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Re: Fwd: The state of PKI-related MIME-type standards

2006-10-12 21:03:14

From: "Anders Rundgren" <anders(_dot_)rundgren(_at_)telia(_dot_)com>
To: <ietf-pkix(_at_)imc(_dot_)org>
Subject: The state of PKI-related  MIME-type standards
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 00:18:26 +0200

Regarding "right" schemes, it appears that the IANA process is incompatible with the development situation since you cannot get a name without having an RFC and then your development gets stuck in a process you have no control over. Due to this you must "begin" with an x- extension that (if your stuff is successful), will be impossible to replace since you have no control of the other implementations. And there you is ;-|

It's been ten years and best practice is "accept both x-pkcs7-signature and pkcs7-signature" (repeat for the other MIME types defined in the MSG RFC) today, as evidenced by two mainstream clients (at least one of which I don't think even existed during the x-pkcs7-signature days) that emit this.

So as "a group that uses MIME types" I'm not sure what we can do. If we open the MSG RFC again, we can clarify that some people use X- and however naughty that is, you MUST accept it. But then again, contemporary clients MUST NOT emit it. But then again, some (out of spec) clients might ONLY accept that version... Yaaa.

As a somewhat MIME-specific observation, the only way I can see to avoid this is to never, ever rename your MIME type, which might mean never ever have an X- version of your MIME type. And I'm not sure that this is compatible with MIME type procedure. I imagine that this has been discussed before in the MIME community, but I personally don't know how it came out.

Blake Ramsdell | Sendmail, Inc. |

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