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Concluded WG Automated Internet Mailing List Services (list)

Note: The data for concluded WGs is occasionally incorrect.

WG Name Automated Internet Mailing List Services
Acronym list
Area Applications Area (app)
State Concluded
Charter charter-ietf-list-01 Approved
Document dependencies
Personnel Chair David L. Lippke
Mailing list Address
To subscribe
Archive pub/

Final Charter for Working Group

This Working Group will concern itself with ``list servers'', i.e.,
advanced mail exploders/reflectors which provide services such as
automated subscription, archive maintenance, and coordination with
similar systems on the network.

The Group will initially focus its activities towards establishing a
baseline user interface. Although most current systems support a
command set patterned after Eric Thomas' BITNET LISTSERV, there is
wide variance in the options supported and in the general patterns of
interaction. This results in a great deal of user confusion. The
Working Group's interface definition will address this by establishing
a set of commands, options, interactions, and procedures which will
(hopefully) be supported by all list servers as a subset of their full

As a part of the user interface work, the Group will also define an
authentication service for users' list server transactions. Toward
this end, and to address the privacy issue, the Group will consult
with the Security Area Advisory Group (SAAG).

The second phase of the Group's work will be to provide for the
interconnection and coordination of list servers. Experience with the
BITNET LISTSERV has shown that it is important for users be able to
view the collection of list servers on the network as an integrated
whole. Ideally, users should only have to deal with their local
mailing list service---which knows where all public lists are, what
they are, and is able to act on the user's behalf with respect to
them. Interconnecting list servers allows this ``integrated user view''
to be created and also lets issues such as traffic minimization,
timely distribution, and load sharing to be more easily addressed.
Consequently, the Working Group will define the conceptual models,
communication methods, and extensions to prior work which are
necessary to bring this interconnection and coordination about.

It is anticipated that further work on issues of authentication and
privacy will continue in parallel with the ``integration'' effort ---
perhaps manifesting itself as a separate RFC which extends the user
interface definition produced during the first phase.


Date Milestone Associated documents
Mar 1992 Focus the interconnection/coordination work. Finalize and document settled issues.
Jan 1992 Submit user interface definition document to IESG as a Proposed Standard.
Nov 1991 Resolve outstanding issues with the user interface definition and prepare document for IESG submission. Begin work to address the interconnection/coordination issue.
Jul 1991 Submit interconnection/coordination definition document to the IESG for publication as a Proposed Standard.

Done milestones

Date Milestone Associated documents
Done Review the Group's Charter and begin work on the user interface definition.