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Re: Last Call: Standard Electronic Mail Addresses For Internet Operations

1996-06-18 21:08:51
    Date:        Tue, 18 Jun 1996 20:28:46 -0700
    From:        Dave Crocker <dcrocker(_at_)imc(_dot_)org>
    Message-ID:  <v03007402adecc733155d(_at_)[205(_dot_)214(_dot_)160(_dot_)85]>

    Is Port 25 only a BCP?  I think not.

Actually, yes, that is exactly what it should be.   Ignoring "BCP" as
it now is for one minute, the real need when the doc series was extended
was to have a category of docs that are, for all practical purposes,
standards, but for which the rules for STD could not apply.   Ie: is it
possible to have 2 independant implementations of (the definition of)
port 25?   Somehow, I think not.   Similarly, is it possible to have a
new PS or DS for port 25, giving it a different meaning (perhaps shade of
meaning) while retaining a previous STD that existed before, so that some
can implement the new version, and others the old.   Again, I suspect not.

This doc series (which has been labelled BCP) is needed to fill this gap,
standards that can't go through multiple levels of implementation status,
as they're either used, or they're not, and which can't exist in parallel
with some earlier version of the same thing.   The definitions of port
numbers (and e-mail addresses, if this happens) are exactly the kind of
thing that this doc series should be used for.

What it shouldn't be being used for is docs that are really just
informational ("this is what we do") which someone wants to seem more
important ("this is what we do, and this other bunch of people agreed
that this is what we do...").    That is all just information.
    2.  Unfortunately, some of the addresses in the current document do NOT
    represent current practise or they have some (minor) problems.

I suspect that it is simply too late now to create some of the addresses
mentioned.   Too many e-mail addresses have been allocated already for
too many purposes, and people just aren't going to rewrite all their manuals
to change the addresses because the ones they used have now been defined to
have a special meaning.

Eg: we have a "trouble" list here, which I think was one of the magic
words, which we definitely don't use in the way suggested, and which I
doubt we are going to alter.

Sim, there's a Prof Arthur Sales at the University of Tasmania - somehow
I don't think he wants his name (which I believe is his e-mail addr) turned
into something which people use to find out how to buy a degree.

If new standard addresses are to be created, they probably need to be in
a form which is very unlikely to conflict with existing e-mail addresses,
which rules out simple "word" (strings of letters), "word.word", and
"word_word" forms - those are all much too widely used already, in just
about all possible combinations.

Before anything is standardised in this area we need to discover just how
widely used the names are, and/or how willing people will be to implement
them in the form desired.   Personally, I find it hard enough to get people
to make "postmaster" work.

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