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Re: Last Call: draft-crocker-email-arch (Internet Mail Architecture) to Proposed Standard

2009-02-27 22:05:23

John C Klensin wrote:
 What specific changes are you proposing?

Really, John, whatever folks agree on is more than fine with me. However, I also note that some other experienced IETFers have indicated that they consider it acceptable to leave the text as-is.

Please note that besides the terse Section 6.3, the document does duly cite RFC 2045 and RFC 2047, for body and "header extensions", in Section 4.1.

My own sense of why the current I8N section is so sparse is because the additional capabilities have yet to be all that well established into the service, except for very narrow (albeit useful) exceptions. Since the document seeks to describe what is standardized as accepted practice, that leaves a bit of a hole for I8N details.

The incorporation-by-reference done in the draft is an attempt to limit the document's being drawn into a topic that seems to be email's third rail. Since you feel strongly about the document's failings in this regard and since you happen to be a tad more knowledgeable about the topic than I (or most others), what do you want included, *specifically*?

Actually, Dave, I can remember no community discussion of the
Internationalization section of this document.


While this document has been kicking around the community for
quite a while and gotten comments and input from far more people
than are listed in the Acknowledgements, it is an individual

I've variously done two or three detailed audits, to find and list the name of every person who made posted a substantive note about any of the email-arch drafts. This of course does not mean that I found everyone who should be listed. I know there are many others who have looked at the document, but if you know of any contributors who are missing from the section, please let me know.

   the question is "is
it ready" rather than "can the author insist that IETF
participants put other work aside to do a sufficiently close
review of a 49 page document to suggest alternate text that is
consistent with other text in the document".

First, "is it ready" sounds like exactly the question that folks responding to the Last Call have been answering.

Second, in your own case this document is not exactly being sprung on you without notice. It's been circulated in the ietf-smtp mailing list with 11 revisions over 5 years, including 2 or 3 (or maybe even) four postings that characterized themselves as "pseudo Last Call". And as cited above, there was an explicit request for discussion about internationalization last March on that list. And many of those people cited in the Acknowledgments section performed detailed reviews.

Since shyness is not one of my failings, you know that anyone with an interest in email technology and standards has had this document intrude on their screen more than once over the last five years -- and I don't mean just folk within the IETF sphere. So it doesn't make sense that you would suggest that there is somehow some sudden demand for review by folks within the email community.

I've demonstrated (and will demonstrate further below) that at
least this one section is not ready and have suggested what is

Now all you have to do is to convince those other folk who feel that the current text in the section is sufficient.

Personally, I suspect you'll have an easier time of it if you suggest specific text. (As for making the text "consistent with other text in the document" I'd be glad to perform that task, given any rough approximation that folks like.)

An alternative, if you could get the IESG to agree to it, would
be to say, somehow, "the Internet's email system is mostly ASCII
although various changes have been made and are being made to
accommodate non-ASCII strings in appropriate contexts;
internationalization is not further discussed in this document".

Well that is, indeed, specific text.

Are you suggesting it replace the existing Section 6.3 text?

Are you seeking support for that replacement from others on the list?

For example, [MAIL-I18N] points to RFC 2279, which has been
obsolete for more than five years due to a definitional change,

What is the superior reference you suggest be used?


  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking