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AFW - RFCs - Requests for Comment

Several RFCs (request for comments) make statements about signatures.

AFW Literature - RFCs

"Gigabit Network Economics and Paradigm Shifts"
"Low priority facsimile: A large percentage of documents and letters are sent via facsimile not because they need sub-minute delivery, but because they carry signatures or graphics. In these cases, a three-hour delivery [...] is sufficient."

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
"Initially defined formatting commands, not all of which will be implemented by all richtext implementations, include: [...] Signature -- causes the subsequent text to be interpreted as a signature. Some systems may wish to display signatures in a smaller font or otherwise set them apart from the main text of the message."

RFC1505 (supercedes RFC1154)
Encoding Header Field for Internet Messages
3.11  PGP
   Another case of the PGP keyword occurs in "clear-signing" a message.
   That is, sending an un-encrypted message with a digital signature
   providing authentication and (in some environments) non-deniability.

        Encoding: 201 Text, 8 PGP Signature, 4 Text Signature

   This example indicates a 201 line message, followed by an 8 line (in its
   encoded form) PGP detached signature.   [...] Continuing the example, the
   PGP signature is then followed by a 4 line "ordinary" signature  section.

3.12  Signature

   The signature keyword indicates that the section contains an Internet
   message signature.  An Internet message signature is an area of an
   Internet message (usually located at the end) which contains a single
   line or multiple lines of characters.  The signature may comprise the
   sender's name or a saying the sender is fond of.  It is normally
   inserted automatically in all outgoing message bodies.  The encoding
   keyword "Signature" must always be nested and follow another keyword.

        Encoding: 14 Text, 3 Text Signature

   A usenet news posting program should generate an encoding showing
   which is the text and which is the signature area of the posted message.
Guide to Network Resource Tools
   5.4.3. Using electronic mail:

      Users limited to electronic mail connectivity can access the
      archie servers by sending mail [...]

      The electronic mail interface to an archie server recognizes a
      subset of the commands described in Using Telnet.  [...]

         nothing past this point is interpreted. Useful when a signature
         is automatically appended at the end of your mail messages.

Netiquette Guidelines
"Make things easy for the recipient. Many mailers strip header information which includes your return address. In order to ensure that people know who you are, be sure to include a line or two at the end of your message with contact information. You can create this file ahead of time and add it to the end of your messages. (Some mailers do this automatically.) In Internet parlance, this is known as a ".sig" or "signature" file. Your .sig file takes the place of your business card. (And you can have more than one to apply in different circumstances.) [...] If you include a signature keep it short. Rule of thumb is no longer than 4 lines. Remember that many people pay for connectivity by the minute, and the longer your message is, the more they pay. [...] Again, be sure to have a signature which you attach to your message. This will guarantee that any peculiarities of mailers or newsreaders which strip header information will not delete the only reference in the message of how people may reach you. "

Hypertext Markup Language - 2.0
5.5.3. Address: ADDRESS

   The <ADDRESS> element contains such information as address, signature
   and authorship, often at the beginning or end of the body of a document.

   Typically, the <ADDRESS> element is rendered in an italic typeface
   and may be indented.

   Example of use:

    Newsletter editor<BR>
    J.R. Brown<BR>
    JimquickPost News, Jimquick, CT 01234<BR>
    Tel (123) 456 7890

RFC1983 (supercedes RFC1392)
Internet Users' Glossary
" signature: The three or four line message at the bottom of a piece of email or a Usenet article which identifies the sender. Large signatures (over five lines) are generally frowned upon. See also: Electronic Mail, Usenet."

MIME Security with Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)
This document defines three new content types for implementing security and privacy with PGP: application/pgp-encrypted, application/pgp-signature and application/pgp-keys. so "MIME/PGP" is about cryptography - and not about appended informal signatures.

Common Internet Message Headers
"Abstract: This memo contains a table of commonly occurring headers in headings of e-mail messages. The document compiles information from other RFCs such as RFC 822, RFC 1036, RFC 1123, RFC 1327, RFC 1496, RFC 1521, RFC 1766, RFC 1806, RFC 1864 and RFC 1911. A few commonly occurring headers which are not defined in RFCs are also included. For each header, the memo gives a short description and a reference to the RFC in which the header is defined."

Sven Guckes <>
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