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Re: [ietf-smtp] Adding a new value to the WITH protocol type subregistry

2018-07-12 15:21:19

--On Thursday, July 12, 2018 14:34 -0400 

On Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:44:44 -0700, Dave Crocker said:
I don't recall why the original requirement was made so
stringent.  Does anyone else?

If I remember correctly, it was due to fears of people tossing
a poorly written Informational RFC, saying "register my entry
kthxbai " and evaporating...

My memory is quite vague, but I don't think that is it.  A
completely unused string, or one that is unused except by the
systems of a defunct vendor, is pretty harmless and that has
been more or less the argument for very permissive registration
procedures across the board (and consistent with John L's and
Dave's comments).

There were, IIR, two major concerns.  One was to get at least a
clarity and minimum technical review on gateway specs because
real problems could be caused, on both sides of the gateway by
sloppy work, security-, content-type-, or identity-related
assertions that didn't hold up, etc.  Those issues would
obviously not be a problem for the keyword itself, but, because
we've published very few proprietary (or even public, but
non-SMPT) mail transport specs in the RFC Series, the gateways
seemed to be a way to get a handle on the problem, references to
the transport specs, etc.  Would some people ignore the rules
and simply use their own?  Sure, but that would give anyone who
cared about "with" a possible clue about trust, which would not
be a bad thing.

The other, perhaps less important, is that we didn't want to see
MTA brand names and the like in "with", lest it become
completely useless and we were pretty sure that, if someone
wrote a proposal for FubarMail, which claimed to be an
SMTP-confirming MTA in its documentation and literature to use
"with FubarMail", the IETF would make short work of them.

For the latter, the Independent Submission process, if it worked
no worse than it does today, would almost certainly be adequate.
For the former, it depends on who you trust, which goes back to
parts of my previous long note.

And, of course, if we propose to modify 5321 to allow lighter
weight review, someone is likely to ask for a careful review of
what "with" is actually used for now (as distinct from whatever
was assumed in 2008 or even in 1982 (it might even be me).   If
it has fallen into disuse and anyone wants to move SMTP to
Internet Standard at some point, the rules would probably argue
more strongly for moving the keyword to some sort of "obsolete"
list (paralleling 5322) than for fine-tuning the registry (and
maybe for making the registry requirement "specification
required" or "FCFS").


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