden (editor): "Requirements     Standard, Required.
              for Internet Hosts -- Application
              and Support", STD-3, RFC 1123,
              October 1989.

[MIME]        N. Freed, N. Borenstein and           Draft Standard, elective.
              others, "Multipurpose Internet
              Mail Extensions (MIME) Part One to
              Five, RFC 2045 to 2049.

[MD5]         Rivest, R., "The MD5                  Non-standard
              Message-Digest Algorithm", RFC
              1321, MIT Laboratory for Computer
              Science and RSA Data Security,
              Inc., April 1992.

[CMD5]        J. Myers, M. Rose: The Content-MD5    Draft standard, Elective
              Header. RFC 1864, October 1995.


11.   Author's Addresses

Jacob Palme                        Phone: +46-8-16 16 67
Stockholm University/KTH           Fax: +46-8-783 08 29
Electrum 230                       Email: jpalme@dsv.su.se
S-164 40 Kista, Sweden


Appendix A: Examples

A.1 One Combined Message in two Instances.

The following is an example of a combined message, sent both to a
newsgroup comp.lang.c and via e-mail to a person mary@foo.bar when
transported via netnews:

   Newsgroups: comp.lang.c
   To: mary@foo.bar
   Date: 7 Jan 1997 12:34:21 +0000 (GMT)
   Subject: A message about inheritance
   From: fred@somewhere.zz
   Message-ID: <123zx@somewhere.zz>
   Path: a.news.system!b.news.system!somewhere.zz!fred

   What is it?


The same message when transported via email:

   Posted-To: comp.lang.c
   To: mary@foo.bar
   Date: 7 Jan 1997 12:34:21 +0000 (GMT)
   Subject: A message about inheritance
   From: fred@somewhere.zz
   Message-ID: <123zx@somewhere.zz>
   Path: a.news.system!b.news.system!somewhere.zz!fred

   What is it?


A.2 Conversion Performed by Email to News Gateway.

In this case, the mailing list name is not copied to a "To:" header in
netnews, since it gives the same information which the "Newsgroups:"
header gives in netnews. The email message before conversion:

   Received: from ietf.org (ietf.org [132.151.1.19])
             by info.dsv.su.se (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP
             id QAA00061 for <jpalme@dsv.su.se>;
             Mon, 2 Jun 1997 16:23:10 +0200 (MET DST)
   Received: from ietf.org by ietf.org id aa05468; 2 Jun 97 9:50 EDT
   Received: from ietf.ietf.org by ietf.org id aa04922; 2 Jun 97 9:28
             EDT
   Mime-Version: 1.0
   Content-Type: Multipart/Mixed; Boundary="NextPart"
   To: IETF-Announce@ietf.org
   Sender: ietf-announce-request@ietf.org
   From: Internet-Drafts@ietf.org
   Reply-to: Internet-Drafts@ietf.org
   Subject: I-D ACTION:draft-leiba-imap-idle-02.txt
   Date: Mon, 02 Jun 1997 09:28:44 -0400
   X-Orig-Sender: cclark@ietf.org
   Message-ID: <9706020928.aa04922@ietf.org>

   A Revised Internet-Draft is available from the on-line Internet-
   Drafts directories.

The same message after gatewaying to netnews:

   Mime-Version: 1.0
   Content-Type: Multipart/Mixed; Boundary="NextPart"
   Newsgroups: comp.standards.ietf.announcements
   Sender: ietf-announce-request@ietf.org
   From: Internet-Drafts@ietf.org
   Reply-to: Internet-Drafts@ietf.org
   Subject: I-D ACTION:draft-leiba-imap-idle-02.txt
   Date: Mon, 02 Jun 1997 09:28:44 -0400
   X-Orig-Sender: cclark@ietf.org
   Message-ID: <9706020928.aa04922@ietf.org>

   A Revised Internet-Draft is available from the on-line
   Internet-Drafts directories.


A.3 Conversion Performed by News to Email Gateway.

Original netnews article:

   Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac
   From: PHLLB@leeds.ac.uk (L. Burkholder)
   Subject: cocoa (formerly kidsim)
   Message-ID: <4p1ul5$88k_001@leeds.ac.uk>
   NNTP-Posting-Host: woolhouse_pc37.leeds.ac.uk
   Organization: University of Leeds
   Date: Tue, 4 Jun 1996 19:16:24 +0100 (BST)
   X-Newsreader: News Xpress Version 1.0 Beta #4

   Does anyone know how to get a copy of the recently announced Apple
   visual programming language Cocoa (formerly called Kidsim)?

The same message after gatewaying to email:

   Posted-To: comp.sys.mac
   To: info-mac@sumex-aim.stanford.edu
   From: PHLLB@leeds.ac.uk (L. Burkholder)
   Subject: cocoa (formerly kidsim)
   Message-ID: <4p1ul5$88k_001@leeds.ac.uk>
   NNTP-Posting-Host: woolhouse_pc37.leeds.ac.uk
   Organization: University of Leeds
   Date: Tue, 4 Jun 1996 19:16:24 +0100 (BST)
   X-Newsreader: News Xpress Version 1.0 Beta #4

   Does anyone know how to get a copy of the recently announced Apple
   visual programming language Cocoa (formerly called Kidsim)?


Appendix B: Algorithm for Assigning Message-IDs to Messages in Gateways
from Email to Netnews

The intention of the following algorithm is to make it likely that the
same message will get the same Message-ID even if it is gatewayed in
more than one place from email to news, and to make it very unlikely
that two different messages get the same Message-ID. This algorithm is
only intended for gateways from email to netnews, and only when
gatewaying messages which do not have a Message-ID.

Step 1: Remove all headers except From, Date, Sender, Subject.

Step 2: Compute an MD5 checksum using the algorithm described in [1].

Step 3: Encode the checksum using BASE64 encoding as specified in [2].

Step 4: Concatenate the string "@MD5.net" to the encoded string.

Note: If the message does not have any Date header, this algorithm
should not be attempted, instead an algorithm giving a globally unique
Message-ID based on a domain controlled by the gateway should be used.


Appendix C: Example of two partially overlapping threads

THREAD A:                            THREAD B:

Subject: The beatles<-------+        Subject: Abba
Message-ID: a1@foo.bar       \       Message-ID: b1@foo.bar
          ^                   \                ^
          |                    \               |
References: a1@foo.bar          \    References: b1@foo.bar
Subject: Re: The beatles         \   Subject: Re: Abba
Message-ID: a2@foo.bar            \  Message-ID: b2@foo.bar
          ^                        \           ^
          |                         \          |   THREADS A+B:
          |                          \         |
References: a1@foo.bar, a2@foo.bar   References: a1@foo.bar, b1@foo.bar,
Subject: Re: The beatles                        b2@foo.bar
Message-ID: a3@foo.bar               Subject: Re: Abba and the beatles
          ^                          Message-ID: ab1@foo.bar
          |                                    ^
          |                                    |
References: a1@foo.bar, a2@foo.bar,  References: a1@foo.bar, b1@foo.bar,
            a3@foo.bar                           b2@foo.bar, ab1@foo.bar
Subject:    Re: The beatles          Subject: Re: Abba and the beatles
Message-ID: a4@foo.bar               Message-ID: ab2@foo.bar