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Concluded WG Notifications and Acknowledgements Requirements (notary)

Note: The data for concluded WGs is occasionally incorrect.

WG Name Notifications and Acknowledgements Requirements
Acronym notary
Area Applications Area (app)
State Concluded
Charter charter-ietf-notary-01 Approved
Document dependencies
Additional resources UNINETT NOTARY Page
Personnel Chairs Harald T. Alvestrand, Ned Freed
Tech Advisor Dr. John C. Klensin
Mailing list Address
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Final Charter for Working Group

The purpose of the NOTARY Working Group is to give the Internet e-mail
user better tools to build a system where the sender of a message can
find out what happened to it.

Work items for this group:

  • Specify a reporting format that can be used for delivery,
    non-delivery and receipt reports. The format should conform to MIME,
    and be at least as informative as current examples of non-standardized
    non-delivery notifications. This format should be usable as-is in
    current e-mail products to replace the current, non-standardized and
    sometimes quite cryptic textual non-delivery reports. The drafts by
    Keith Moore and Greg Vaudreuil are taken as a working basis. (See
    the document list below for details.)

  • Specify a way for the sender to request that positive delivery
    reports be generated for a message sent via SMTP. The draft by
    Keith Moore is taken as a working basis.

  • Generate an Informational document that gives advice on how to handle
    delivery notifications (positive and negative) and requests for them at
    boundaries to other mail systems, such as X.400 and PC LANs.

Relationship to X.400 and X.400 gateways:

While the intent of this work includes specification of an
acknowledgement system that can be translated to work across the
821/822/MIME to X.400 boundary, the effort will focus on design from
the former standpoint. That will be followed by changes to the
successor of RFC 1327 to match these features, but those changes will be
made as part of the RFC 1327 revision process, not by this working
Of course, if any features specified by this working group turn out to
impossible to accomodate in the RFC 1327 revision, that would be cause
reviewing both sets of specifications.

Additional items not on the agenda of this working group:

  • Specification of a way in which the sender can request that a receipt
    notification (``the recipient has read this message'') be sent upon
    receipt of the message. The document should identify the controversial
    aspects of such a function, and should attempt to specify the function
    in a way that minimizes surprise at both the sending and receiving end,
    even in the face of varying local policies.

However, the group will, as part of its work, make a recommendation to
the IESG where and how such work should be tackled.


Date Milestone Associated documents
Jul 1994 Submit Request Mechanism document to IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard.
Jul 1994 Submit Gateway Advice document for publication as an Informational RFC.
Apr 1994 Release Gateway Advice document as an Internet-Draft.
Apr 1994 Release Request mechanism document as an Internet-Draft.
Apr 1994 Submit notification document to IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard.