Re: [ietf-smtp] Curious, with this now being associated to emailcore, should list name change?

John C Klensin <> Fri, 17 July 2020 22:13 UTC

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Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2020 18:13:13 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Michael Peddemors <>,
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Subject: Re: [ietf-smtp] Curious, with this now being associated to emailcore, should list name change?
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--On Friday, July 17, 2020 14:57 -0700 Michael Peddemors
<> wrote:

> Not sure what normally happens, but it might be confusing.

Independent of "normal", the name and mailing address of this
list is known by email developers and operators all over the
Internet.  It also consolidates some prior lists specifically
associated with mail headers, MIME, and non-ASCII addresses and
headers (and maybe others, probably including the lists for the
DRUMS and YAM WGs).   Changing its name (effectively killing the
list and starting another) would be disruptive in the extreme.

Perhaps "emailcore" should be given a list of its own, but I
think that would not be helpful either.
> "Email Core" would have a wider scope, and it might be
> confusing if the list name was limited to 'smtp'.

Consider it a historical artifact and, like WG names (and
corresponding mailing list) that are chosen more for cuteness
than actual semantic value, accept it and move forward.


I will leave it to the BOF Chairs and/or ADs to comment on the
rest of this but my understanding is that they want to keep the
scope of "emailcore" as narrow as possible, at least initially,
rather than having it expand into "any email topic that would be
worth addressing".

Speaking only for myself, I note that the IETF has tried very
hard over the years to stay out of MUA design and issues.
Perhaps it is time to change that and take on at least some MUA
requirements (work is badly needed, IMO, in the non-ASCII
addresses and header space although I don't know if the IETF as
the right expertise to do it) but it would be a rather large

> Suggestion for topic for this group as well:
> Unifying all the 'autodiscover' and 'autoconfig' methods
> currently in place.. email client developers have now a very
> convoluted set of requirements in order to find the
> 'recommended' settings for that domain or ISP etc..
> There are several independent databases out there, eg Apple's
> own, the ISPDB, and even some of Microsofts' own email clients
> no longer follow traditional methods of lookups.. It is a bit
> of a mess, that maybe the IETF would like to weigh in on?