Usenet Article Standard Update (usefor)

Last Modified: 2007-02-13

Additional information is available at tools.ietf.org/wg/usefor

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Description of Working Group:

Note: A charter rewrite/update is underway.


Motivation

The Standard for Interchange of USENET Messages, defined in RFC 1036,
was released in December 1987. This RFC defines the format that format
that all usenet articles must follow (similar to the way RFC 822 does
for email) and also covers the algorithm that is used to distribute
usenet articles. Since that time there has been no official update
published despite the rapid growth in Usenet and other networks that
use
the RFC 1036 article format.

A draft update to RFC 1036 ( "Son of RFC 1036" ) was released by Henry
Spencer in June 1994 but this was not further pursued and is now itself
out of date. Currently a combination of this and RFC 1036 are regarded
as the de-facto standard.

At the present time an urgent need has been identified to formalize and
document many of the current and proposed extensions to the Usenet
Article format. Many extensions are only vaguely documented and have
competing and overlapping alternatives. A draft update to RFC 1036 (
"Son of RFC 1036" ) was released by Henry Spencer in June 1994 but
this
was not further pursued and is now itself out of date. Currently a
combination of this and RFC 1036 are regarded as the de-facto standard.

At the present time an urgent need has been identified to formalize and
document many of the current and proposed extensions to the Usenet
Article format. Many extensions are only vaguely documented and have
competing and overlapping alternatives.

In particular the following areas need urgent attention:

- Standards for the signing of articles (sign-control and PGP-MOOSE)
- Authentication of cancels.
- Use of non-ASCII character sets in article headers and bodies
- Standardization of article bodies and the use of MIME in articles.
- Standardization and extension of 3rd party control messages affecting
  articles (NOCEM)
- General revision of various limits (eg article size) listed in
  previous standards.

and many other aspects of the standards need reviewing.

Description

The Goal of this working group is to publish a standards-track
successor
to RFC 1036 that with particular attention to backward compatibility,
formalizes best current practice and best proposed practice. The Group
shall also aid and/or oversee the production of other Usenet related
Internet Drafts and Standards.

The Working Group shall:

1. Produce an Internet Draft (or series of drafts) that describes the
  core standards for a Usenet article and the features that all Usenet
  software should take account of.

2. Produce a group of Internet Drafts formally describing extensions to
  the core standard for a Usenet article (see above).

3. Produce a further Internet Draft that incorporates the core standard
  for a Usenet article (see 1) plus all those extensions (see 2) that

  the working group believe should become part of a final standard.

4. Publish a standards-track successor to RFC 1036 that formalizes best
  current practice and best proposed practice.

5. Publish any other extensions to the Usenet Article Standard that
  warrant being formal extensions but are outside the scope of the
main
  standard.

Goals and Milestones:

Done    Publish USEFOR -00
Done    Publish USEPRO -00
Done    Publish USEFOR -01 (merged version)
Done    Last Call USEFOR
Jan 2005    Last Call USEPRO
Mar 2005    Last Call USEAGE
Apr 2005    ReCharter or conclude

Internet-Drafts:

Netnews Article Format (0 bytes)
Netnews Architecture and Protocols (0 bytes)

No Request For Comments