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  • IETF 111 Hackathon: Coding across time zones

    The IETF 111 Hackathon was held July 19-23, 2021. This was the 19th IETF Hackathon, and the 4th held as an online only event. For most people involved in the IETF the past several years, the IETF Hackathon marks the start of each IETF meeting.

    • Charles EckelIETF Hackathon Co-chair
    8 Sep 2021
  • IETF 111 post-meeting survey

    The results from our IETF 111 post-meeting survey are now available.

    • Jay DaleyIETF Executive Director
    23 Aug 2021
  • IETF Community Survey 2021

    In May 2021, the IETF Administration LLC (IETF LLC) on behalf of the IESG and in collaboration with the IAB distributed the first annual IETF community survey to all 56,000 addresses subscribed to IETF mailing lists. Its purpose was "To help better understand our community and its makeup, gather views on the IETF and how well it works for participants, and gain insight into how we compare to similar organisations".

    • Jay DaleyIETF Executive Director
    11 Aug 2021
  • Experiences from the first fully-online IAB workshop on Network Impacts of COVID-19

    The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) held its first fully-online workshop in November 2019, just before the IETF 109 meeting, to discuss the network impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

    • Mirja KühlewindIAB Chair
    23 Jul 2021
  • Applied Networking Research Prize presentations at IETF 111

    Presentations on research into network specification and verification and on low-latency video streaming will be featured during the Internet Research Task Force Open session of the IETF 111 Online meeting scheduled for 26-30 July.

      22 Jul 2021

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    Filter by topic and date

    Modernizing email and calendars for users and developers

    • Bron GondwanaCo-chair: Calext, EXTRA and JMAP Working Groups

    8 Apr 2020

    While email and calendaring are well-established Internet applications used by billions of people around the world, there is tons of work going on at the IETF right now to maintain and improve the protocols used by client applications to access email and related data from servers and cloud services.

    email envelopes

    The JMAP working group was chartered in 2016, with the purpose of building a new JSON-based protocol with efficient synchronization and push notification on changes. On top of this JMAP protocol (RFC 8620) we added a datatypes for mailboxes, threads and emails, as well as email submission (RFC 8621). And, we’re continuing to add extensions for more advanced email handling. Current working group Internet-Drafts include methods for message delivery notifications, quota management, and S/MIME signatures.

    Meanwhile, with no active working group for the existing email protocols, there was a growing backlog of orphaned Internet-Drafts, everything from the ability to REPLACE emails via IMAP, to use the RFC 6154 special-use names rather than folder names for filter rules via SIEVE, to the ability to cheaply read the size and access control information of mailboxes with a single IMAP list command. The Email mailstore and eXtensions To Revise or Amend (EXTRA) working group was chartered in 2017 to work concurrently on updating the existing protocols and process that backlog of proposed extensions.The EXTRA working group has already produced 9 RFCs, and is currently focused on the major project of producing the next revision of the IMAP4 protocol (imap4rev2), folding in the most popular extensions and fixing some warts.

    calendar image

    The Calendaring Extensions (CALEXT) Working Group has been around since 2014 as a home for all things calendar related. Working in conjunction with the industry group CalConnect, the CALEXT working group has been documenting the existing behavior of some proprietary calendar extensions and proposing new calendar extensions. Most recently we have been building a brand new JSON-based representation of calendar events (jscalendar) which has developer-friendliness as a key goal. Our hope is that this new format will encourage non-specialist developers to use our standard format when including scheduling information into products other than the traditional “grid” calendar view, rather than rolling their own data models. With the jscalendar format submitted to the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) for publication, the CALEXT working group is turning its focus back to ICALENDAR and CalDAV extensions.

    The JMAP working group is taking jscalendar and building JMAP Calendars, using the jscalendar format to model events, and also adding scheduling and per-user data facilities.  For Contacts there is no existing IETF group that was a better place to develop the data format, so the JMAP working group is concurrently writing a jscontact format for storing addressbook data, which will be extended in the same way to allow contact information to be managed via the JMAP protocol.

    If you are interested in contributing or want to know more about any of the work underway, the best way to get involved is to join the CALEXT mailing list, the EXTRA mailing list, or the JMAP mailing list, respectively.

    About the Author

    Bron Gondwana is CEO of Fastmail, where he has been helping improve email for over 15 years. He is also a lead developer on the Cyrus open source mail server. At the IETF, he is a co-chair of three IETF working groups in the Applications and Real Time area, working with protocols for personal information.

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