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Proposed WG Mail Maintenance (mailmaint)

WG Name Mail Maintenance
Acronym mailmaint
Area Applications and Real-Time Area (art)
State Proposed
Charter charter-ietf-mailmaint-00-07 External Review (Message to Community, Selected by Secretariat)
Document dependencies
Personnel Chair Kenneth Murchison
Area Director Murray Kucherawy
Mailing list Address
To subscribe
Chat Room address

Charter for proposed Working Group

Internet Messaging (“email”) is one of the oldest applications still supported by the IETF. It consists of numerous layers and extensions that support the robust construction, transport, retrieval, and interpretation of messages.

(For the purposes of this charter, “email” starts in RFC 5321 which covers transport and RFC 5322 which covers message format, and extends into specifications based on those documents and their antecedents. It does not include extensions to related protocols such as IMAP.)

From time to time, new work in the email space is brought to the IETF for consideration and development. Where there is enough critical mass to create a working group to develop and publish the work, this is the preferred case. More often, however, a proposal is brought that lacks enough critical mass to independently support chartering of a working group, but would still be useful to publish as a standard. Such projects must then either seek the assent of an Area Director willing to sponsor it as a standards track document, or support via the Independent Stream Editor (ISE) without standards track status.

The MAILMAINT (“Mail Maintenance”) working group will consider projects in the email space that are too small to warrant construction of a dedicated working group. This will take advantage of a common community to consider these proposals rather than forming a series of disparate but related communities.

Work proposed for MAILMAINT may arrive via direct proposals, or it may be referred via one or more DISPATCH-style working groups. Calls for Adoption are required for all work proposals.

Proponents of work that is not taken up within the IETF may, of course, decide to bring their proposal to the Independent Stream. The working group should discuss such proposals with the ISE and share the results of the working group’s consideration.

Further, MAILMAINT will observe the following constraints when considering the adoption of new work directly:

  • Prior to accepting any Standards Track document for development, there must be a commitment to implement the resulting proposed standard from at least two independent parties, as recorded on a related IETF mailing list. An interoperability demonstration will be preferred.

  • When deciding to send any Standards Track work to the IESG, there must first be produced a report documenting at least two (preferably more) independent implementations with at least partial interoperation based on the developed specification.

  • Chartering of a dedicated working group with a custom charter is strongly preferred when engaging any work that updates the base email documents (RFC 5321 and RFC 5322 and their successors).

All work will be announced to appropriate non-WG lists such as ietf-822, ietf-smtp, ietf-dkim, etc., at the time a Call For Adoption or Working Group Last Call begins.

Standards work being taken up by MAILMAINT should be checked with other relevant areas (mainly Security) to confirm appropriate oversight or possible assignment to that area.

Milestones will be used to track all approved work, including during chartering and rechartering.

Proposed milestones

Date Milestone Associated documents
Jul 2024 Call For Adoption of draft-dweekly-wrong-recipient draft-dweekly-wrong-recipient