Netnews Drafts

The following Internet-Drafts have been published via the IETF process to document different aspects of the Netnews article format or protocols. The information here copies information also available from the IETF Internet-Draft Archive Tool, but focuses only on drafts related to the Usenet article format.

Follow the IETF link for each draft to see all historic versions available from the IETF archive and diffs between versions.

Also see the NNTP Drafts for Internet-Drafts related to the NNTP protocol.

Working Group Drafts

The following drafts were generated as part of the official work of the IETF USEFOR working group. The working group has since closed, and it's unclear if these drafts will be pursued further.

Usenet Best Practice (IETF)

This Draft is intended to become a "Best Current Practice" RFC. Its purpose is to set out how software should behave and conventions which users should observe, in order that Netnews in general, and Usenet in particular, should provide the most effective service to its users.

draft-ietf-usefor-useage-01.txt 2005-03 104KB
draft-ietf-usefor-useage-00.txt 2004-05 94KB
Recommendations for Generating Message IDs (IETF)

Message-ID headers are used to uniquely identify Internet messages. Having a unique identifier for each message has many benefits, including ease in the following of threads and intelligent scoring of messages based on threads to which they belong. It has been suggested that it is impossible for client software to be able to generate globally-unique Message-IDs. We believe this to be incorrect, and herein to offer suggestions for generating unique Message-IDs.

This work was never fully adopted by the working group. It would be material for a best practices document, which was postponed until after the standards-track documents were completed.

draft-ietf-usefor-message-id-01.txt 1998-07 8KB
draft-ietf-usefor-message-id-00.txt 1998-06 6KB
Guidelines for the Generation of Message IDs and Similar Unique Identifiers (IETF)

[RFC822] and [RFC1036] define so-called 'Message-IDs' that represent a unique identifier for email and netnews messages. A similar identifier is also used by [RFC2045] for the 'Content-ID' label. For each of these protocols, uniqueness of the identifiers generated is more or less essential. Unfortunately, the original Message-ID specification requires that the generator have an own, non-temporary full qualified domain name available, which does not allow hosts that are connected via dialup lines and get dynamically assigned IP addresses (and hostnames) to generate unique IDs offline. This memo provides recommendations for the generation of such IDs without risking non-uniqueness.

This draft was published as an alternative approach to "Recommendations for Generating Message IDs" above. This work was never fully adopted by the working group. It would be material for a best practices document, which was postponed until after the standards-track documents were completed.

draft-ietf-usefor-msg-id-alt-00.txt 1998-09-06 19KB
Identification of Messages Delivered Via Both Mail and News (IETF)

This draft defines a format to be used when delivering a single message to multiple destinations, where some destinations are newsgroups and some destinations are email mailboxes.

This work was discussed heavily in the working group, but was never included in the base article format standard.

draft-ietf-usefor-posted-mailed-01.txt 1998-07 26KB
draft-ietf-usefor-posted-mailed-00.txt 1998-06 27KB

Individual Drafts

The following drafts were submitted by individuals outside of the official work of the IETF USEFOR working group, but are relevant or related to the work of the working group or to Netnews article formats.

The "OpenPGP" Mail and News Header Field (IETF)

This document describes the "OpenPGP" mail and news header field. The field provide information about the sender's OpenPGP key.

A new header field intended for use in both mail and news. I haven't noticed these in the wild, but I might not.

draft-josefsson-openpgp-mailnews-header-07.txt 2014-08-28 20KB
draft-josefsson-openpgp-mailnews-header-06.txt 2008-05-20 22KB
draft-josefsson-openpgp-mailnews-header-05.txt 2008-04-15 22KB
draft-josefsson-openpgp-mailnews-header-04.txt 2008-04-02 20KB
draft-josefsson-openpgp-mailnews-header-03.txt 2008-02-23 21KB
draft-josefsson-openpgp-mailnews-header-02.txt 2005-09-23 20KB
draft-josefsson-openpgp-mailnews-header-01.txt 2005-05-25 19KB
draft-josefsson-openpgp-mailnews-header-00.txt 2005-01-07 19KB
An X-IDNA Profile for Network News Group Names (IETF)

Traditional Network News (Netnews) systems handle only ASCII characters in newsgroup names used in NNTP commands and message headers.

This memo defines an extension to allow Internationalised Newsgroup Names, the characters of which can be drawn from the large Unicode repertoire, based on the Extending IDNA to Other Protocols (X-IDNA) base specification.

This is an odd draft since it seems to be unaware of the allowances for Unicode in newsgroup names in the NNTP standard, and of existing experiments with using Unicode directly in group names. I don't know if it's being pursued.

draft-teint-xidna-newsgroup-00.txt 2010-03-23 12KB
Registration of Netnews Header Fields (IETF)

This document defines the initial IANA registration for permanent Netnews message header fields. This document was never published as an RFC, but the registrations are present in the IANA registry.

This proposal was made obsolete by RFC 3864, which deals with the same problem but has a broader scope.

draft-lindsey-hdrreg-netnews-01.txt 2004-07-05 22KB
draft-lindsey-hdrreg-netnews-00.txt 2004-04-19 20KB
Reply Posting Guidelines in One to Many Communications (IETF)

This document describes the proper methods to use when replying to messages in a One to Many communication environment such as USENET, mailing lists, or bulletin boards. It is recommended that top-posting in a summary reply be used primarily, or if desired and appropriate that inline-posting or conversational-posting be used in a point-by-point reply.

This is an etiquette best practice proposal that was never adopted and integrated into an RFC so far as I know. It deals mostly with quoting issues.

draft-bambenek-posting-guidelines-03.txt 2004-05 13KB
draft-bambenek-posting-guidelines-02.txt 2002-02 13KB
draft-bambenek-posting-guidelines-01.txt 2002-02 11KB
draft-bambenek-posting-guidelines-00.txt 2002-02 8KB
Internationalisation of Email Addresses, Newsgroup Names and Similar Identifiers (IETF)

This document describes a possible architecture for the implementation of internationalised email addresses, newsgroup names, and similar identifiers on top of the standards set by the Internationalised Domain Names [IDN] working group.

One of the many rounds of work on internationalization. This one proposes using the IDN mechanism developed for domain names for newsgroup names as well (among other things). This work seems to live on in "An X-IDNA Profile for Network News Group Names" discussed above.

draft-faerber-i18n-email-netnews-names-00.txt 2002-08 13KB
Support for Language Translation in E-Mail and Netnews (IETF)

This memo specifies extensions to e-mail and netnews standards, to allow for the submission of translations 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. Three new e-mail/netnews header fields are proposed, "Content-Translation-Of, "Content-Translator" and "Translation-Request".

This is primarily an email extension, but would have defined new headers for netnews articles as well.

draft-palme-e-mail-translation-04.txt 2002-05 50KB
draft-palme-e-mail-translation-03.txt 2001-12 47KB
draft-palme-e-mail-translation-02.txt 2000-12 36KB
draft-palme-e-mail-translation-01.txt 2000-11 38KB
draft-palme-e-mail-translation-00.txt 1999-04 13KB
Signed Headers in Mail and Netnews (IETF)

This document provides a cryptographically secure means whereby it can be established beyond doubt that relevant headers of a Netnews article or an Email message have not been tampered with in transit, and that they were indeed originated by the person purporting to have done so. It seeks to supplement, rather than to supplant, the existing protocols for signing the bodies of articles and messages.

This was a proposal by Charles Lindsey for how to add cryptographic signatures to netnews articles. This work, with the other security work, was never picked up by the working group due to lack of resources.

draft-lindsey-usefor-signed-01.txt 2001-09 76KB
draft-lindsey-usefor-signed-00.txt 2000-05 65KB
A Trace Header for Usenet Articles

The present document suggests a simple alternative to much of the complexity in the Path and Injector-Info headers introduced in [1]. The Complaints-To header introduced in [1] and the NNTP-Posting-Host header introduced in [NNTP] are also replaced. The replacement suggested tries to pay due attention to posters' privacy, and at the same time provides a robust means to trace, correlate and prosecute abusive behaviour.

This was an alternative proposal by Thomas Roessler replacing Injection-Info and related headers, offered as part of the working group discussion about those headers. For some reason, it doesn't appear to be available from the IETF Internet-Draft archive.

draft-roessler-usefor-trace-00.txt 2001-04 16KB
INMD: Internet Metadata (IETF)

We attempt to design an extensible parallel distributed client-server customizable profiles-based ratings system with as many buzzwords as possible. Additionally the system should be capable of amassing, tracking and indexing other Netnews/Internet "metadata" -- any data about netnews articles or Internet resources other than the articles/ resources themselves.

These drafts are more a discussion of an idea than an actual protocol specification. I don't know of any implementation of this specific system, but GroupLens and NoCeM are both similar ideas.

draft-hanson-nnmp-01.txt 1999-09-16 13KB
draft-hanson-nnmp-00.txt 1999-07-04 11KB
The Supersedes or Replaces Header in E-mail (IETF)

Introduces one new e-mail header, Supersedes.

This was based on the Supersedes header defined for Netnews, which is why I included it in this list. It uses the new Supersedes syntax, which ended up not being adopted by Netnews. This draft was split out of draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields, described below.

draft-palme-supersedes-00.txt 1999-02 16KB
The Auto-Submitted and Expires Headers in E-mail (IETF)

Introduces two new e-mail headers, Auto-Submitted and Expires.

Earlier revisions included Supersedes, which was split into a separate draft archived above. Even earlier versions proposed an Obsoletes header that became Supersedes.

The IETF archive doesn't have an -01 version of this document for some reason.

draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-15.txt 1999-02 21KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-14.txt 1998-11 27KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-13.txt 1998-07 26KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-12.txt 1998-01 25KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-11.txt 1997-11 20KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-10.txt 1997-09 19KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-09.txt 1997-08 17KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-08.txt 1997-07 17KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-07.txt 1997-05 12KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-06.txt 1997-01 11KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-05.txt 1996-07 11KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-04.txt 1996-05 11KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-03.txt 1996-01 9KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-02.txt 1995-11 10KB
draft-ietf-mailext-new-fields-00.txt 1995-02 7KB
Advice on the Implementation of In-Reply-To, References and Supersedes E-mail and Netnews Headers (IETF)

Separate Internets standards documents define the e-mail headers In-Reply-To, References, Supersedes and Expires. This document, which is an informational RFC, gives some advice on the implementation of these features.

Some fairly minimal advice on the implementation of these specific headers. Only a historical curiosity. (It of course never became an informational RFC.)

draft-palme-newfields-info-02.txt 1998-11 10KB
draft-palme-newfields-info-01.txt 1998-03 10KB
draft-palme-newfields-info-00.txt 1997-07 7KB
Mail and Netnews Header field Registration Procedure

Various IETF standards and http, e-mail and netnews software products use various http, e-mail and netnews header fields. This document specifies a procedure for the registration of http, e-mail and netnews header field names, to reduce the risk that two different products use the same header field name in different ways (homonyms) or that several different header field names are used with identical meaning (synonyms).

Another early attempt at specifying a mail and news header registry, also made obsolete by RFC 3864. This draft was submitted as part of the DRUMS work, which was the working group that was responsible for the RFC 2821 and RFC 2822 email standards.

(There is a bug in the IETF Internet-Draft archive for this draft that causes the -04 version to be returned by searches but 404 when you attempt to retrieve it. The IETF does have version -03 and earlier.)

draft-ietf-drums-MHRegistry-04.txt 1998-01 32KB
draft-ietf-drums-MHRegistry-03.txt 1998-01 32KB
draft-ietf-drums-MHRegistry-02.txt 1997-11 24KB
draft-ietf-drums-MHRegistry-01.txt 1997-08 22KB
draft-ietf-drums-MHRegistry-00.txt 1997-01 30KB
Messages between Email and Netnews (IETF)

Messages can be transported through gateways between email and netnews. Combined clients for mail and netnews can submit the same message at the same time to email and netnews. Many netnews clients can produce email replies to the author of netnews articles. This standard specifies how to handle these kinds of messages. This standard specifies three new email headers: 'Posted-To', 'Group-Reply-To' and 'Personal-Reply-To'.

An early attempt to describe and standardize gatewaying. This is very hard. I tried to write up some rules for it as part of the USEFOR work, but never reached a satisfying description of what to do.

draft-palme-newsmail-00.txt 1997-08 30KB

Drafts of Published RFCs

The following drafts are earlier versions of documents that eventually published as RFCs, generally as part of the official work of the IETF USEFOR working group.

Netnews Article Format (IETF)

This document specifies the syntax of Netnews articles in the context of the "Internet Message Format" (RFC 2822) and "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME)" (RFC 2045). This document obsoletes RFC 1036, providing an updated specification to reflect current practice and incorporating incremental changes specified in other documents.

This document was published as RFC 5536.

draft-ietf-usefor-usefor-12.txt 2007-01-08 74KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usefor-11.txt 2006-10-04 74KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usefor-10.txt 2006-09-17 74KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usefor-09.txt 2006-08-28 83KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usefor-08.txt 2006-05-22 79KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usefor-07.txt 2006-03-05 79KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usefor-06.txt 2005-12-16 67KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usefor-05.txt 2005-07-08 61KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usefor-04.txt 2005-05-24 57KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usefor-03.txt 2005-04-06 53KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usefor-02.txt 2004-11-23 51KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usefor-01.txt 2004-09-14 39KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usefor-00.txt 2004-07-11 31KB
Netnews Architecture and Protocols (IETF)

This document defines the architecture of Netnews systems and specifies the correct manipulation and interpretation of Netnews articles by software which originates, distributes, stores, and displays them. It also specifies the requirements that must be met by any protocol used to transport and serve Netnews articles.

This document was published as RFC 5537.

draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-14.txt 2009-03-03 117KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-13.txt 2008-12-14 118KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-12.txt 2008-08-27 115KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-11.txt 2008-08-22 111KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-10.txt 2008-08-03 107KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-09.txt 2007-11-10 104KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-08.txt 2007-07-01 104KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-07.txt 2007-01-03 103KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-06.txt 2006-11 146KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-05.txt 2006-01 143KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-04.txt 2005-07 148KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-03.txt 2005-02 142KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-02.txt 2004-12 141KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-01.txt 2004-09 135KB
draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-00.txt 2004-08 126KB
News Article Format and Transmission (IETF)

This Standard defines the format of Netnews articles and specifies the requirements to be met by software which originates, distributes, stores and displays them.

This draft was split into -usefor (article format), -usepro (article transmission and manipulation), and -useage (best practices) after the -13 release. Its successor drafts are listed above.

draft-ietf-usefor-article-13.txt 2004-05 251KB
draft-ietf-usefor-article-12.txt 2003-11 254KB
draft-ietf-usefor-article-11.txt 2003-06 256KB
draft-ietf-usefor-article-10.txt 2003-04 285KB
draft-ietf-usefor-article-09.txt 2003-02 315KB
draft-ietf-usefor-article-08.txt 2002-08 306KB
draft-ietf-usefor-article-07.txt 2002-05 297KB
draft-ietf-usefor-article-06.txt 2001-11 259KB
draft-ietf-usefor-article-05.txt 2001-07 278KB
draft-ietf-usefor-article-04.txt 2001-04 261KB
draft-ietf-usefor-article-03.txt 2000-02 213KB
draft-ietf-usefor-article-02.txt 1999-03 175KB
draft-ietf-usefor-article-01.txt 1998-08 156KB
draft-ietf-usefor-article-00.txt 1998-05 147KB
Netnews Architecture and Protocols (IETF)

This document defines the architecture of Netnews systems and specifies the correct manipulation and interpretation of Netnews articles by software which originates, distributes, stores, and displays them. It also specifies the requirements that must be met by any protocol used to transport and serve Netnews articles.

This was my proposal to replace the original "Netnews Architecture and Protocols" draft. It became the basis of draft-ietf-usefor-usepro-07 and later.

draft-allbery-usefor-usepro-00.txt 2006-11-30 99KB
News Article Format (IETF)

This document defines the format and procedures for interchange of network news articles. It updates and obsoletes RFC 1036, in particular adding support for internationalization of headers and message bodies and multimedia support in message bodies. It does this in a manner designed to maximize backward compatibility with news and mail servers, gateways, and user agents.

This was a proposal by Dan Kohn for an alternate format and presentation of the article format draft and became one of the foundations for "Netnews Article Format" above.

draft-kohn-news-article-03.txt 2003-03-27 29KB
draft-kohn-news-article-02.txt 2003-03-19 30KB
draft-kohn-news-article-01.txt 2003-02-18 28KB
draft-kohn-news-article-00.txt 2003-02-01 20KB
"Son of 1036": News Article Format and Transmission (IETF)

By the early 1990s it had become clear that RFC 1036, the then specification for the Interchange of USENET Messages, was badly in need of repair. This "INTERNET DRAFT to be", though never formally published at that time, was widely circulated and became the de facto standard for implementors of News Servers and User Agents, rapidly acquiring the nickname "Son of 1036". Indeed, under that name, it could fairly be described as the best-known Internet Draft (n)ever published, and it formed the starting point for the recently adopted Proposed Standards for Netnews.

It is being published now in order to provide the Historical Background out of which those standards have grown. Present-day implementors should be aware that it is NOT NOW APPROPRIATE for use in current implementations.

This document was published as RFC 1849. Also see the original version of this document.

draft-spencer-usefor-son-of-1036-01.txt 2009-07-22 250KB
draft-spencer-usefor-son-of-1036-00.txt 2009-05-03 250KB
Cancel-Locks in Usenet Articles (IETF)

This document outlines a method that may be used by authors of successor (or canceling) articles to authenticate their authorship of the original article. As a proto-article article passes through various agents they may include the hash of a secret string in a Cancel-Key header. Later if they wish to use a standard mechanism to remove the original article (eg Cancel or Supersedes) they can include this string in the Cancel-Lock header to verify that they are entitled to perform this operation.

The USEFOR working group ran out of energy for tackling the security issues and never picked up this work to take it to standardization. It was subsequently picked up by Michael Bäuerle, who finished the work. The original cancel lock specification has a few scattered implementations, but was never in widespread use. It's too early to see if this specification will see use.

This document was published as RFC 8315.

draft-baeuerle-netnews-cancel-lock-09.txt 2017-12-04 54KB
draft-baeuerle-netnews-cancel-lock-08.txt 2017-11-20 53KB
draft-baeuerle-netnews-cancel-lock-07.txt 2017-11-19 53KB
draft-baeuerle-netnews-cancel-lock-06.txt 2017-09-12 50KB
draft-baeuerle-netnews-cancel-lock-05.txt 2017-05-30 48KB
draft-baeuerle-netnews-cancel-lock-04.txt 2017-04-08 44KB
draft-baeuerle-netnews-cancel-lock-03.txt 2017-03-27 42KB
draft-baeuerle-netnews-cancel-lock-02.txt 2017-03-10 34KB
draft-baeuerle-netnews-cancel-lock-01.txt 2017-03-08 25KB
draft-baeuerle-netnews-cancel-lock-00.txt 2017-03-06 23KB
draft-ietf-usefor-cancel-lock-01.txt 1998-11 9KB
draft-ietf-usefor-cancel-lock-00.txt 1998-08 8KB
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