You indicated that my criticism was incorrect regarding Mr. Klensin's
understanding of the standards process in regards to the description of
the current SMTP Standard. So, now I am confused, and would like to learn
how to correctly evalute the status of IETF Standards.
The following question seems simple enough:
"What is the current standard level RFC describing the SMTP protocol?"
I see that RFC Index lists RFC 821 as being obsoleted by RFC 2821.
However, RFC 2821 status is "Proposed Standard", which is not a
standard-level RFC, according to the Standards Process documented in RFC
2026. Indeed, RFC 2821 was dated April 2001. Section 6.2 of RFC 2026
When a standards-track specification has not reached the Internet
Standard level but has remained at the same maturity level for
twenty-four (24) months, and every twelve (12) months thereafter
until the status is changed, the IESG shall review the viability of
the standardization effort responsible for that specification and the
usefulness of the technology. Following each such review, the IESG
shall approve termination or continuation of the development effort,
at the same time the IESG shall decide to maintain the specification
at the same maturity level or to move it to Historic status. This
decision shall be communicated to the IETF by electronic mail to the
IETF Announce mailing list to allow the Internet community an
opportunity to comment. This provision is not intended to threaten a
legitimate and active Working Group effort, but rather to provide an
administrative mechanism for terminating a moribund effort.
I can find no reference that RFC2821 is a Standard, and it would seem that
it has remained at the same maturity level for 24 months or longer.
Thus, it seems to be appropriate that the IESG should review the viability
of the standardization effort, and decide if the effort should be
terminted or continued.
I also see that I am not the first to criticize the RFC 2821 effort
I see that RFC 3300 indicates that RFC 821 is currently listed at STD 10.
How could RFC 821 be obsolete if it is STD 10? Is this an error by the
RFC editor in the RFC Index?
I also note that RFC 3300 indicates a status change on RFC 2821 to
"proposed standard" by use of an asterisk. However the previous verions
(RFC 3000) indicates that RFC 2821 was in state "proposed standard" then
too. There seems to be no status change. Is this an error? What was the
status change indicated in RFC 3300?
So, does that mean that I am wrong that RFC 821/STD 10 is the current
standard for SMTP?
It seems to me that RFC 2026 supports my view, that the current SMTP
Standard is RFC 821, though there are inconsistencies in the IETF process
documentation that might suggest or lead one to conclude otherwise.
I note that similar issues appear to exist with RFC 2554, but that is it
dated March 1999.
If these RFCs are not in fact Standard Level RFC's, it is inappropriate
for persons associated with the IETF to describe them as such, and
therefore this seems to be a violation of section 4 of RFC 3184, Code of
Conduct, for having not read the RFCs. On the other hand, perhaps I have
missed something or otherwise misunderstood those RFCs, and am myself in
violation of section 4. I seek guidance on this issue.
Thank you for your attention.
President, Av8 Internet, Inc