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High Quality Document Transfer

Document Charter High Quality Document Transfer WG (qualdocs)
Title High Quality Document Transfer
Last updated 2003-12-10
State Approved
WG State Concluded
IESG Responsible AD (None)
Charter edit AD (None)
Send notices to (None)


The transmission and reception of final form documents (i.e. presented
in a format that describes their final rendering) is an essential
communications service.

Several protocols and services have been developed over the years to
facilitate document transmission, including the GSTN Fax service
[ITU-T.30]. Within the IETF several protocols have been developed that
facilitate document transmission, including RFC 2305 and RFC 2532
and Forward Internet Fax] and the Internet Print Protocol [IPP].

Problem Statement:

Each of these services has one or more severe limitations or
restrictions that may not be suitable for all document transmissions.

Among those limitations that could be applied to one or more of the
above services:

  1. Limitations on Quality (resolution or color transmission)

  2. Ability to repudiate request for receipt confirmation (MDN - DSN)

  3. Lack of clear and unambiguous legal identification of sender and

  4. Lack of ability to adequately determine the success or failure of a
    document transmission during processing

  5. Inability to establish reliable knowledge or negotiation of

  6. Inability to satisfy legal as well as general custom and practice
    document transmission technologies, as typically applied to GSTN

  7. Inability to establish transaction security, authenticity and
    confidentiality of document transmission

Work Group Objectives:

The purpose of the work group will be to investigate current work
the IETF and identify protocols, procedures and policies that can
satisfy the requirements for reliable document transmission with a high
degree of fidelity and reliability.

Essential attributes for Quality Document Delivery Services include:

Timely Delivery.

Transaction Security, Authenticity and Confidentiality.

High quality output with sender control of presentation detail

Legal identity exchange.

Document format selection based on confirmed capabilities of sender
and/or receiver.

Proof of Delivery (Receipt Notification).

Study will be given to the requirements of 3rd party document delivery
service providers.

The WG will not submit any new protocols only extensions or
augmentations to existing or proposed Standards Track protocols.

Proposed solutions:

Proposed solutions should not impose undue burdens on implementers in
order that the protocol should be available on a wide variety of
and systems.

The working group will closely coordinate its activities with other
Work Groups, including the Internet Print Protocol working group [IPP]
and the Internet Fax working group [FAX] as well other document
transmission related standards bodies and related work groups, notably
the ITU-T Study Group 8. The group will take note of other areas and
Work Groups within the IETF that may have direct bearing on reliable
document delivery.

Relevant areas include:

  • Security, Authentication and Encryption (TLS, etc)

  • Sender Identification (vCard)

  • RFC 2301 File Formats

  • Digital Signatures and Certificates


  • IMPP

  • ENUM

Particular emphasis will be taken to design protocol elements that
likely reduce the possibility of document "spaming" as well as other
forms of denial and abuse of service.