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Appeal of decision to standardize "Mapping Between the Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and Internet Mail" (John C Klensin; 2005-06-10) - 2005-06-10
Response - 2005-07-22

The IESG has reviewed John Klensin's appeal against the
approval of draft-ietf-lemonade-mms-mapping-04.txt (see
for the full text of the appeal).

Note that the Area Director principally concerned, Ted Hardie,
gave technical input during the IESG discussion of the appeal,
but recused himself from the approval of this response.

After analysis, the IESG withdraws its approval of
draft-ietf-lemonade-mms-mapping-04.txt as Proposed Standard
and invites the lemonade WG to act on the following points.

  1. The IESG agrees that the technical updates between the
    -02 and -04 versions of draft-ietf-lemonade-mms-mapping were significant
    enough to warrant re-review by the working group. It therefore asks the
    working group to review the changes between -02 and -04; if the WG is
    satisfied that the changes are within its intent, it should so inform
    the IESG. If not, it should produce a draft that restores its original
    intent, and so inform the IESG. When the draft is updated, the IESG will
    restart the review process at IETF Last Call.

  2. We note that the Resent-Count header is not mentioned in the IANA
    Considerations. While RFC 3864 would allow it to be registered
    independently, based on the OMA documents, it would be valuable to
    include a note in the IANA Considerations indicating what registration
    class (Permanent or Provisional) would be sought for and stating that
    the registration would be accomplished by reference to those documents.
    Having the registration request be concurrent with or precede the approval
    of the revised draft would also be valuable.

  3. The appeal challenges the legitimacy of a gateway standard
    mandating certain mappings to and from X- headers. In one place,
    the draft states:

    ...Such systems should
    be aware that X-headers might be removed during transit through
    Internet MTAs.

It is not the IETF's business that the external MMS specification
makes use of X- headers in a way that the IETF mail standards do not.
Additionally, given the ambiguous status of X- headers due to the
discrepancy between RFC 822 and RFC 2822, the WG was placed in a
difficult situation. Mail gateways have to satisfy pragmatic as well
as formal requirements. The IESG therefore believes that it was within
the WG's scope to specify mappings to and from X- headers, as long as
it is clear that they are not part of the RFC 2822 standard format and
that their treatment by Internet MTAs cannot be relied on.

We now believe that the above sentence describing permitted Internet
MTA behavior is not sufficiently prominent in the draft, and we request
that the working group expand and strengthen it or otherwise remedy
the problem, unless the WG decides for other reasons to remove the
X- header mappings.

If the X- header mappings are retained, they are also candidates for
provisional registration under RFC 3864 and should be noted as such
in the IANA Considerations.

  1. The appeal raises a number of other technical points that were
    not, as far as we know, raised during WG discussion, WG Last Call,
    or IETF Last Call. Some of them were raised by John Klensin in
    a review carried out for the General AD during IESG evaluation.
    We believe that if they had been raised earlier, they might
    have affected the document content. But this in itself does
    not automatically mean the IESG was wrong to approve the document
    at the Proposed Standard level.

However, since the WG will be reconsidering the draft, if the WG
wishes to make additional changes based on its review of John's
technical concerns, it should do so, and inform the IESG when consensus
within the WG has been reached so that a new cycle of IETF review
can be initiated.

  1. John's appeal raised the question of whether the working group had
    an adequate opportunity to review the comments raised by his review.
    The IESG believes that as we continue to encourage cross-area and
    cross-working-group review, the issue of how to make sure review
    comments are seen by the right people and handled in an open manner
    will continue to become more important. We would like to work with
    the community on guidelines for reviewers, ADs and working groups on
    how to handle these review comments.

In summary, the IESG

  • withdraws its approval of draft-ietf-lemonade-mms-mapping-04.txt
    as Proposed Standard

  • requests the lemonade WG to review and confirm or withdraw the changes
    between the -02 and -04 versions

  • notes that the lemonade WG is free to consider other technical comments
    included in the appeal

  • requests the lemonade WG to improve the text about MTA treatment of
    X- headers, if these mappings are retained

  • requests the lemonade WG to complete the IANA Considerations as necessary,
    considering RFC 3864

  • requests the lemonade WG to provide an updated version of the draft
    that reflects WG consensus, for renewed IETF Last Call and IESG review.