[imapext] WG Action: Formed IMAP MOVE extension (imapmove)

The IESG <iesg-secretary@ietf.org> Tue, 26 June 2012 16:17 UTC

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Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 09:17:05 -0700
Cc: imapmove WG <imapext@ietf.org>
Subject: [imapext] WG Action: Formed IMAP MOVE extension (imapmove)
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A new IETF working group has been formed in the Applications Area. For
additional information please contact the Area Directors or the WG

IMAP MOVE extension (imapmove)
Current Status: Proposed Working Group

  Alexey Melnikov <alexey.melnikov@isode.com>
  Ned Freed <ned.freed@mrochek.com>

Assigned Area Director:
  Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org>

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Charter of Working Group:

The Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), defined in RFC 3501,
specifies a protocol for transferring email messages between a server
that implements a message store, and a client. It also includes
commands for manipulating the message store -- creating, deleting, and
renaming mailboxes, adding a message to a mailbox, and copying
messages from one mailbox to another.

It's often the case that an IMAP client needs to move (not copy)
messages from one mailbox to another. The mechanism that IMAP
provides to do that is a multi-step process:
1. Copy the messages from the source mailbox to the target mailbox.
2. Flag the original messages in the source mailbox as deleted.
3. Expunge the deleted messages from the source mailbox.

Implementors have long pointed out some shortcomings with this
approach. Because the moving of a message is not an atomic process,
interruptions can leave messages in intermediate states. Because
multiple clients can be accessing the mailboxes at the same time,
clients can see messages in intermediate states even without
interruptions. If the source mailbox contains other messages that are
flagged for deletion, the third step can have the side effect of
expunging more than just the set of moved messages. And servers with
certain types of back-end message stores might have efficient ways of
moving messages, which don't involve actual copying of data. Such
efficiencies are often not available to the copy/flag/expunge process.

The IMAP MOVE extension (imapmove) working group has the single task
of developing an IMAP MOVE extension that defines a single command to
move a set of messages from a source mailbox to a target mailbox in a
single operation. The group will use draft-gulbrandsen-imap-move as a
starting point, and will produce a Standards Track document.

As part of the protocol development, implementation experience on both
the client and server side is highly desireable, so that the actual
operational value of this extension can be assessed. The working group
will document the results of this experience on the working group

No other IMAP extension work is in scope for this working group.

  Jul 2012 - Initial adoption of IMAP MOVE protocol document
  Jul 2012 - Establishment of implementation tracking on the working
group wiki
  Aug 2012 - Initial assessment of implementation results
  Sep 2012 - Final report on implementation results
  Oct 2012 - IMAP MOVE protocol document to IESG as Proposed Standard