Revision of core Email specifications

Document Proposed charter Revision of core Email specifications WG (emailcore)
Title Revision of core Email specifications
Last updated 2020-09-11
State External Review (Message to Community, Selected by Secretariat) Initial chartering
WG State Proposed
IESG Responsible AD Barry Leiba
Charter Edit AD Barry Leiba
Telechat date On agenda of 2020-09-24 IESG telechat
Send notices to (None)


The base documents defining Internet messaging — colloquially, email --
are RFC 5321 (protocol) and RFC 5322 (format). These are revisions and
consolidations of prior documents and were last published in 2008. They
currently sit at Draft Standard status, a status that no longer exists
according to the current IETF procedure.

Since then some errata have accumulated (both submitted to IETF and
reported directly to editors), as have comments made about these
documents not necessarily describing best email practices. There is now
sufficient critical mass to undertake a limited review and revision of
these documents for the purpose of advancing them to Internet Standard

This working group will conduct a limited review and revision to the base
email specifications, and will publish new versions of these documents at
Internet Standard status, per RFC 6410. The limited review is restricted
to corrections and clarifications only, with a strong emphasis on keeping
these minimal and avoiding broader changes to terminology or document
organization. In addition to processing existing, verified errata and
errata marked as "held for document update", the WG may address
newly-offered errata. However, no new protocol extensions or amendments
will be considered for inclusion into 5321bis and 5322bis documents,
unless they are already published as IETF Stream RFCs and are at
sufficient maturity level to move to Internet Standard.

The working group will also work on an Applicability Statement in
parallel with 5321bis and 5322bis, to capture relationships to other
documented and widely deployed work (such as recommended extensions) and
current email practices, including transport security and other issues
from the UTA working group's output. 5321bis and 5322bis will be submitted
for publication before this document is finalized, and the "bis" documents
will have priority for the working group's attention until they are

Upon completion of these three milestones, and assuming there is still
the momentum to do so, the working group may undertake similar review and
revision of other email specifications. Such future work will require

Proposed milestones

No milestones for charter found.