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experiences with SOAP media type registration

From: Mark Nottingham <mark.nottingham@bea.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 14:32:37 -0700
Cc: "Xml-Dist-App@W3. Org" <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
To: public-ietf-w3c@w3.org
Message-Id: <F78175EF-E243-11D7-AC8D-00039396E15A@bea.com>
[ note that followups are set to public-ietf-w3c only]

The XML Protocol Working Group, as part of its work, needs to register 
the "application/soap+xml" media type with IANA. Although this task has 
been shared by many people, I've been responsible for driving the 
actual registration over the last few months. This note documents my 
experiences with the registration process, as directed by an action 
item given to me by the XML Protocol WG on 03 Sep 2003.

Our approach to registration was informed by a number of sources:
   1) WG members' previous experiences with media type registration 
(myself, Mark Baker, Yves Lafon)
   2) RFC2048, Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part Four: 
Registration Procedures
   3) W3C guidelines (although we were not immediately aware of these)
   4) Feedback from the IESG (or individuals comprising it or acting on 
its behalf) and RFC Editor.

Previous experiences were mixed; at times, the RFC Editor and/or IESG 
appear to have operated under different procedures. Based on them, we 
initially requested that the RFC Editor publish the I-D as an 
Informational RFC, believing that any necessary clearance by the IESG 
would be gained in due course. This proved not to be the case (see 

RFC2048 is ambiguous from a process standpoint, regarding registration 
of IETF-tree media types; it says;

2.3.  Registration Procedure
    For registration in the IETF tree, the normal IETF processes should
    be followed, treating posting of an internet-draft and announcement
    on the ietf-types list (as described in the next subsection) as a
    first step.
2.3.2.  IESG Approval

    Media types registered in the IETF tree must be submitted to the IESG
    for approval.

2.3.3.  IANA Registration

    Provided that the media type meets the requirements for media types
    and has obtained approval that is necessary, the author may submit
    the registration request to the IANA, which will register the media
    type and make the media type registration available to the community.

However, it does not indicate when in relation to RFC publication IESG 
approval must be requested, nor does it say how to go about gaining 
IESG approval.

W3C guidelines <http://www.w3.org/2002/06/registering-mediatype> don't 
specify the full process for RFC publication, and advise pinging the 
IESG secretary; upon doing so, we encountered problems (see timeline).

* Timeline
   17 Jun 2003 - request for publication as an Internet-Draft sent to 
internet-drafts (draft had been previously circulated on ietf-types 
list, and changes to -03 were only editorial)
   18 Jun 2003 - acknowledgement of receipt
   09 Jul 2003 - request for publication as an Informational RFC sent to 
   10 Jul 2003 - acknowledgement of receipt
   21 Aug 2003 - rfc-editor feedback stating that IESG approval must be 
requested by the author, and that the document's reference of a W3C 
specification may not meet the publication requirement (see attached)
   21 Aug 2003 - query sent to RFC Editor and IESG regarding proper 
procedure and appropriate use of references to W3C materials (not 
acknowledged or answered as of yet)
   29 Aug 2003 - request for last call / approval by the IESG sent to 
   29 Aug 2003 - acknowledgement of receipt
   08 Sep 2003 - Statement from bfuller@fortec.com that only an AD can 
request a Last Call, and that there are procedural issues regarding 
this type of publication.  (see attached)

In short, the process for non-WG submitted IETF tree media type 
registrations is unclear to both the RFC Editor and the IESG secretary 
at this time.

Mark Nottingham   Principal Technologist
Office of the CTO   BEA Systems
Received on Monday, 8 September 2003 17:34:58 UTC

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