Re: new MIME WG formation

Erik Huizer <> Thu, 08 April 1993 17:10 UTC

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From: Erik Huizer <>
Subject: Re: new MIME WG formation
Message-ID: <"survis.sur.306:">

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To: Nathaniel Borenstein <>
CC: Greg Vaudreuil <>us>,
    Marshall Rose <>us>,
    Dave Crocker <>du>,
    Applications Area Directorate <>
Subject: Re: new MIME WG formation
In-reply-to: Your message of Tue, 06 Apr 93 12:58:44 -0400.
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Date: Thu, 08 Apr 93 19:09:22 +0200
From: Erik Huizer <>


We have discussed this in the Applications Area Directorate. John
Klensin came up with the following proposal, which I feel very
comfortable with. So I put this to you to see how you like it. I'd
appreciate comments from others too.


From John Klensin:

   First of all, we should avoid standing working groups whose charter
is to  "review things as they come along".  I think that is looking for
trouble and is out of synch with closed-end, limited-purpose WGs.

   I suggest the following model:

(1) If anyone proposes a change to MIME itself, we get a draft document
and charter a WG.  Note that nothing discussed in either Nathaniel's
note or Greg's constitutes a change to MIME itself.

(2) For anything that is proposed for registration, we ask that an I-D
be published before an RFC and official registration.  In what appear to
be non-controversial cases, we issue a "heads up" to the IETF list,
calling specific attention to the I-D, so that people who have comments
can get them to the authors.  If there appear to be potential
interoperability problems, we negotiate about a WG effort.

(3) If someone wants new content types (or charsets) standardized, we
operate as we discussed last week--documents first, then purpose-
specific WGs.  Part of the reason for this is that there is no point in
WG review of anything unless the WG contains the relevant expertise in
relatively high density.   Interestingly, Nathaniel cites three examples
- -- new content-types, new charsets, and compression -- and I suspect
that there are very few people in IETF who have the needed expertise to
really evaluate and contribute to all three.  Throwing them into one WG
is therefore a pretty good mechanism for the generation of noise and
possibly losing some important people to information (or noise)

- -------------

Nathanials original message included for people new to the cc-header:

==> From: Nathaniel Borenstein

> "Brewster Kahle" <>
> Subject: New applications working group?
> CC: Greg Vaudreuil <gvaudre@NRI.Reston.VA.US>US>,
>     Ned Freed <>om>,
>     Marshall Rose <>us>,
>     Dave Crocker <dcrocker@Mordor.Stanford.EDU>
> Erik, Brewster -- As you have probably heard by now, the 822 extensions
> working group has essentially finished its work with the completion of
> the MIME specification.  Greg has announced that the Columbus meeting
> was the final meeting of that working group.
> However, many of us percieve a need to charter a new working group,
> essentially to manage and shepherd the continuing evolution of MIME.  In
> particular, there are important new standards-track content-types and
> charsets to be defined, and there are still some open questions such as
> the incorporation of some kind of compression mechanism into MIME.  For
> that reason, I'm very interested in getting such a working group
> chartered.  I'm willing to be the group chair, as it is my impression
> that Greg is not particularly eager to do this.  (Greg, please correct
> me if I'm wrong.)  If there's someone else who wants to do it, though,
> that's fine with me too -- I just want to see it happen, that's all.
> So, what do we have to do to get a MIME extensions working group
> chartered?  I've never started or led a working group before, so I'm in
> unfamiliar territory and woul be grateful for any guidance you can
> provide.  Thanks.  -- Nathaniel

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