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Re: [Fwd: More information requested on publication status of draft-crocker-email-arch]

2009-05-26 23:58:03

Alexey Melnikov wrote:
'Internet Mail Architecture' <draft-crocker-email-arch> as a Proposed Standard

The IESG has received a concern about the intended publication status of this document and wishes to confirm the community's preferences.


As the document's author, my preference for its status is obvious.  But I
thought it worth commenting on the reason I believe a document of this type --
and this particular document -- warrants standardization.

Any protocol specification that we do standardize is a component of an
integrated service.  Standardizing a component, without standardizing the
context into which is it being used, is a bit like writing a precise contract
for a supply of screws or a heating element or bits of sheet metal, but not
specifying their integration into a toaster, or some other particular
(integrated) product.

The screws or heating elements might be used for a variety of other products.
There's nothing wrong with that.  Those other uses do not constitute a
"violation" of the toaster specification.  They're just different.

So it should be for an integrated service like Internet Mail.  We did not feel
compelled to do the specification long ago because back then the service began
in a kind of cottage industry within a small community. The systems
specification was informally shared.  The community, now, is much larger and
shares none of that original history.  This constantly causes confusion in
discussions about the integrated service.  So, that community needs to see a
specification for this particular service we call Internet Mail.

They need to see it as a standard for the same reason they need to see the
components as standards.


  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking

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