Some standards work on computer supported messaging


Last update: 14 June, 2005 by Jacob Palme E-mail:

Table of contents

The IETF Golden Rules
Terena Networking Conference 2005
Standard for sending HTML in E-mail
Rating and Filtering (Goldballing)
Voting and decision support
Language-translation in E-mail and Netnews
Mailing List Behaviour
E-mail and Netnews Harmonization
Common Internet Message Headers
Proposal for an IANA registry of header fields
The Auto-Submitted, Supersedes and Expires E-mail Headers
Loop Control for the Autosubmitted E-mail Header
Making Postscript and Acrobat Files International
IETF Applications Area
Other Documents of Interest

Standard for Sending HTML in E-mail

See separate web page on URL:

Voting and decision support

Requirements on computer-supported voting (as developed by an ISO working group).
Support for decisions by e-mail (discussion of ways to make decisions in e-mail more efficient).

Language Translation in E-mail and Netnews

A proposal to extend e-mail and netnews standards, to allow for the submission of translation of messages, not only at initial submission time, but also at later time, and made by other translators than the original author of the message. New e-mail/netnews header fields are proposed, "Content-Translation-Of", "Content-Translator" and "Translation-Request". A new MIME content-type "Multipart/choices" is also specified.

This proposal does not propose any change to the already existing proposed standard for the Content-Language header, except that multipart/choices is recommended instead of multipart/alternative for a set of documents in different languages. (RFC 1766).

Further discussion of this memo can take place in the mailing list LANGTRANS@SU.SE.

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When your subscription has been accepted, please write a short message to the list describing yourself and your interest in languate translation standards.

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To access mailing list archives

The archives are available for browsing from

Mailing List Behaviour

IETF has not been successful in producing a standard for how mailing lists should work. There are, however, certain elements of mailing list behaviour standardized in various standards. I have written a document which summarizes common ideas of how mailing lists should work:

Appropriate Mailing List Behaviour.

E-mail and Netnews Harmonization

An IETF draft specifying the Mail-Followup-To header.

An IETF draft specifying what changes in a document should cause a change in the Message-ID header.

IETF draft on Messages between Email and Netnews.

Overview page on e-mail and news harmonization.

Mailing List Information:

Further discussion on this memo should be done through the mailing list
MAILNEWS-L@SEGATE.SUNET.SE. To subscribe to this list, send a message to LISTSERV@SEGATE.SUNET.SE which contains the text
SUB MAILNEWS-L <your name (not your e-mail address)>

Archives of this list are available by anonymous ftp from FTP://SEGATE.SUNET.SE in the directory /lists/mailnews-l. The archives are also available by e-mail. Send a message to LISTSERV@SEGATE.SUNET.SE with the text INDEX MAILNEWS-L to get a list of the archive files, and then a new message GET <file name> to retrieve the archive files.

You can also browse the archives by http from HTTP:// The FTP archives are better if you want to download all messages, the HTTP archives are better if you want to browse and find a particular message only.

Finally, the archives from December 3, 1996 are also available in searchable format from URL

Note: This mailing list is not very active, these issues are instead discussed in the mailing list

Common Internet Message Headers

See separate HTML document.

Proposal for an IANA registry of header fields

A proposal for an IANA registry of header fields can be found in

An example how such an IANA registry could look like can be found at URL:

The Auto-Submitted, Supersedes and Expires E-mail Headers

This memo originally introduced three new e-mail (RFC 822) headers,
Auto-Submitted, Supersedes, and Expires. In the latest version, "Supersedes" has temporarily been removed, it will be submitted as a separate proposal later on.

Earlier versions.

Latest version: draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-15.txt, February 1999. The text about "Supersedes" which has been removed from the above document is available as draft-palme-supersedes-00.txt, February 1999.

An informational draft, which gives advice on how to implement the In-Reply-To, References and Supersedes fields in mail user agents, is available as

More advice on the implementation can be found at:

Loop control for the Auto-Submitted E-mail Header

This document, inteded to become an experimental standard, introduces loop control to the Auto-Submitted e-mail header:

Previous versin:

Latest version:

The same document in Microsoft Word (RTF) format.

Making Postscript and Acrobat Files International

Certain text formats, for example Postscript (extension .ps) and Adobe Acrobat (extension .pdf) specify exactly the page layout of the printed document. The commonly used paper format is different in America and the rest of the world. America uses the "Letter" format, while the rest of the world uses the "A4" format This means that documents formatted on one continent may not be printable on another continent. This memo gives advice on how to produce documents which are equally well printable with the Letter and the A4 formats. By using the advice in this document, you can put up a document on the Internet, which recipients can print without problem both in and outside America.

More info and links to RFC.

IETF Applications Area

Other Documents of Interest