VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign. - VMS

This is a discussion on VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign. - VMS ; In article , Robert Deininger wrote: > In article , Fred Bach wrote: > > > Dear comp.os.vms, > > > > This one caught me by surprise. Apparently the problem has > > been around for at least a ...

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Thread: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

  1. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    In article
    ,
    Robert Deininger wrote:

    > In article , Fred Bach wrote:
    >
    > > Dear comp.os.vms,
    > >
    > > This one caught me by surprise. Apparently the problem has
    > > been around for at least a year, looking back into old mail.
    > >
    > > Let's hope none of you are reading this on VMS Mail. ;-)
    > >
    > > On the other hand, if you are reading this on VMS mail,
    > > and if the following text all reads correctly, please tell
    > > me how you set up your VMS mail.
    > >
    > > We are running
    > > Process Software MultiNet V5.1 Rev A-X, AlphaServer DS10
    > > 617 MHz, OpenVMS AXP V8.3
    > >
    > > SYNOPSIS:
    > >
    > > VMS Mail translates tilde characters ("~") in the body of
    > > the mail, into dollar sign characters for incoming mail.
    > >
    > > I think it is REALLY BAD FORM for an email program to
    > > translate any legitimate incoming characters in a text
    > > message into other text characters.
    > >
    > > In fact, unless we can turn this off, this 'feature'
    > > makes me think that VMS Mail has, sadly, at last become
    > > effectively unusable as a reliable communications tool.
    > >
    > >
    > > THE DETAILS:
    > >
    > > Some screen copy:
    > >
    > > > OPS_DEVBN2> mail
    > > >
    > > > MAIL> send
    > > > To: ops
    > > > CC:
    > > > Subj: Tilde Test
    > > > Enter your message below. Press CTRL/Z when complete, or CTRL/C to quit:
    > > > ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    > > > ~~~~~~
    > > > asdfghjk
    > > > ASDFHJK;
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > MAIL> SEL/NEW
    > > > %MAIL-I-SELECTED, 1 message selected
    > > >
    > > > MAIL> READ
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > #1 13-MAR-2008 14:21:10.89 NEWMAIL
    > > > From: DEVCLU::OPS
    > > > To: OPS
    > > > CC: OPS
    > > > Subj: Tilde Test
    > > >
    > > > $ $ $ $ $
    > > > $$$$$$
    > > > asdfghjk
    > > > ASDFHJK;
    > > >
    > > > MAIL>

    > >
    > > PLEASE notice how VMS Mail translates the tilde character
    > > "~" into a dollar sign. This means that when I receive a
    > > URL with a tilde in it (very common in expressing users'
    > > private spaces at a particular domain) the URL is not
    > > directly usable in a browser window.
    > >
    > > The tilde gets translated to a dollar sign on receiving
    > > mail, not on transmitting, as verified in tests sending
    > > tilde's to non-VMS machines on the local net. The tilde
    > > characters arrive just fine and are displayed correctly
    > > on those machines.
    > >
    > > I'm shocked that VMS would do something like this.
    > >
    > >
    > > THE REQUEST:
    > >
    > > How did this logic come about? Is there some VMS logical
    > > that we can set to prevent this from happening? I had a
    > > quick scan of the online VMS Mail documentation and found
    > > no reference. So far, other than confirming the fault,
    > > I can't find anyone here who knows anything about it.
    > >
    > > Thanks.
    > >
    > > . fred bach . music at triumf dot c a

    >
    > I reproduced this easily on my V8.3 system.
    >
    > The original data is intact in the mail file; only the display is
    > affected. If you EXTRACT the message, the tildes are still there.
    >
    > There is a filtering routine that removes "bad" characters from the
    > display, replacing them with "$". The comments indicate it is to
    > prevent escape sequences from changing screen attributes, etc.
    >
    > In 2005, the filter was modified to add "}", "~", and some other
    > characters to the set that is replaced with "$" on display. The stated
    > reason was that some terminal emulators (which ones not specified) were
    > finding escape sequences when "}" was used in certain sequences.
    >
    > Mail unfortunately does not know how to account for different terminal
    > types. It applies the same output filtering for any terminal.
    >
    > In 2006, the filtering was changed again. If logical name MAIL$FILTER
    > is defined to "1", the old filtering is restored w.r.t. "}" and "~". It
    > has to be a process logical name, and it has to have value "1":
    > $ DEFINE/PROCESS MAIL$FILTER 1
    >
    > This change has been made, but it appears that no MAIL patch has been
    > issued that contains the change. The logical name works in V8.3-1H1
    > (Integrity only).
    >
    > If you have support, I think you should ask for a patch containing the
    > MAIL$FILTER support. If you go this route, it might save time if you
    > refer to SCT #5991, which is the internal note that contains some
    > details.


    Update...

    Patch kits were requested today for these versions:
    V8.2-1 I64
    V8.3 I64 and Alpha

    These kits would make the V8.3-1H1 functionality available on the
    earlier VMS versions:
    $ DEFINE/PROCESS MAIL$FILTER 1
    to keep "}" and "~" from being filtered out.

    The patch request is COMputable and awaiting action by the scheduler.

    I have no information about when/if the patch kits will be available on
    the web.

    I expect the issue of MAIL's output filtering will be revisited for the
    next VMS release.

    -- Robert

  2. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    Robert Deininger wrote:

    > Patch kits were requested today for these versions:
    > V8.2-1 I64
    > V8.3 I64 and Alpha
    >
    > These kits would make the V8.3-1H1 functionality available on the
    > earlier VMS versions:
    > $ DEFINE/PROCESS MAIL$FILTER 1
    > to keep "}" and "~" from being filtered out.



    Wouldn't it have been simpler for you guys and better for customers to
    provide a MAIL.EXE image that just didn't do that filtering ? Customers
    who don't need the filtering could then install that image and not have
    to worry about that truly pesky /PROCESS logical.

  3. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    In article <022a67c3$0$5073$c3e8da3@news.astraweb.com>, JF Mezei writes:
    >Robert Deininger wrote:
    >
    >> Patch kits were requested today for these versions:
    >> V8.2-1 I64
    >> V8.3 I64 and Alpha
    >>
    >> These kits would make the V8.3-1H1 functionality available on the
    >> earlier VMS versions:
    >> $ DEFINE/PROCESS MAIL$FILTER 1
    >> to keep "}" and "~" from being filtered out.

    >
    >
    >Wouldn't it have been simpler for you guys and better for customers to
    >provide a MAIL.EXE image that just didn't do that filtering ? Customers
    >who don't need the filtering could then install that image and not have
    >to worry about that truly pesky /PROCESS logical.


    .... or, at least, $ DEFINE/PROCESS MAIL$FILTER 1 to turn ON the filter!



    AFAIAC, MAIL wasn't broke so why muck with it? I've had my run-ins with
    the myriad terminal emulators and products outputting escape sequences.
    I won't break these products because a terminal emulator cannot get its
    handling of sequences correct. IMNSHO, these emulator producers should
    fix their bugs; HP should not introduce _bugs_ into VMS components.

    I just looked through my listing of escape sequences. The ~ is primarily
    sent in escape responses for function keys ([Find] [1~ for example).
    I find the } in sequences such as DECSASD ([Ps$}) DEC Select Active
    Status Display. The ~ does appear in DECSSDT ([Ps$~) DEC Select
    Status Line Type. DECPRO ([Ps}) (DEC PROtected field attribute) is
    also a consumer of the }. So, what we have is a terminal emulator that
    is incapable of handling the status line display and or protecting char-
    acter attributes. HP, to fix a third-party's bugs, make the whole issue
    moot by thrusting an oversized spanner into the VMS MAIL works.



    HP, my terminal emulator is having problems with escape sequence with '['
    in them. HP will you please change these to '#' or perhaps '?'. Thanks!
    Also, sequences with 'm' in them are causing me problems. Please change
    these to 'g' or 'n' or 'i'.

    --
    VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)COM

    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"

    http://tmesis.com/drat.html

  4. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.


    wrote in message news:47dfa516$0$15177$607ed4bc@cv.net...

    > HP, my terminal emulator is having problems with escape sequence with '['
    > in them. HP will you please change these to '#' or perhaps '?'. Thanks!
    > Also, sequences with 'm' in them are causing me problems. Please change
    > these to 'g' or 'n' or 'i'.


    You can't expect HP to solve all your problens, Vaxian.



  5. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    In article <022a67c3$0$5073$c3e8da3@news.astraweb.com>, JF Mezei writes:
    >Robert Deininger wrote:
    >
    >> Patch kits were requested today for these versions:
    >> V8.2-1 I64
    >> V8.3 I64 and Alpha
    >>
    >> These kits would make the V8.3-1H1 functionality available on the
    >> earlier VMS versions:
    >> $ DEFINE/PROCESS MAIL$FILTER 1
    >> to keep "}" and "~" from being filtered out.

    >
    >
    >Wouldn't it have been simpler for you guys and better for customers to
    >provide a MAIL.EXE image that just didn't do that filtering ? Customers
    >who don't need the filtering could then install that image and not have
    >to worry about that truly pesky /PROCESS logical.


    Seconded.

    And then for the next VMS version that version which didn't filter printable
    ASCII characters could be the default.

    David Webb
    Security team leader
    CCSS
    Middlesex University

  6. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    Richard Brodie wrote:
    > wrote in message news:47dfa516$0$15177$607ed4bc@cv.net...
    >
    >
    >>HP, my terminal emulator is having problems with escape sequence with '['
    >>in them. HP will you please change these to '#' or perhaps '?'. Thanks!
    >>Also, sequences with 'm' in them are causing me problems. Please change
    >>these to 'g' or 'n' or 'i'.

    >
    >
    > You can't expect HP to solve all your problens, Vaxian.


    Sure you can! :-) :-) :-)

    I think the problem isn't escape sequences with *embedded* tilde's, but
    just tilde's per se that were causing the problem that mail is trying to
    work around, but that may not have been Vaxman's point and is neither
    here nor there...

    It seems to me if there is a terminal emulator (or a real physical terminal)
    that is having problems with escape sequences, the right place to fix this
    problem (assuming you want to) is in the terminal driver, and not in each
    individual application, such as MAIL. Maybe as an extension of the character
    set replacement stuff that is *already* in the terminal driver...

    On top of that, maybe a terminal output filter that says "any escape sequences
    in this QIO are untrusted, so should be replaced ($ for , for example.)

    This filter (io$m_foo modifier on the function code, for example) would know
    about the character replacement set, and do the right thing. And it would
    be available anywhere.

    BTW, while typing in this reply in VMS Mozilla (SWB V1.7.13), I see it
    doesn't know about my keyboard settings I've used in DECterm windows, namely
    the <> key mapped to `~ and the comma and period keys producing ,< and .>.
    (Of course not, those are DECterm mappings, not X-windows mappings.) But,
    is there any way to make this happen generically in X-windows, or to make
    them happen in Mozilla so my fingers don't have to learn 2 different sets
    of key mappings? (I doubt I care about mapping `~ key to escape, unless
    there is also a way to use TECO as my editor in Mozilla :-)

    --
    John Santos
    Evans Griffiths & Hart, Inc.
    781-861-0670 ext 539

  7. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    In article , John Santos writes:
    >Richard Brodie wrote:
    >> wrote in message news:47dfa516$0$15177$607ed4bc@cv.net...
    >>
    >>
    >>>HP, my terminal emulator is having problems with escape sequence with '['
    >>>in them. HP will you please change these to '#' or perhaps '?'. Thanks!
    >>>Also, sequences with 'm' in them are causing me problems. Please change
    >>>these to 'g' or 'n' or 'i'.

    >>
    >>
    >> You can't expect HP to solve all your problens, Vaxian.

    >
    >Sure you can! :-) :-) :-)
    >
    >I think the problem isn't escape sequences with *embedded* tilde's, but
    >just tilde's per se that were causing the problem that mail is trying to
    >work around, but that may not have been Vaxman's point and is neither
    >here nor there...


    'Tis about time somebody understands wry humor around here.



    >It seems to me if there is a terminal emulator (or a real physical terminal)
    >that is having problems with escape sequences, the right place to fix this
    >problem (assuming you want to) is in the terminal driver, and not in each
    >individual application, such as MAIL. Maybe as an extension of the character
    >set replacement stuff that is *already* in the terminal driver...


    The place to fix it is in the ailing terminal emulation!


    --
    VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)COM

    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"

    http://tmesis.com/drat.html

  8. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    VAXman- @SendSpamHere.ORG wrote:
    > In article , John Santos writes:
    >
    >>Richard Brodie wrote:
    >>
    >>> wrote in message news:47dfa516$0$15177$607ed4bc@cv.net...
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>HP, my terminal emulator is having problems with escape sequence with '['
    >>>>in them. HP will you please change these to '#' or perhaps '?'. Thanks!
    >>>>Also, sequences with 'm' in them are causing me problems. Please change
    >>>>these to 'g' or 'n' or 'i'.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>You can't expect HP to solve all your problens, Vaxian.

    >>
    >>Sure you can! :-) :-) :-)
    >>
    >>I think the problem isn't escape sequences with *embedded* tilde's, but
    >>just tilde's per se that were causing the problem that mail is trying to
    >>work around, but that may not have been Vaxman's point and is neither
    >>here nor there...

    >
    >
    > 'Tis about time somebody understands wry humor around here.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >>It seems to me if there is a terminal emulator (or a real physical terminal)
    >>that is having problems with escape sequences, the right place to fix this
    >>problem (assuming you want to) is in the terminal driver, and not in each
    >>individual application, such as MAIL. Maybe as an extension of the character
    >>set replacement stuff that is *already* in the terminal driver...

    >
    >
    > The place to fix it is in the ailing terminal emulation!


    That's why I said "(assuming you want to)"... :-)

    Anyone want to bet it's Hyperterm and still not fixed in Vista?
    Or maybe a ROM-based terminal emulator in some gizmo that is hard to fix?
    (like the tablet-style PCs that HP field service uses?)

    --
    John Santos
    Evans Griffiths & Hart, Inc.
    781-861-0670 ext 539

  9. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    I think there is a lot more to the story.

    Remember that HP is out to prove that nobody uses MAIL or any other
    interactive utility. They probably embedded that absolutely absurd
    tilde replacement as a bet to see whether anyone would notice, or how
    long it would take before someone complained.

    And it took longer than a year for anyone to notice. HP's got its
    answer. They can now produce some powerpoint that states that those
    remaining customers who do upgrade their VMS systems do not use use VMS
    interactively, only those stuck at older versions still use the legacy
    VMS interactive utilities. This means that they can now justify no
    longer working on interactive utilities (not that they did much work on
    them anymore).


    Either that, or it was simply a prank played by a disgrunteled employee
    who put in comments to make it look like the change had been officially
    requested.


    If "~" can cause problems, then any character part of an ANSI sequence
    can, and that would require mail replace pretty much all printable
    characters with a $ sign as well ( but then, what about cases where the
    $ causes problems ?

  10. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    In article , John Santos writes:

    > It seems to me if there is a terminal emulator (or a real physical terminal)
    > that is having problems with escape sequences, the right place to fix this
    > problem (assuming you want to) is in the terminal driver, and not in each
    > individual application, such as MAIL. Maybe as an extension of the character
    > set replacement stuff that is *already* in the terminal driver...


    Isn't that what TFF is for?


  11. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    In article , Fred Bach writes:

    > This one caught me by surprise. Apparently the problem has
    > been around for at least a year, looking back into old mail.
    >
    > Let's hope none of you are reading this on VMS Mail. ;-)
    >
    > On the other hand, if you are reading this on VMS mail,
    > and if the following text all reads correctly, please tell
    > me how you set up your VMS mail.
    >
    > We are running
    > Process Software MultiNet V5.1 Rev A-X, AlphaServer DS10
    > 617 MHz, OpenVMS AXP V8.3
    >
    > SYNOPSIS:
    >
    > VMS Mail translates tilde characters ("~") in the body of
    > the mail, into dollar sign characters for incoming mail.
    >
    > I think it is REALLY BAD FORM for an email program to
    > translate any legitimate incoming characters in a text
    > message into other text characters.
    >
    > In fact, unless we can turn this off, this 'feature'
    > makes me think that VMS Mail has, sadly, at last become
    > effectively unusable as a reliable communications tool.


    I don't think this is a VMS MAIL issue. I just tested it:

    #28 19-MAR-2008 21:28:19.31
    WASTEBASKET
    From: ELIJAH::HELBIG "Phillip Helbig"
    To: HELBIG
    CC: HELBIG
    Subj: ~test~

    ~test~

    MAIL>

    I've certainly never noticed it, receive lots of mails with URLs
    including tildes, and have been using VMS MAIL for 16 years for
    practically all my email.


  12. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    Note that it IS a documented feature that ESCAPE SEQUENCES are
    translated to $ signs, at least when reading interactively in the
    character-cell interface.


  13. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    In article <47d9b9b3$0$5604$607ed4bc@cv.net>, VAXman- @SendSpamHere.ORG
    writes:

    > Not on V7.3-2 but V8.3 does exhibit your reported behavior.


    That might be it. Have V7.3-2 at home. Will test with V8.3 at work
    tomorrow.

    This is definitely wrong.

    It DOES show that VMS MAIL is still being "developed". While they're at
    it, maybe they can get rid of the bugs introduced when it was rewritten
    in C from BLISS.


  14. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    In article ,
    helbig@astro.multiCLOTHESvax.de (Phillip Helbig---remove CLOTHES to reply) writes:
    > Note that it IS a documented feature that ESCAPE SEQUENCES are
    > translated to $ signs, at least when reading interactively in the
    > character-cell interface.


    And since when is a tilde by itself or contained within a URL: an
    escape sequence? Why can't people just admit when they screw up?

    bill


    --
    Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
    billg999@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
    University of Scranton |
    Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include

  15. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    On Mar 19, 4:30*pm, hel...@astro.multiCLOTHESvax.de (Phillip Helbig---
    remove CLOTHES to reply) wrote:
    > In article , Fred Bach writes:
    > > * *This one caught me by surprise. *Apparently the problem has


    > I don't think this is a VMS MAIL issue. *I just tested it:
    >
    > * * #28 * * * * 19-MAR-2008 21:28:19.31 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


    So what OpenVMS version did you use? It is an 8.3 bug.
    And if you say 8.3, then please tell us which MAIL.EXE
    (ident, link date, size).

    I just tried on EISNER and it look butt-ugly.

    MAIL> #1 19-MAR-2008
    15:54:50.08 NEWMAIL
    From: "Hein van den Heuvel"
    To:
    CC:
    Subj: tilde $ test
    tilde $ test
    tilde $ test

    Those $ signs were all ~ when I send them out (and they still are) in
    the file.

    Hein.




  16. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    Phillip Helbig---remove CLOTHES to reply wrote:
    > In article , Fred Bach writes:
    >
    >
    >> This one caught me by surprise. Apparently the problem has
    >> been around for at least a year, looking back into old mail.
    >>
    >> Let's hope none of you are reading this on VMS Mail. ;-)
    >>
    >> On the other hand, if you are reading this on VMS mail,
    >> and if the following text all reads correctly, please tell
    >> me how you set up your VMS mail.
    >>
    >> We are running
    >> Process Software MultiNet V5.1 Rev A-X, AlphaServer DS10
    >> 617 MHz, OpenVMS AXP V8.3
    >>
    >>SYNOPSIS:
    >>
    >> VMS Mail translates tilde characters ("~") in the body of
    >> the mail, into dollar sign characters for incoming mail.
    >>
    >> I think it is REALLY BAD FORM for an email program to
    >> translate any legitimate incoming characters in a text
    >> message into other text characters.
    >>
    >> In fact, unless we can turn this off, this 'feature'
    >> makes me think that VMS Mail has, sadly, at last become
    >> effectively unusable as a reliable communications tool.

    >
    >
    > I don't think this is a VMS MAIL issue. I just tested it:
    >
    > #28 19-MAR-2008 21:28:19.31
    > WASTEBASKET
    > From: ELIJAH::HELBIG "Phillip Helbig"
    > To: HELBIG
    > CC: HELBIG
    > Subj: ~test~
    >
    > ~test~
    >
    > MAIL>
    >
    > I've certainly never noticed it, receive lots of mails with URLs
    > including tildes, and have been using VMS MAIL for 16 years for
    > practically all my email.
    >


    What version of VMS are you testing with?


  17. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    In article ,
    koehler@eisner.nospam.encompasserve.org says...
    > In article , John Santos writes:
    >
    > > It seems to me if there is a terminal emulator (or a real physical terminal)
    > > that is having problems with escape sequences, the right place to fix this
    > > problem (assuming you want to) is in the terminal driver, and not in each
    > > individual application, such as MAIL. Maybe as an extension of the character
    > > set replacement stuff that is *already* in the terminal driver...

    >
    > Isn't that what TFF is for?
    >
    >


    That's what I was thinking of, but couldn't remember the name. I've
    never actually used it, so I don't know if it already does everything
    you would need to fix the broken terminal emulator, but it is probably
    pretty close.

    --
    John

  18. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    In article , david20@alpha2.mdx.ac.uk
    wrote:

    > In article <022a67c3$0$5073$c3e8da3@news.astraweb.com>, JF Mezei
    > writes:
    > >Robert Deininger wrote:
    > >
    > >> Patch kits were requested today for these versions:
    > >> V8.2-1 I64
    > >> V8.3 I64 and Alpha
    > >>
    > >> These kits would make the V8.3-1H1 functionality available on the
    > >> earlier VMS versions:
    > >> $ DEFINE/PROCESS MAIL$FILTER 1
    > >> to keep "}" and "~" from being filtered out.

    > >
    > >
    > >Wouldn't it have been simpler for you guys and better for customers to
    > >provide a MAIL.EXE image that just didn't do that filtering ? Customers
    > >who don't need the filtering could then install that image and not have
    > >to worry about that truly pesky /PROCESS logical.

    >
    > Seconded.
    >
    > And then for the next VMS version that version which didn't filter printable
    > ASCII characters could be the default.
    >
    > David Webb
    > Security team leader
    > CCSS
    > Middlesex University


    Way more interest in this topic than I expected! It's been fun reading
    all the speculations. Reality is quite a bit more boring. :-)

    Paul Anderson keeps walking past my cube and muttering about tildes
    scattered around on the floor...

    A bit of an update...

    Today I retrieved the supporting files from the original problem report
    from back in 2004. (I didn't have those files when I first looked at
    the problem last week.)

    The original problem was that terminals misbehaved when MAIL displayed
    some sample messages. I found those message files today. VMS was at
    V7.3-2 or so at the time, and we verified that V7.3-2 MAIL behaves badly
    with the sample files. Some common emulators that aren't considered
    particularly broken behave differently.

    The actual problem seems to be that some REAL control codes weren't
    being filtered out before sending the output to the terminal.

    I don't find any evidence of an actual "broken" terminal emulator in the
    original report, or in the supporting files. I think that was a red
    herring. But it generated enough confusion that the engineer added the
    right brace character, ASCII 7D, to the filtered character list. That
    was an intentional, but probably misguided, change.

    I think the tilde character, ASCII 7E, was an innocent bystander. It
    was in the wrong place at the wrong time -- namely, between "}" and DEL
    in the ASCII table.

    This set of changes also added filtering for the control codes that
    should have been removed all along. This "fixed" the original problem.
    I think the right brace was filtered out because it was incorrectly
    thought to be part of the problem. In reality, it probably just made
    the problem look different on different emulators.

    These changes eventually shipped in V8.2-1 and V8.3.

    The MAIL$FILTER logical name "workaround" was added later, and
    eventually shipped in V8.3-1H1. The workaround is tied to the process
    logical name table instead of LNM$FILE_DEV. This is peculiar and
    annoying, but was probably intentional. There was still the mistaken
    assumption that "}" really mattered for _some_ terminal emulator(s), and
    so a narrow, process-focused switch was needed.

    The original problem was reported as a potential security threat --
    another red herring -- which may have led to excessive caution. That
    likely contributed to the bad decision to change the long-standing
    behavior for printable characters.

    The current workaround, with MAIL$FILTER, has been sitting around
    waiting for someone to want it since 2006 or so. It works around the
    only symptoms that anyone has actually noticed and reported, and can be
    shipped fairly quickly. That justifies sending it out, even though it's
    ugly and doesn't really fix the whole problem.

    I expect the whole thing will be cleaned up before the next VMS release,
    and MAIL$FILTER will just be an amusing bit of history. The tildes will
    go back on the screen where they belong, and Paul won't trip over them
    when he wanders the halls.

    -- Robert

  19. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    Robert Deininger wrote:

    > Paul Anderson keeps walking past my cube and muttering about tildes
    > scattered around on the floor...


    If every tilde filtered by MAIL around the world ends up on the floor in
    your offices, then this is a far more serious security and privacy issue
    than previously thought. The thought of customer data ending up in your
    offices (and on the floor nontheless) is very scary.

    I want HP to return every one of *MY* tildes that HP stole from my
    machine, and will will not accept anyone else's tildes. And HP better
    make sure the tildes are clean and undamaged from Paul Anderson walking
    over them.

    (We should launch a class action suit on this, April 1 is coming very
    soon :-) :-) :-) :-)

  20. Re: VMS Mail translates incoming tilde character into a dollar sign.

    In article , Robert Deininger writes:
    >{...snip...}
    >I expect the whole thing will be cleaned up before the next VMS release,
    >and MAIL$FILTER will just be an amusing bit of history. The tildes will
    >go back on the screen where they belong, and Paul won't trip over them
    >when he wanders the halls.


    Do tell him to be careful. We need him to keep DCPS functioning. However,
    if he keeps poisoning his system with White Castle, there's little hope for
    DCPS.

    --
    VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)COM

    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"

    http://tmesis.com/drat.html

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