[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ietf-smtp] Email standard revision, was address maximum length

2019-11-25 21:46:25
On Tue, Nov 26, 2019, at 13:45, John C Klensin wrote:
[...] I think it is bad for the IETF and probably bad for the
Internet if we create new standards that are generally ignored.
Old standards that practices have evolved away from are
unfortunate too but, IMO, less serious. 

I just wanted to answer this one by itself :)

I have a lot of sympathy for this argument. It's sounds great and is easily 

As a counter argument, I would say that to not update our guidance is an 
abdication of responsibility.

 If we publish a standard which is widespread use but the behaviour in the real 
world has moved away from what we specify, then we are misleading those who 
come to learn from us. The IETF has no mechanism other than "publish a new 
document which obsoletes the old one" to revise our guidance to the world.

5321 and 5322 are widely enough used that I believe it's our responsibility to 
publish our best guidance to the world, trying to capture the use cases that 
are causing implementations to differ from our previous standards in a way that 
guides everybody back into compliance.

The alternative of throwing our hands up and saying "it's just an old standard, 
it's OK if nobody is following it any more" leads to us becoming irrelevant 
over time, which IMO is more serious, as we're *clearly* the best standards 
body. We don't want people looking elsewhere for the best guidance on how to 
use the protocols we used to be the authority on!



 Bron Gondwana, CEO, Fastmail Pty Ltd

ietf-smtp mailing list