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Email Address Internationalization (eai)
(concluded WG)

Note: The data for concluded WGs is occasionally incorrect.
Group
Name: Email Address Internationalization
Acronym:eai
Area:Applications Area (app)
State: Concluded
Charter: charter-ietf-eai-06 (Approved)
Personnel
Chairs: John Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
Joseph Yee <jyee@afilias.info>
Area Director: Pete Resnick <presnick@qti.qualcomm.com>
Secretary: Jiankang Yao <yaojk@cnnic.cn>
Mailing List
Address:ima@ietf.org
To Subscribe:https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/ima
Archive:http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/ima

Charter for Working Group


The email address has two parts, local part and domain part.
Email address internationalization must deal with both. This
working group's previous experimental efforts investigated the
use of UTF-8 as a general approach to email
internationalization. That approach is based on the use of an
SMTP extension to enable the use of UTF-8 in envelope address
local-parts, optionally in address domain-parts, and in mail
headers. The mail header contexts can include both addresses
and wherever existing protocols (e.g., RFC 2231) permit the use
of encoded-words.

All WG deliverables specified under the original charter,
particularly the experimental protocol specifications, have
been completed. The core specifications have been implemented
and interoperability tests performed. The WG is now being
rechartered to permit advancing revised versions of those
specifications and supporting documents into the standards
track.

As a result of implementation and testing experience, the WG
has concluded to drop the model of in-transit
downgrading that was a key part of the original effort.
In-transit downgrading approaches simply do not work well
enough and predictably enough to be worth the considerable
additional complexity that accompanies them. In particular,
dropping in-transit downgrading eliminates the need for the
first significant change to the syntax of an email address
since RFC 821 and 822 were published in 1982.

Work will therefore reflect a "no fallback" approach. That
approach provides a very minimal transition mechanism, but is
consistent with the long-term view that email with invalid
addresses or syntax should be rejected, rather than fixed up in
transit between submission servers and delivery servers.
Discoverable fallback addresses that could be applied before or
during message submission or after SMTP "final delivery" may be
investigated. The WG may also develop other materials to give
advice to implementers or operators. Those efforts may lead to
informational documents or best practices recommendations, but
are considered independent of the core documents. Work on them
will progress only under the condition that it not delay the
primary standards track specifications.

The WG believes that the lessons learned from implementation
and testing and removal of in-transit downgrading as a goal
eliminates all major areas of controversy about the core
specifications and should permit very rapid progress. Such
rapid progress is an explicit goal for the WG; issues resolved
in the past will not be revisited unless those who wish to do
so can demonstrate data, reasoning, or consequences that were
not considered earlier. At the same time, any attempt to
significantly extend an established and widely deployed set of
protocols may uncover new consequences or side effects that
need consideration and evaluation. If faced with a choice
between spending time on such new considerations, the WG will
favor getting things right over accelerating the schedule.

Deliverables

The following deliverables are foreseen in this charter. The WG
chairs may (re)structure the deliverables into specific
documents or document sets as needed. Adding or removing
documents other than those listed below as "Required" or
"Additional" will require a charter update.

Required Documents (these are the "core specifications"
referred to elsewhere)

* Overview and Framework for Internationalized
Email, replacing RFC 4952 (Informational or Proposed
Standard at IESG discretion once complete)

* UTF-8 SMTP extension specification, replacing RFC 5336
(Proposed Standard)

* Header format specification, replacing RFC 5335 (Proposed
Standard)

* Internationalized DSN specification, replacing RFC 5337
(Proposed Standard)

* UTF-8 POP specification, replacing RFC 5721 (Proposed
Standard)

* UTF-8 IMAP specification, replacing RFC 5738 (Proposed
Standard)

Additional possible documents suggested. While milestones are
listed for most of these documents, they may be dropped by the
WG with the consent of the Responsible AD.

* Advice for MUA implementors (Informational or BCP)

* Advice for EAI deployment (Informational or BCP)

* Advice for non-ASCII and ASCII addresses for the same mailbox
(Informational or BCP)

* Mailinglist (Informational or Standards Track, replacing
draft-eai-mailinglist)

* Mailto (Proposed Standard, updating draft-duerst-mailto-bis
to reflect internationalized addresses)

* Protocol extensions for RFC 4409 Submission Servers or
configuration advice for the MUA->Submission server interface.

Milestones

Done
Overview/architecture draft first
Done
Interworking scenarios first draft
Done
SMTP Extensions first draft
Done
Header format first draft
Done
Downgrading in SMTP first draft
Done
Downgrading in IMAP first draft
Done
Downgrading in POP first draft
Done
Overview/architecture draft to IESG
Done
SMTP Extensions to IESG
Done
Header format to IESG
Done
Downgrading in SMTP to IESG
Done
Downgrading in POP to IESG
Done
Downgrading in IMAP to IESG
Done
Discussion of Recharter for standards track at IETF 77
May 2010
New charter approval from IESG
Jul 2010
EAI Framework to IESG
Sep 2010
Headers to IESG
Sep 2010
SMTP to IESG
Sep 2010
DSN to IESG
Nov 2010
IMAP & POP3 to IESG
Dec 2010
Decision about possible changes or comments about Submission Servers. If the decision is to generate a document, the decision will include a schedule.
Jan 2011
Advice for non-ASCII & ASCII addresses to IESG
Jan 2011
Advice for MUA implementors to IESG
Jan 2011
Advice for EAI deployment to IESG
Apr 2011
Mailinglist to IESG
Apr 2011
Mailto (Proposed Standard) to IESG