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Re: IETF process

1997-11-08 12:20:21
The ietf-open-pgp mailing list isn't the most appropriate place for
discussing S/MIME, is it? :-) I'd like to point people over to the mailing
list for the just-formed S/MIME Working Group at 
However, since there is a bit of confusion still here, I'd like to clear it
up so it doesn't get in the way of the decisions being made here about

At 10:26 AM 11/8/97 -0800, Ned Freed wrote:
This then means that there will be no less than four S/MIMEs:

(1) The original RSADSI S/MIME.
(2) The one that's coming out as a set of informational RFCs.
(3) The one the WG will standardize.
(4) The one that will result from the PKCS rewrite that RSADSI is supposedly

Nope, sorry. The number will be two.
- It's not clear that anyone ever implemented (1)
- (2) is what is out there today
- (3) is what will be out there if the S/MIME WG does its job
- (4) will not be created
For (4), there are no plans for the S/MIME spec to use the revised PKCS #7
format if it ever comes out. All desired changes for S/MIME that might be
made in PKCS #7 should be made to the CMS that will be used in S/MIME v3.
At the last S/MIME developer's meeting, there was a very definite choice to
support (3) and not to try to do (4). Further, (4) is *not* on the charter
for the S/MIME WG. There's a good chance the S/MIME WG will have dissolved
before the PKCS revision is even finished.

Thus, we'll be left with two versions of S/MIME (v2 and v3), just like
there will be two versions of PGP/MIME (RFC 1991/2015 and OpenPGP). The
reasons for having two versions of each protocol are almost identical:
earlier use of encumbered algorithms, later use of unencumbered algorithms
plus fixes and extensions.

--Paul Hoffman, Director
--Internet Mail Consortium

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