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Re: More on mail message header fields

2004-05-21 04:13:22

 Graham Klyne <GK-lists(_at_)ninebynine(_dot_)org> writes:

With reference to:
which contains the changes I have proposed.

I think this is one of those small details that came out in the execution 
(ala "running code") which wasn't fully mapped out when the registry 
procedure document was drafted.  In preparing the mail header registration 
document, it seemed to be more appropriate (and more honest regarding some 
of the headers' actual status in the IETF process) to me to specify 
not-yet-standard headers as "standards-track" rather than "standard".  The 
wiggle room in the registry spec that allows me to justify this is "or some 
other appropriate value according to the type and status of the primary 
document".  I used the term "standards-track" rather than "Proposed-" or 
"Draft-" because that's what appears on the standards-track RFCs; e.g.
Network Working Group                                 P. Resnick, Editor
Request for Comments: 2822                         QUALCOMM Incorporated
Obsoletes: 822                                                April 2001
Category: Standards Track
I concede that consistency might suggest "Proposed-" or "Draft-", but I 
don't see any added value in having such fine detail in the registry.

I think my approach is entirely in the intended spirit of the registry, 
which is to help prospective designers and users (a) find information about 
the variety of headers in use, and (b) to record any additional information 
about their suitability for use, rather than to attempt to provide detailed 
information that is available elsewhere.

Hmmm! I am not convinced that distinguishing between the various
standard-track stages in the Registry is really the right thing (and
surely the spec would have required that it that had been the intention).

My problem is that it leads to entries like the following in your

2.1.4  Header field: Reply-To
      Mailbox for replies to message
   Applicable protocol: Mail [20]
   Status: standard
   Author/change controller:
      IETF  (mailto:iesg(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org)
      Internet Engineering Task Force
   Specification document(s):
      RFC 2822 [20] (section 3.6.2)

   Related information:
      When the "Reply-To:" field is present, it indicates the
      mailbox(es) to which the author of the message suggests that
      replies be sent. Defined as standard by RFC 822.

Now it says there that the Status is "standard" (as opposed to
"standards-track" which is used with some other headers). But it refers to
RFC 2822 as the Specification Document, and RFC 2822 is not (yet) a
standard. This could be confusing (and yet referring to RFC 822 as the
Specification Document would be even more so).

Hence I think it would be better to use "standards-track" throughout (or
"standard" if it is understood to mean the same thing).

Charles H. Lindsey ---------At Home, doing my own thing------------------------
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