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Revision of core Email specifications (emailcore)

WG Name Revision of core Email specifications
Acronym emailcore
Area Applications and Real-Time Area (art)
State Active
Charter charter-ietf-emailcore-01 Approved
Status update Show Changed 2020-06-25
Document dependencies
Additional resources Issue Tracker, Zulip stream
Personnel Chairs Alexey Melnikov, Todd Herr
Area Director Murray Kucherawy
Mailing list Address
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Charter for Working Group

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 (recommended extensions, transport
security and other issues from the UTA working group's output, and such)
and current email practices. 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


Date Milestone Associated documents
Nov 2024 Submit Applicability Statment to the IESG for publication at Proposed Standard draft-ietf-emailcore-as
Jul 2024 Submit RFC5321bis to the IESG for publication at Internet Standard draft-ietf-emailcore-rfc5321bis
May 2024 Submit RFC5322bis to the IESG for publication at Internet Standard draft-ietf-emailcore-rfc5322bis