X-Message-Number: 14327
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 23:53:52 -0400
From: "Kevin Q. Brown" <>
Subject: Re: A few suggestions

In CryoNet message # 14318, George Smith said:

> (1) Would it be reasonable to have a limit placed on the
> length of messages posted?

For mailings to the entire mailing list, the CryoNet software
limits individual messages to 40,000 bytes.  A message larger
than that is not included in the daily digest, but instead
results in a brief note in the digest that explains how to
retrieve the entire message from the CryoNet archives.
Retrievals from the archives via email to ""
or via WWW do not have that 40,000 byte limit.

You may think that allowing 40,000 bytes is too generous,
but others may think that it is not generous enough, since
it occasionally has resulted in the excision of long,
but thoughtful, essays from the digest.  The main reason
for any size limit is to reduce the likelihood of
accidentally sending a large file to the mailing list.
(Yes, occasionally people do send accidental multi-megabyte
messages to mailing lists.)  Admittedly, 40,000 bytes is an
arbitrary limit, but it seems about the right size to me and
I am not ready to change it yet.

FYI: The CryoNet software has other automated filters besides
this size limit.

  (1) Messages are truncated upon encountering base64, HTML,
      or uuencoded attachments, none of which are easily
      readable in a digest.

  (2) Postings to CryoNet must be from subscribers to the
      list (or from addresses listed in a special auxiliary
      file for people with more than one email address).
      This has been extremely useful for filtering out spam!

  (3) A message with too many quoted lines is rejected,
      which helps prevent an entire CryoNet digest from
      being accidentally appended to a message.

  (4) Non-printable and hyper-ASCII characters are converted
      to spaces. **  Also, lines consisting only of a period
      are dropped since some mail programs interpret that as
      "end-of-message" and thereby truncate the digest

  (5) The software usually traps subscribe or unsubscribe
      requests that are posted accidentally to the mailing
      list rather than sent to "".

Also, any "quoted-printable" encodings are decoded into ordinary
ASCII, even if that results in long lines.  Unfortunately, too
often my attempts to reformat long lines automatically only made
the situation worse, so I gave up on automatic reformatting and
had to leave the formatting task to the people posting to CryoNet.
If you find that your message, when posted to CryoNet, has formatting
that is difficult to read, please double-check the settings in
your mail program; it probably can be trained to send simple
ASCII messages that fit well in a digest.

    - Kevin

 ** See message # 5210 "CryoNet Feature #26", which concerns
    an incorrect implementation of a CTRL-Z (DOS EOF) filter.

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