2.1.10 Yet Another Mail (yam)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 74th IETF Meeting in San Francisco, CA USA. It may now be out-of-date.

Last Modified: 2009-05-26


Tony Hansen <tony@att.com>
Chris Newman <chris.newman@sun.com>

Applications Area Director(s):

Lisa Dusseault <Lisa.Dusseault@messagingarchitects.com>
Alexey Melnikov <alexey.melnikov@isode.com>

Applications Area Advisor:

Alexey Melnikov <alexey.melnikov@isode.com>

Mailing Lists:

General Discussion: yam@ietf.org
To Subscribe: yam-request@ietf.org
In Body: in body 'subscribe'
Archive: http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/yam/index.html

Description of Working Group:

The Yet Another Mail (YAM) WG will revise existing Internet Mail
specifications currently at Draft Standard to advance them to Full
Standard. YAM will focus strictly on advancing email-related
specifications for which the community already has some years of
experience with deployment and interoperability. Its function is not to
reopen or reconsider protocols - if a specification is found to need
significant technical work, YAM will remove it from the WG's agenda.

This charter's scope of work is the set of email-related RFCs that are
currently at Draft Standard. Each document will be examined, along with
its errata, and a recommendation made as to whether it is suitable for
advancement to Full Standard. If it is not, the WG may recommend
whether it should be republished at Draft Standard, moved to Historic,
or recycled to Proposed Standard. However, any actual work to
facilitate publication of a document at other than Full Standard is
outside the WG's scope. If the WG cannot quickly reach consensus about
further work on a document, it will drop the documents from its agenda
without further comment or effort.

The purpose of this working group is to work on protocols that are
already recognized as effectively full standards, improving their
written specifications to align with that status. The working group does
not intend to revise the actual protocols in any way and will avoid
document changes that might even accidentally introduce protocol
changes, destabilize a protocol, or introduce semantic or syntactic

In particular, it will avoid adding new document sections that were not
previously required and making BNF grammar changes that didn't originate
from interoperability problems or difficulties in comprehension by
If an existing protocol implementation is conforming to the Draft Standard
version of the protocol specification, it must also be conforming to the
resulting Full Standard version. Hence, specification changes that
create a violation of this requirement are out of scope of the working
group charter.

On a case by case basis, substantive changes may be considered, if they
will modify text to match existing conforming implementations -- that
is, implementations that are already deployed with significant use.
Specifically, such changes will be permitted to relax requirements or
to fix BNF bugs where the intent is and has been clear. The WG will
consult with the IESG about proposed changes before it starts working
on them. Once the document is done by the WG, approval proceeds
using the normal IETF approval process. The two step approach is proposed
in order to save both IESG and WG time and to avoid late surprises
when a document is considered done by the WG.

After the tasks of this charter are completed, the WG will consider
rechartering to move selected mature specifications that are still at
Proposed Standard to higher maturity levels, or to work on those
documents previously identified as needing to be republished at Draft
Standard or Proposed Standard.

The underpinnings of this WG effort are:

(1) Wide deployment and use of interoperable implementations of an
existing standards-track protocol demonstrates a presumption that the
existing specification is adequate. The burden of demonstrating the
contrary lies with those who believe that they see significant technical
or documentation defects.

(2) It is generally in the best interest of the IETF and the Internet
community to see specifications of mature protocols advance on the
standards track, eliminating any uncertainty as to whether the protocols
have been adequately understood and tested. To that end, YAM will avoid
modification of documents simply to adjust them to match contemporary
IETF notational or linguistic norms.
Obviously, updating of references, boilerplate, and the equivalent are
exceptions to this, but success in the WG requires that there be a
good-faith commitment by both its participants and the IESG to avoid
seeking changes that (a) do not contribute in a substantial and
substantive way to the quality and comprehensibility of the
specification, or that (b) force a change to the existing protocol.

The steps to be followed by the WG are, approximately:

o The WG will start work by analyzing the following email related
documents which are currently Draft Standards,
removing any that have significant technical defects or whose advancement
may be controversial under the advancement criteria specified in RFC 2026:

RFC 1864 Content-MD5
RFC 2045, 2046, 2047, 2049 MIME base specs
RFC 3282 Content-language
RFC 3461 DSNs
RFC 3462 Multipart/Report
RFC 3463 Enhanced Status Codes
RFC 3464 Message Format for DSNs
RFC 3798 Message Disposition Notification
RFC 4409 Message Submission
RFC 5322 Internet Message Format

o Form review and editing teams for each document to be advanced.

o Formulate a list of proposed changes (stated in general terms,
rather than specific wording).

o Obtain WG consensus and consult with IESG on these changes.

o Post I-Ds for WG consideration and consensus formation.

o Recommend resulting documents to IESG for publication processing.

o Rinse and repeat.

Goals and Milestones:

Sep 2009  Produce the initial list of documents to consider for advancement to Full Standard
Nov 2010  Recharter or conclude

No Current Internet-Drafts

No Request For Comments

Meeting Minutes


Chairs Slides