[Docs] [txt|pdf] [Tracker] [Email] [Diff1] [Diff2] [Nits]

Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 06 07 08 09 10 11 RFC 3028

Network Working Group                                       T. Showalter
Internet Draft: Sieve                                     Mirapoint, Inc
Document: draft-showalter-sieve-10.txt                    April 25, 2000
Expire in six months


                    Sieve: A Mail Filtering Language


Status of this memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC 2026.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-
   Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at
   http://www.ietf.org/ietf/1id-abstracts.txt

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at
   http://www.ietf.org/shadow.html

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society 2000.  All Rights Reserved.


















Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                  [Page 1]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


Abstract

   This document describes a language for filtering e-mail messages at
   time of final delivery.  It is designed to be implementable on either
   a mail client or mail server.  It is meant to be extensible, simple,
   and independent of access protocol, mail architecture, and operating
   system.  It is suitable for running on a mail server where users may
   not be allowed to execute arbitrary programs, such as on black box
   IMAP servers, as it has no variables, loops, or ability to shell out
   to external programs.









































Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                  [Page 2]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000





                           Table of Contents



Status of this memo ...............................................    1
Copyright Notice ..................................................    1
Abstract ..........................................................    2
0.      Meta-information on this draft ............................    5
0.1.     Discussion ...............................................    5
0.2.     Known Issues .............................................    5
0.2.1.   Probable Extensions ......................................    5
0.3.     Noted Changes ............................................    5
0.3.1.   since -09 ................................................    5
0.3.2.   since -08 ................................................    6
0.3.3.   since -07 ................................................    6
0.3.4.   since -06 ................................................    6
0.3.5.   since -05 ................................................    7
0.3.6.   since -04 ................................................    8
1.      Introduction ..............................................   10
1.1.     Conventions Used in This Document ........................   10
1.2.     Example mail messages ....................................   11
2.      Design ....................................................   12
2.1.     Form of the Language .....................................   12
2.2.     Whitespace ...............................................   12
2.3.     Comments .................................................   12
2.4.     Literal Data .............................................   13
2.4.1.   Numbers ..................................................   13
2.4.2.   Strings ..................................................   13
2.4.2.1. String Lists .............................................   14
2.4.2.2. Headers ..................................................   15
2.4.2.3. Addresses ................................................   15
2.4.2.4. MIME Parts ...............................................   15
2.5.     Tests ....................................................   15
2.5.1.   Test Lists ...............................................   15
2.6.     Arguments ................................................   16
2.6.1.   Positional Arguments .....................................   16
2.6.2.   Tagged Arguments .........................................   16
2.6.3.   Optional Arguments .......................................   17
2.6.4.   Types of Arguments .......................................   17
2.7.     String Comparison ........................................   17
2.7.1.   Match Type ...............................................   17
2.7.2.   Comparisons Across Character Sets ........................   18
2.7.3.   Comparators ..............................................   19
2.7.4.   Comparisons Against Addresses ............................   20
2.8.     Blocks ...................................................   20



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                  [Page 3]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


2.9.     Commands .................................................   21
2.10.    Evaluation ...............................................   21
2.10.1.  Action Interaction .......................................   21
2.10.2.  Implicit Keep ............................................   22
2.10.3.  Message Uniqueness in a Mailbox ..........................   22
2.10.4.  Limits on Numbers of Actions .............................   22
2.10.5.  Extensions and Optional Features .........................   23
2.10.6.  Errors ...................................................   23
2.10.7.  Limits on Execution ......................................   24
3.      Control Commands ..........................................   24
3.1.    If ........................................................   24
3.2.     Control Structure Require ................................   25
3.3.     Control Structure Stop ...................................   26
4.      Action Commands ...........................................   26
4.1.     Action reject ............................................   26
4.2.     Action fileinto ..........................................   27
4.3.     Action redirect ..........................................   27
4.4.     Action keep ..............................................   28
4.5.     Action discard ...........................................   28
5.      Test Commands .............................................   29
5.1.     Test address .............................................   29
5.2.     Test allof ...............................................   30
5.3.     Test anyof ...............................................   30
5.4.     Test envelope ............................................   30
5.5.     Test exists ..............................................   31
5.6.     Test false ...............................................   32
5.7.     Test header ..............................................   32
5.8.     Test not .................................................   32
5.9.     Test size ................................................   32
5.10.    Test true ................................................   33
6.      Extensibility .............................................   33
6.1.     Capability String ........................................   33
6.2.     IANA Considerations ......................................   34
6.3.     Capability Transport .....................................   34
7.      Transmission ..............................................   35
8.      Parsing ...................................................   35
8.1.     Lexical Tokens ...........................................   35
8.2.     Grammar ..................................................   37
9.      Extended Example ..........................................   37
10.     Security Considerations ...................................   39
11.     Acknowledgments ...........................................   39
12.     Author's Address ..........................................   40
Appendix A.  References ...........................................   40
Appendix B.  Full Copyright Statement .............................   41







Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                  [Page 4]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


0.      Meta-information on this draft

   This information is intended to facilitate discussion.  It will be
   removed when this document leaves the Internet-Draft stage.

0.1.     Discussion

   This draft is being discussed on the MTA Filters mailing list at
   <ietf-mta-filters@imc.org>.  Subscription requests can be sent to
   <ietf-mta-filters-request@imc.org> (send an email message with the
   word "subscribe" in the body).  More information on the mailing list
   along with a WWW archive of back messages is available at
   <http://www.imc.org/ietf-mta-filters/>.

0.2.     Known Issues

0.2.1.   Probable Extensions

   The following suggestions have been made, and will probably be
   addressed by extensions.

   An extension for regular expressions will be written.  While regular
   expressions are of questionable utility for most users, the
   programmers writing implementations desperately want regular
   expressions.

   "Detailed" addressing or "sub-addressing" (i.e., the "foo" in an
   address "tjs+foo@andrew.cmu.edu") is not handled, and will be moved
   to an extension for those systems that offer it.

   A vacation command has been requested for an extension.  Vacation
   functionality isn't required by the draft because having vacation
   assumes you can store the addresses of people who have already
   received vacation notifications, which isn't always the case.  It is
   in a separate document for no particular reason.

   A suggestion was made to set IMAP flags on delivery (e.g., \Flagged,
   \Deleted, \Answered, \Seen).

   An "include" command is not included, but has been suggested for an
   extension.

0.3.     Noted Changes

0.3.1.   since -09

   Many nits from Randall Gellens.




Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                  [Page 5]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   The use of backslashes and metacharacters with :matches has been
   changed to reflect what happens in C.  This means the parser doesn't
   need to know about how the string is being used.

   The syntax for dot-stuffed strings was changed to be both correct and
   more readable.

0.3.2.   since -08

   Editorial changes only, as I recall.

0.3.3.   since -07

   A whole lot of nits from Ned Freed.

   Clarification that multiple address-part or match-type tags is an
   error.

   Section 2.10.7 added.

   Reject generates MDNs, not DSNs.  Left it as optional.

   Require an Stop moved to Control Structures section.

   Text removed: "Therefore, an implementation SHOULD only allow one
   "reject" per message processed, and MAY limit the number of redirect
   actions taken."  Covered by 2.10.4.

   Text removed: "An implementation MUST refuse to redirect a message to
   itself."  Hopefully covered by loop control stuff in reject.

   Various corrections from Randy Gellens.

   The syntax definitions of allof and anyof have changed to use a
   test-list instead of describing the grammar of the test-list.

0.3.4.   since -06

   Larry Greenfield supplied a rewrite of the grammar that separates
   things out into a tokenizer and a parser.  This grammar also allows
   UTF-8 characters in strings (previous versions limited characters to
   the 0x01-0x7F range).

   Steve Hole made a number of editorial suggestions that were taken.
   This includes discussing a tokenizer in 2.1 and renaming sections 3,
   4, and 5 ("Control Structures" became "Control Commands", "Actions"
   became "Action Commands", and "Tests" became "Test Commands").  Other
   uses of these terms in this document should have been changed to



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                  [Page 6]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   match, but I probably missed some.

   Lots of new rules were added to section 2.10, and should be reviewed
   carefully.  I think that they reflect consensus, but am not sure.

   Tokens are defined as being case insensitive.

   Envelope takes a COMPARATOR argument.

   ADDRESS-PART defaults to :all.

   Test "true" has been put back.  Truth was accidentally deleted.

   Gregory Sereda provided several examples, including a long one which
   has been inserted as section 9.

   The copyright date has been fixed and the copyright and I-D
   boilerplate updated with the latest and greatest from the IETF web
   site.

   Unnecessary brackets were removed around various syntax elements in
   section 2.7.

   Acknowledgments were moved further towards the end.

   Several other more minor fixes were made.

0.3.5.   since -05

   Draft -05 was never published in the Internet-Drafts repository, but
   was circulated on the ietf-mta-filters@imc.org mailing list.

   All nits submitted by Greg Sereda are hopefully addressed.  Most of
   these were example bugs, but he also pointed out that types for
   arguments were under-specified and in several cases orders of
   arguments disagreed with the syntax.

   "Match keyword" was changed to "match type" as an editorial change.

   "Forward" was renamed to "redirect" because of the conflict between
   multiple meanings of "forward" in order to make it clear exactly what
   we meant.

   Limitation of one redirect per message should be removed.

   The types of arguments have been added to their syntax line.

   Added "require" back in a slightly different form.  "Require" is now



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                  [Page 7]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   an action (arbitrarily) and has been added to sec. 2.10 as well.

   Implementations are responsible for not allowing mail loops.

   All discussion of short-circuit evaluation has been removed.  On a
   related note, tests must not have side effects.

   Envelope is required to drop source routes.

   An address-matching primitive has been added.

0.3.6.   since -04

   Here are a list of changes from draft 04.  (It may not be complete.)

   * Consensus: i;ascii-casemap is required.

   * Consensus: i;ascii-casemap is the default.

   * Header name compares are always case-insensitive; the draft now
     says so.

   * Several examples were fixed, but it is likely that errors remain.

   * Bug: Section 7, remove reference to "support".

   * There are two namespaces  for extension names, one "vnd.", one
     everything else, like MIME.

   * All XXXs have been removed, except for in IANA section.

   * Fileinto is optional, and discussion of local mail folders and POP3
     has been removed.

   * A non-present comparator is considered to be basically a syntax
     error.

   * Resent headers are not to be added by the "redirect" command.

   * Tagged arguments must follow the keyword, and may not be
     interspersed with positional arguments.

   * Envelope-matching commands are to be added with the syntax that
     Barry suggested.

   * Put back :matches match type.

   * What happens when an error occurs has been dropped.



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                  [Page 8]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   * Reject is now optional.

   * Implementations are encouraged to decode header charsets, and if
     they don't, are required to not do compares on 8-bit data.















































Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                  [Page 9]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


1.      Introduction

   This memo documents a language that can be used to create filters for
   electronic mail. It is not tied to any particular operating system or
   mail architecture.  It requires the use of [IMAIL]-compliant
   messages, but should otherwise generalize to many systems.

   The language is powerful enough to be useful but limited in order to
   allow for a safe server-side filtering system.  The intention is to
   make it impossible for users to do anything more complex (and
   dangerous) than write simple mail filters, along with facilitating
   the use of GUIs for filter creation and manipulation. The language is
   not Turing-complete: it provides no way to write a loop or a function
   and variables are not provided.

   Scripts written in Sieve are executed during final delivery, when the
   message is moved to the user-accessible mailbox.  In systems where
   the MTA does final delivery, such as traditional Unix mail, it is
   reasonable to sort when the MTA deposits mail into the user's
   mailbox.

   There are a number of reasons to use a filtering system.  Mail
   traffic for most users has been increasing due to increased usage of
   e-mail, the emergence of unsolicited email as a form of advertising,
   and increased usage of mailing lists.

   Experience at Carnegie Mellon has shown that if a filtering system is
   made available to users, many will make use of it in order to file
   messages from specific users or mailing lists.  However, many others
   did not make use of the Andrew system's FLAMES filtering language
   [FLAMES] due to difficulty in setting it up.

   Because of the expectation that users will make use of filtering if
   it is offered and easy to use, this language has been made simple
   enough to allow many users to make use of it, but rich enough that it
   can be used productively.  However, it is expected that GUI-based
   editors will be the preferred way of editing filters for a large
   number of users.

1.1.     Conventions Used in This Document

   In the sections of this document that discuss the requirements of
   various keywords and operators, the following conventions have been
   adopted.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "CAN", and
   "MAY" in this document are to be interpreted as defined in
   [KEYWORDS].



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 10]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   Each section on a command (test, action, or control structure) has a
   line labeled "Syntax:".  This line describes the syntax of the
   command, including its name and its arguments.  Required arguments
   are listed inside angle brackets ("<" and ">").  Optional arguments
   are listed inside square brackets ("[" and "]").  Each argument is
   followed by its type, so "<key: string>" represents an argument
   called "key" that is a string.  Literal strings are represented with
   double-quoted strings.  Alternatives are separated with slashes, and
   parenthesis are used for grouping, similar to [ABNF].

   In the "Syntax" line, there are three special pieces of syntax that
   are frequently repeated, MATCH-TYPE, COMPARATOR, and ADDRESS-PART.
   These are discussed in sections 2.7.1, 2.7.3, and 2.7.4,
   respectively.

   The formal grammar for these commands in section 10 and is the
   authoritative reference on how to construct commands, but the formal
   grammar does not specify the order, semantics, number or types of
   arguments to commands, nor the legal command names.  The intent is to
   allow for extension without changing the grammar.

1.2.     Example mail messages

   The following mail messages will be used throughout this document  in
   examples.

   Message A
   -----------------------------------------------------------
   Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 09:06:31 -0800 (PST)
   From: coyote@desert.org
   To: roadrunner@birdseed.org
   Subject: I have a present for you

   Look, I'm sorry about the whole anvil thing, and I really
   didn't mean to try and drop it on you from the top of the
   cliff.  I want to try to make it up to you.  I've got some
   great birdseed over here at my place--top of the line
   stuff--and if you come by, I'll have it all wrapped up
   for you.  I'm really sorry for all the problems I've caused
   for you over the years, but I know we can work this out.
   --
   Wile E. Coyote       "Super Genius"        coyote@znic.net
   -----------------------------------------------------------








Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 11]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   Message B
   -----------------------------------------------------------
   From: youcouldberich!@reply-by-postal-mail.invalid
   Sender: b1ff@de.res.frobnitzm.edu
   To: rube@landru.melon.net
   Date:  Mon, 31 Mar 1997 18:26:10 -0800
   Subject: $$$ YOU, TOO, CAN BE A MILLIONAIRE! $$$

   YOU MAY HAVE ALREADY WON TEN MILLION DOLLARS, BUT I DOUBT
   IT!  SO JUST POST THIS TO SIX HUNDRED NEWSGROUPS!  IT WILL
   GUARANTEE THAT YOU GET AT LEAST FIVE RESPONSES WITH MONEY!
   MONEY! MONEY! COLD HARD CASH!  YOU WILL RECEIVE OVER
   $20,000 IN LESS THAN TWO MONTHS!  AND IT'S LEGAL!!!!!!!!!
   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111!!!!!!!11111111111!!1  JUST
   SEND $5 IN SMALL, UNMARKED BILLS TO THE ADDRESSES BELOW!
   -----------------------------------------------------------

2.      Design

2.1.     Form of the Language

   The language consists of a set of commands.  Each command consists of
   a set of tokens delimited by whitespace.  The first token is the
   command string followed by zero or more arguments.  Arguments may be
   literal data, tags, blocks of commands, or test commands.

   The language is represented in UTF-8, as specified in [UTF-8].

   Tokens in the ASCII range are considered case-insensitive.

2.2.     Whitespace

   Whitespace is used to separate tokens.  Whitespace is made up of
   tabs, newlines (CRLF, never just CR or LF), and the space character.
   The amount of whitespace used is not significant.

2.3.     Comments

   Two types of comments are offered.  Comments are semantically
   equivalent to whitespace and can be used anyplace that whitespace is
   (with one exception in multi-line strings, as described in the
   grammar).

   Hash comments begin with a "#" character that is not contained within
   a string and continue until the next CRLF.

   Example:  if size :over 100K { # this is a comment
                discard;



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 12]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


             }


   Bracketed comments begin with the token "/*" and end with "*/".
   Bracketed comments may span multiple lines.  Bracketed comments do
   not nest.

   Example:  if size :over 100K { /* this is a comment
                this is still a comment */ discard /* this is a comment
                */ ;
             }


2.4.     Literal Data

   Literal data means data that is not executed, merely evaluated "as
   is", to be used as arguments to commands.  Literal data is limited to
   numbers and strings.

2.4.1.   Numbers

   Numbers are given as ordinary decimal numbers.  However, those
   numbers that have a tendency to be fairly large, such as message
   sizes, MAY have a "K", "M", or "G" appended to indicate a multiple of
   a base-two number.  To be comparable with the power-of-two-based
   versions of SI units that computers frequently use, K specifies
   kibi-, or 1,024 (2^10) times the value of the number; M specifies
   mebi-, or 1,048,576 (2^20) times the value of the number; and G
   specifies tebi-, or 1,073,741,824 (2^30) times the value of the
   number [BINARY-SI].

   Implementations MUST provide 31 bits of magnitude in numbers, but MAY
   provide more.

   Only positive integers are permitted by this specification.

2.4.2.   Strings

   Scripts involve large numbers of strings as they are used for pattern
   matching, addresses, textual bodies, etc.  Typically, short quoted
   strings suffice for most uses, but a more convenient form is provided
   for longer strings such as bodies of messages.

   A quoted string starts and ends with a single double quote (the <">
   character, ASCII 34).  A backslash ("\", ASCII 92) inside of a quoted
   string is followed by either another backslash or a double quote.
   This two-character sequence represents a single backslash or double-
   quote within the string, respectively.



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 13]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   No other characters should be escaped with a single backslash.

   An undefined escape sequence (such as "\a" in a context where "a" has
   no special meaning) is interpreted as if there were no backslash (in
   this case, "\a" is just "a").

   Non-printing characters such as tabs, CR and LF, and control
   characters are permitted in strings.  NUL (ASCII 0) is not allowed in
   strings.

   For entering larger amounts of text, such as an email message, a
   multi-line form is allowed.  It starts with the keyword "text:",
   followed by a CRLF, and ends with the sequence of a CRLF, a single
   period, and another CRLF.  In order to allow the message to contain
   lines with a single-dot, lines are dot-stuffed.  That is, when
   composing a message body, an extra `.' is added before each line
   which begins with a `.'.  When the server interprets the script,
   these extra dots are removed.  Note that a line that begins with a
   dot followed by a non-dot character is not interpreted dot-stuffed;
   that is, ".foo" is interpreted as ".foo".  However, because this is
   potentially ambiguous, scripts SHOULD be properly dot-stuffed so such
   lines do not appear.

   Note that a hashed comment or whitespace may occur in between the
   "text:" and the CRLF, but not within the string itself.  Bracketed
   comments are not allowed here.

2.4.2.1. String Lists

   When matching patterns, it is frequently convenient to match against
   groups of strings instead of single strings.  For this reason, a list
   of strings is allowed in many tests, implying that if the test is
   true using any one of the strings, then the test is true.
   Implementations are encouraged to use short-circuit evaluation in
   these cases.

   For instance, the test `header :contains ["To", "Cc"]
   ["me@frobnitzm.edu", "me00@landru.melon.edu"]' is true if either the
   To header or Cc header of the input message contains either of the
   e-mail addresses "me@frobnitzm.edu" or "me00@landru.melon.edu".

   Conversely, in any case where a list of strings is appropriate, a
   single string is allowed without being a member of a list: it is
   equivalent to a list with a single member.  This means that the test
   `exists "To"' is equivalent to the test `exists ["To"]'.






Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 14]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


2.4.2.2. Headers

   Headers are a subset of strings.  In the Internet Message
   Specification [IMAIL], each header line is allowed to have whitespace
   nearly anywhere in the line, including after the field name and
   before the subsequent colon.  Extra spaces between the header name
   and the ":" in a header field are ignored.

   A header name never contains a colon.  The "From" header refers to a
   line beginning "From:" (or "From   :", etc.).  No header will match
   the string "From:" due to the trailing colon.

2.4.2.3. Addresses

   A number of commands call for email addresses, which are also a
   subset of strings.  These addresses must be compliant with [IMAIL].
   Implementations MUST ensure that the addresses are syntactically
   valid, but need not ensure that they actually identify an email
   recipient.

2.4.2.4. MIME Parts

   In a few places, [MIME] bodyparts are represented as strings.  These
   parts include MIME headers and the body.  This provides a way of
   embedding typed data within a Sieve script so that, among other
   things, character sets other than UTF-8 can be used for output
   messages.

2.5.     Tests

   Tests are given as arguments to commands in order to control their
   actions.  In this document, tests are given to if/elsif/else to
   decide which block of code is run.

   Tests MUST NOT have side effects.  That is, a test cannot affect the
   state of the filter or message.  No tests in this specification have
   side effects, and side effects are forbidden in extension tests as
   well.

   The rationale for this is that tests with side effects impair
   readability and maintainability and are difficult to represent in a
   graphic interface for generating scripts.  Side effects are confined
   to actions where they are clearer.

2.5.1.   Test Lists

   Some tests ("allof" and "anyof", which implement logical "and" and
   logical "or", respectively) may require more than a single test as an



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 15]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   argument.  The test-list syntax element provides a way of grouping
   tests.

   Example:  if anyof (not exists ["From", "Date"],
                   header :contains "from" "fool@znic.edu") {
                discard;
             }

2.6.     Arguments

   In order to specify what to do, most commands take arguments.  There
   are three types of arguments: positional, tagged, and optional.

2.6.1.   Positional Arguments

   Positional arguments are given to a command which discerns their
   meaning based on their order.  When a command takes positional
   arguments, all positional arguments must be supplied and must be in
   the order prescribed.

2.6.2.   Tagged Arguments

   This document provides for tagged arguments in the style of
   CommonLISP.  These are also similar to flags given to commands in
   most command-line systems.

   A tagged argument is an argument for a command that begins with ":"
   followed by a tag naming the argument, such as ":contains".  This
   argument means that zero or more of the next tokens have some
   particular meaning depending on the argument.  These next tokens may
   be numbers or strings but they are never blocks.

   Tagged arguments are similar to positional arguments, except that
   instead of the meaning being derived from the command, it is derived
   from the tag.

   Tagged arguments must appear before positional arguments, but they
   may appear in any order with other tagged arguments.  For simplicity
   of the specification, this is not expressed in the syntax definitions
   with commands, but they still may be reordered arbitrarily provided
   they appear before positional arguments.  Tagged arguments may be
   mixed with optional arguments.

   To simplify this specification, tagged arguments SHOULD NOT take
   tagged arguments as arguments.






Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 16]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


2.6.3.   Optional Arguments

   Optional arguments are exactly like tagged arguments except that they
   may be left out, in which case a default value is implied.  Because
   optional arguments tend to result in shorter scripts, they have been
   used far more than tagged arguments.

   One particularly noteworthy case is the ":comparator" argument, which
   allows the user to specify which [ACAP] comparator will be used to
   compare two strings, since different languages may impose different
   orderings on UTF-8 [UTF-8] characters.

2.6.4.   Types of Arguments

   Abstractly, arguments may be literal data, tests, or blocks of
   commands.  In this way, an "if" control structure is merely a command
   that happens to take a test and a block as arguments and may execute
   the block of code.

   However, this abstraction is ambiguous from a parsing standpoint.
   The grammar in section 9.2 presents a parsable version of this:
   Arguments are string-lists, numbers, and tags, which may be followed
   by a test or a test-list, which may be followed by a block of
   commands.  No more than one test or test list, nor more than one
   block of commands, may be used, and commands that end with blocks of
   commands do not end with semicolons.

2.7.     String Comparison

   When matching one string against another, there are a number of ways
   of performing the match operation.  These are accomplished with three
   types of matches: an exact match, a substring match, and a wildcard
   glob-style match.  These are described below.

   In order to provide for matches between character sets and case
   insensitivity, Sieve borrows ACAP's comparator registry.

   However, when a string represents the name of a header, the
   comparator is never user-specified.  Header comparisons are always
   done with the "i;ascii-casemap" operator, i.e., case-insensitive
   comparisons, because this is the way things are defined in the
   message specification [IMAIL].

2.7.1.   Match Type

   There are three match types describing the matching used in this
   specification:  ":is", ":contains", and ":matches".  Match type
   arguments are supplied to those commands which allow them to specify



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 17]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   what kind of match is to be performed.

   These are used as tagged arguments to tests that perform string
   comparison.

   The ":contains" match type describes a substring match.  If the value
   argument contains the key argument as a substring, the match is true.
   For instance, the string "frobnitzm" contains "frob" and "nit", but
   not "fbm".  The null key ("") is contained in all values.

   The ":is" match type describes an absolute match; if the contents of
   the first string are absolutely the same as the contents of the
   second string, they match.  Only the string "frobnitzm" is the string
   "frobnitzm".  The null key ":is" and only ":is" the null value.

   The ":matches" version specifies a wildcard match using the
   characters "*" and "?".  "*" matches zero or more characters, and "?"
   matches a single character.  "?" and "*" may be escaped as "\\?" and
   "\\*" in strings to match against themselves.  The first backslash
   escapes the second backslash; together, they escape the "*".  This is
   awkward, but it is commonplace in several programming languages that
   use globs and regular expressions.

   In order to specify what type of match is supposed to happen,
   commands that support matching take optional tagged arguments
   ":matches", ":is", and ":contains".  Commands default to using ":is"
   matching if no match type argument is supplied.  Note that these
   modifiers may interact with comparators; in particular, some
   comparators are not suitable for matching with ":contains" or
   ":matches".  It is an error to use a comparator with ":contains" or
   ":matches" that is not compatible with it.

   It is an error to give more than one of these arguments to a given
   command.

   For convenience, the "MATCH-TYPE" syntax element is defined  here  as
   follows:

   Syntax:   ":is" / ":contains" / ":matches"


2.7.2.   Comparisons Across Character Sets

   All Sieve scripts are represented in UTF-8, but messages may involve
   a number of character sets.  In order for comparisons to work across
   character sets, implementations SHOULD implement the following
   behavior:




Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 18]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


      Implementations decode header charsets to UTF-8.  Two strings are
      considered equal if their UTF-8 representations are identical.
      Implementations should decode charsets represented in the forms
      specified by [MIME] for both message headers and bodies.
      Implementations must be capable of decoding US-ASCII, ISO-8859-1,
      the ASCII subset of ISO-8859-* character sets, and UTF-8.

   If implementations fail to support the above behavior, they MUST
   conform to the following:

      No two strings can be considered equal if one contains octets
      greater than 127.

2.7.3.   Comparators

   In order to allow for language-independent, case-independent matches,
   the match type may be coupled with a comparator name.  Comparators
   are described for [ACAP]; a registry is defined for ACAP, and this
   specification uses that registry.

   ACAP defines multiple comparator types.  Only equality types are used
   in this specification.

   All implementations MUST support the "i;octet" comparator (simply
   compares octets) and the "i;ascii-casemap" comparator (which treats
   uppercase and lowercase characters in the ASCII subset of UTF-8 as
   the same).  If left unspecified, the default is "i;ascii-casemap".

   Some comparators may not be usable with substring matches; that is,
   they may only work with ":is".  It is an error to try and use a
   comparator with ":matches" or ":contains" that is not compatible with
   it.

   A comparator is specified by the ":comparator" option with commands
   that support matching.  This option is followed by a string providing
   the name of the comparator to be used.  For convenience, the syntax
   of a comparator is abbreviated to "COMPARATOR", and (repeated in
   several tests) is as follows:

   Syntax:   ":comparator" <comparator-name: string>

   So in this example,

   Example:  if header :contains :comparator "i;octet" "Subject"
                "MAKE MONEY FAST" {
                   discard;
             }




Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 19]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   would discard any message with subjects like "You can MAKE MONEY
   FAST", but not "You can Make Money Fast", since the comparator used
   is case-sensitive.

   Comparators other than i;octet and i;ascii-casemap must be declared
   with require, as they are extensions.  If a comparator declared with
   require is not known, it is an error, and execution fails.  If the
   comparator is not declared with require, it is also an error, even if
   the comparator is supported.  (See 2.10.5.)

   Both ":matches" and ":contains" match types are compatible with the
   "i;octet" and "i;ascii-casemap" comparators and may be used with
   them.

   It is an error to give more than one of these arguments to a given
   command.

2.7.4.   Comparisons Against Addresses

   Addresses are one of the most frequent things represented as strings.
   These are structured, and being able to compare against the local-
   part or the domain of an address is useful, so some tests that act
   exclusively on addresses take an additional optional argument that
   specifies what the test acts on.

   These optional arguments are ":localpart", ":domain", and ":all",
   which act on the local-part (left-side), the domain part (right-
   side), and the whole address.

   The kind of comparison done, such as whether or not the test done is
   case-insensitive, is specified as a comparator argument to the test.

   If an optional address-part is omitted, the default is ":all".

   It is an error to give more than one of these arguments to a given
   command.

   For convenience, the "ADDRESS-PART" syntax element is defined here as
   follows:

   Syntax:   ":localpart" / ":domain" / ":all"


2.8.     Blocks

   Blocks are sets of commands enclosed within curly braces.  Blocks are
   supplied to commands so that the commands can implement control
   commands.



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 20]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   A control structure is a command that happens to take a test and a
   block as one of its arguments; depending on the result of the test
   supplied as another argument, it runs the code in the block some
   number of times.

   With the commands supplied in this memo, there are no loops.  The
   control structures supplied--if, elsif, and else--run a block either
   once or not at all.  So there are two arguments, the test and the
   block.

2.9.     Commands

   Sieve scripts are sequences of commands.  Commands can take any of
   the tokens above as arguments, and arguments may be either tagged or
   positional arguments.  Not all commands take all arguments.

   There are three kinds of commands: test commands, action commands,
   and control commands.

   The simplest is an action command.  An action command is an
   identifier followed by zero or more arguments, terminated by a
   semicolon.  Action commands do not take tests or blocks as arguments.

   A control command is similar, but it takes a test as an argument, and
   ends with a block instead of a semicolon.

   A test command is used as part of a control command.  It is used to
   specify whether or not the block of code given to the control command
   is executed.

2.10.    Evaluation












2.10.1.  Action Interaction

   Some actions cannot be used with other actions because the result
   would be absurd.  These restrictions are noted throughout this memo.




Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 21]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   Extension actions MUST state how they interact with actions defined
   in this specification.

2.10.2.  Implicit Keep

   Previous experience with filtering systems suggests that cases tend
   to be missed in scripts.  To prevent errors, Sieve has an "implicit
   keep".

   An implicit keep is a keep action (see 4.4) performed in absence of
   any other actions.

   An implicit keep is performed if a message is not written to a
   mailbox, redirected to a new address, or explicitly thrown out.  That
   is, if a fileinto, a keep, a redirect, or a discard is performed, an
   implicit keep is not.

   For instance, with any of the short messages offered above, the
   following script produces no actions.

   Example:  if size :over 500K { discard; }

   As a result, the implicit keep is taken.

2.10.3.  Message Uniqueness in a Mailbox

   Implementations SHOULD NOT deliver a message to the same folder more
   than once, even if a script explicitly asks for a message to be
   written to a mailbox twice.

   The test for equality of two messages is implementation-defined.

   If a script asks for a message to be written to a mailbox twice, it
   MUST NOT be treated as an error.

2.10.4.  Limits on Numbers of Actions

   Site policy MAY limit numbers of actions taken and MAY impose
   restrictions on which actions can be used together.  In the event
   that a script hits a policy limit on the number of actions taken for
   a particular message, an error occurs.

   Implementations MUST prohibit more than one reject.

   Implementations MUST allow at least one keep or one fileinto.  If
   fileinto is not implemented, implementations MUST allow at least one
   keep.




Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 22]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   Implementations SHOULD prohibit reject when used with other actions.

2.10.5.  Extensions and Optional Features

   Because of the differing capabilities of many mail systems, several
   features of this specification are optional.  Before any of these
   extensions can be executed, they must be declared with the "require"
   action.

   If an extension is not enabled with "require", implementations MUST
   treat it as if they did not support it at all.

   If a script does not understand an extension declared with require,
   the script must not be used at all.  Implementations MUST NOT execute
   scripts which require unknown capability names.

   Note: The reason for this restriction is that prior experiences with
         languages such as LISP and Tcl suggest that this is a workable
         way of noting that a given script uses an extension.

         Experience with PostScript suggests that mechanisms that allow
         a script to work around missing extensions are not used in
         practice.

   Extensions which define actions MUST state how they interact with
   actions discussed in the base specification.

2.10.6.  Errors

   In any programming language, there are compile-time and run-time
   errors.

   Compile-time errors are ones in syntax that are detectable if a
   syntax check is done.

   Run-time errors are not detectable until the script is run.  This
   includes transient failures like disk full conditions, but also
   includes issues like invalid combinations of actions.

   When an error occurs in a Sieve script, all processing stops.

   Implementations MAY choose to do a full parse, then evaluate the
   script, then do all actions.  Implementations might even go so far as
   to ensure that execution is atomic (either all actions are executed
   or none are executed).

   Other implementations may choose to parse and run at the same time.
   Such implementations are simpler, but have issues with partial



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 23]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   failure (some actions happen, others don't).

   Implementations might even go so far as to ensure that scripts can
   never execute an invalid set of actions (e.g., reject + fileinto)
   before execution, although this could involve solving the Halting
   Problem.

   This specification allows any of these approaches.  Solving the
   Halting Problem is considered extra credit.

   When an error happens, implementations MUST notify the user that an
   error occurred, which actions (if any) were taken, and do an implicit
   keep.

2.10.7.  Limits on Execution

   Implementations may limit certain constructs.  However, this
   specification places a lower bound on some of these limits.

   Implementations MUST support fifteen levels of nested blocks.

   Implementations MUST support fifteen levels of nested test lists.

3.      Control Commands

   Control structures are needed to allow for multiple and conditional
   actions.

3.1.    If

   There are three pieces to if: "if", "elsif", and "else".  Each is
   actually a separate command in terms of the grammar.  However, an
   elsif MUST only follow an if, and an else MUST follow only either an
   if or an elsif.  An error occurs if these conditions are not met.

   Syntax:   if <test1: test> <block1: block>

   Syntax:   elsif <test2: test> <block2: block>

   Syntax:   else <block>

   The semantics are similar to those of any of the many other
   programming languages these control commands appear in.  When the
   interpreter sees an "if", it evaluates the test associated with it.
   If the test is true, it executes the block associated with it.

   If the test of the "if" is false, it evaluates the test of the first
   "elsif" (if any).  If the test of "elsif" is true, it runs the



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 24]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   elsif's block.  An elsif may be followed by an elsif, in which case,
   the interpreter repeats this process until it runs out of elsifs.

   When the interpreter runs out of elsifs, there may be an "else" case.
   If there is, and none of the if or elsif tests were true, the
   interpreter runs the else case.

   This provides a way of performing exactly one of the blocks in the
   chain.

   In the following example, both Message A and B are dropped.

   Example:  require "fileinto";
             if header :contains "from" "coyote" {
                discard;
             } elsif header :contains ["subject"] ["$$$"] {
                discard;
             } else {
                fileinto "INBOX";
             }


   When the script below is run over message A, it redirects the message
   to  acm@frobnitzm.edu;  message  B,  to postmaster@frobnitzm.edu; any
   other message is redirected to field@frobnitzm.edu.

   Example:  if header :contains ["From"] ["coyote"] {
                redirect "acm@frobnitzm.edu";
             } elsif header :contains "Subject" "$$$" {
                redirect "postmaster@frobnitzm.edu";
             } else {
                redirect "field@frobnitzm.edu";
             }

   Note that this definition prohibits the "... else if ..." sequence
   used by C.  This is intentional, because this construct produces a
   shift-reduce conflict.

3.2.     Control Structure Require

   Syntax:   require <capabilities: string-list>

   The require action notes that a script makes use of a certain
   extension.  Such a declaration is required to use the extension, as
   discussed in section 2.10.5.  Multiple capabilities can be declared
   with a single require.

   The require command, if present, MUST be used before anything other



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 25]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   than a require can be used.  An error occurs if a require appears
   after a command other than require.

   Example:  require ["fileinto", "reject"];


   Example:  require "fileinto";
             require "vacation";


3.3.     Control Structure Stop

   Syntax:   stop

   The "stop" action ends all processing.  If no actions have been
   executed, then the keep action is taken.

4.      Action Commands

   This document supplies five actions that may be taken on a message:
   keep, fileinto, redirect, reject, and discard.

   Implementations MUST support the "keep", "discard", and "redirect"
   actions.

   Implementations SHOULD support "reject" and "fileinto".

   Implementations MAY limit the number of certain actions taken (see
   section 2.10.4).

4.1.     Action reject

   Syntax:   reject <reason: string>

   The optional "reject" action refuses delivery of a message by sending
   back an [MDN] to the sender.  It resends the message to the sender,
   wrapping it in a "reject" form, noting that it was rejected by the
   recipient.  In the following script, message A is rejected and
   returned to the sender.

   Example:  if header :contains "from" "coyote@znic.net" {
                reject "I am not taking mail from you, and I don't want
                your birdseed, either!";
             }







Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 26]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   A reject message MUST take the form of a failure MDN as specified  by
   [MDN].    The  human-readable  portion  of  the  message,  the  first
   component of the MDN, contains the human readable message  describing
   the  error,  and  it  SHOULD  contain  additional  text  alerting the
   original sender that mail was refused by a filter.  This part of  the
   MDN might appear as follows:

   ------------------------------------------------------------
   Message was refused by recipient's mail filtering program.
   Reason given was as follows:

   I am not taking mail from you, and I don't want your
   birdseed, either!
   ------------------------------------------------------------

   The MDN action-value field as defined in the MDN specification MUST
   be "deleted" and MUST have the MDN-sent-automatically and automatic-
   action modes set.

   Because some implementations can not or will not implement the reject
   command, it is optional.  The capability string to be used with the
   require command is "reject".

4.2.     Action fileinto

   Syntax:   fileinto <folder: string>

   The "fileinto" action delivers the message into the specified folder.
   Implementations SHOULD support fileinto, but in some environments
   this may be impossible.

   The capability string for use with the require command is "fileinto".

   In the following script, message A is filed into folder
   "INBOX.harassment".

   Example:  require "fileinto";
             if header :contains ["from"] "coyote" {
                fileinto "INBOX.harassment";
             }

4.3.     Action redirect

   Syntax:   redirect <address: string>

   The "redirect" action is used to send the message to another user at
   a supplied address, as a mail forwarding feature does.  The
   "redirect" action makes no changes to the message body or existing



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 27]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   headers, but it may add new headers.  The "redirect" modifies the
   envelope recipient.

   The redirect command performs an MTA-style "forward"--that is, what
   you get from a .forward file using sendmail under UNIX.  The address
   on the SMTP envelope is replaced with the one on the redirect command
   and the message is sent back out.  (This is not an MUA-style forward,
   which creates a new message with a different sender and message ID,
   wrapping the old message in a new one.)

   A simple script can be used for redirecting all mail:

   Example:  redirect "bart@example.edu";


   Implementations SHOULD take measures to implement loop control,
   possibly including adding headers to the message or counting received
   headers.  If an implementation detects a loop, it causes an error.

4.4.     Action keep

   Syntax:   keep

   The "keep" action is whatever action is taken in lieu of all other
   actions, if no filtering happens at all; generally, this simply means
   to file the message into the user's main mailbox.  This command
   provides a way to execute this action without needing to know the
   name of the user's main mailbox, providing a way to call it without
   needing to understand the user's setup, or the underlying mail
   system.

   For instance, in an implementation where the IMAP server is running
   scripts on behalf of the user at time of delivery, a keep command is
   equivalent to a fileinto "INBOX".

   Example:  if size :under 1M { keep; } else { discard; }

   Note that the above script is identical to the one below.

   Example:  if not size :under 1M { discard; }

4.5.     Action discard

   Syntax:   discard

   Discard is used to silently throw away the message.  It does so by
   simply canceling the implicit keep.  If discard is used with other
   actions, the other actions still happen.  Discard is compatible with



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 28]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   all other actions.  (For instance fileinto+discard is equivalent to
   fileinto.)

   Discard MUST be silent; that is, it MUST NOT return a non-delivery
   notification of any kind ([DSN], [MDN], or otherwise).

   In the following script, any mail from "idiot@frobnitzm.edu" is
   thrown out.

   Example:  if header :contains ["from"] ["idiot@frobnitzm.edu"] {
                discard;
             }


   While an important part of this language, "discard" has the potential
   to create serious problems for users: Students who leave themselves
   logged in to an unattended machine in a public computer lab may find
   their script changed to just "discard".  In order to protect users in
   this situation (along with similar situations), implementations MAY
   keep messages destroyed by a script for an indefinite period, and MAY
   disallow scripts that throw out all mail.

5.      Test Commands

   Tests are used in conditionals to decide which part(s) of the
   conditional to execute.

   Implementations MUST support these tests: "address", "allof",
   "anyof", "exists", "false", "header", "not", "size", and "true".

   Implementations SHOULD support the "envelope" test.

5.1.     Test address

   Syntax:   address [ADDRESS-PART] [COMPARATOR] [MATCH-TYPE]
             <header-list: string-list> <key-list: string-list>


   The address test matches Internet addresses in structured headers
   that contain addresses.  It returns true if any header contains any
   key in the specified part of the address, as modified by the
   comparator and the match keyword.

   Like envelope and header, this test returns true if any combination
   of the header-list and key-list arguments match.

   Internet email addresses [IMAIL] have the somewhat awkward
   characteristic that the local-part to the left of the at-sign is



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 29]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   considered case sensitive, and the domain-part to the right of the
   at-sign is case insensitive.  The "address" command does not deal
   with this itself, but provides the ADDRESS-PART argument for allowing
   users to deal with it.

   The address primitive never acts on the phrase part of an email
   address, nor on comments within that address.  It also never acts on
   group names, although it does act on the addresses within the group
   construct.

   Implementations MUST restrict the address test to headers that
   contain addresses, but MUST include at least From, To, Cc, Bcc,
   Sender, Resent-From, Resent-To, and SHOULD include any other header
   that utilizes an "address-list" structured header body.


   Example:  if address :is :all "from" "tim@example.com" {
                discard;

5.2.     Test allof

   Syntax:   allof <tests: test-list>

   The allof test performs a logical AND on the tests supplied to it.

   Example:  allof (false, false)  =>   false
             allof (false, true)   =>   false
             allof (true,  true)   =>   true

   The allof test takes as its argument a test-list.

5.3.     Test anyof

   Syntax:   anyof <tests: test-list>

   The anyof test performs a logical OR on the tests supplied to it.

   Example:  anyof (false, false)  =>   false
             anyof (false, true)   =>   true
             anyof (true,  true)   =>   true

5.4.     Test envelope

   Syntax:   envelope [COMPARATOR] [ADDRESS-PART] [MATCH-TYPE]
             <envelope-part: string-list> <key-list: string-list>


   The "envelope" test is true if the specified part of the SMTP (or



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 30]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   equivalent) envelope matches the specified key.

   If one of the envelope-part strings is (case insensitive) "from",
   then matching occurs against the FROM address used in the SMTP MAIL
   command.

   If one of the envelope-part strings is (case insensitive) "to", then
   matching occurs against the TO address used in the SMTP RCPT command
   that resulted in this message getting delivered to this user.  Note
   that only the most recent TO is available, and only the one relevant
   to this user.

   The envelope-part is a string list and may contain more than one
   parameter, in which case all of the strings specified in the key-list
   are matched against all parts given in the envelope-part list.

   Like address and header, this test returns true if any combination of
   the envelope-part and key-list arguments is true.

   All tests against envelopes MUST drop source routes.

   If the SMTP transaction involved several RCPT commands, only the data
   from the RCPT command that caused delivery to this user is available
   in the "to" part of the envelope.

   If a protocol other than SMTP is used for message transport,
   implementations are expected to adapt this command appropriately.

   The envelope command is optional.  Implementations SHOULD support it,
   but the necessary information may not be available in all cases.


   Example:  require "envelope";
             if envelope :all :is "from" "tim@example.com" {
                discard;
             }

5.5.     Test exists

   Syntax:   exists <header-names: string-list>

   The "exists" test is true if the headers listed in the header-names
   argument exist within the message.  All of the headers must exist or
   the test is false.

   The following example throws out mail that doesn't have a From header
   and a Date header.




Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 31]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   Example:  if not exists ["From","Date"] {
                discard;
             }

5.6.     Test false

   Syntax:   false

   The "false" test always evaluates to false.

5.7.     Test header

   Syntax:   header [COMPARATOR] [MATCH-TYPE]
             <header-names: string-list> <key-list: string-list>

   The "header" test evaluates to true if any header name matches any
   key.  The type of match is specified by the optional match argument,
   which defaults to ":is" if not specified, as specified in section
   2.6.

   Like address and envelope, this test returns true if any combination
   of the string-list and key-list arguments match.

   If a header listed in the header-names argument exists,  it  contains
   the  null  key ("").  However, if the named header is not present, it
   does not contain the null key. So if a message contained the header

           X-Caffeine: C8H10N4O2

   these tests on that header evaluate as follows:

           header :is ["X-Caffeine"] [""]         => false
           header :contains ["X-Caffeine"] [""]   => true

5.8.     Test not

   Syntax:   not <test>

   The "not" test takes some other test as an argument, and yields the
   opposite result.  "not false" evaluates to "true" and "not true"
   evaluates to "false".

5.9.     Test size

   Syntax:   size <":over" / ":under"> <limit: number>

   The "size" test deals with the size of a message.  It takes either a
   tagged argument of ":over" or ":under", followed by a number



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 32]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   representing the size of the message.

   If the argument is ":over", and the size of the message is greater
   than the number provided, the test is true; otherwise, it is false.

   If the argument is ":under", and the size of the message is less than
   the number provided, the test is true; otherwise, it is false.

   Exactly one of ":over" or ":under" must be specified, and anything
   else is an error.

   The size of a message is defined to be the number of octets from the
   initial header until the last character in the message body.

   Note that for a message that is exactly 4,000 octets, the message is
   neither ":over" 4000 octets or ":under" 4000 octets.

5.10.    Test true

   Syntax:   true

   The "true" test always evaluates to true.

6.      Extensibility

   New control structures, actions, and tests can be added to the
   language.  Sites must make these features known to their users; this
   document does not define a way to discover the list of extensions
   supported by the server.

   Any extensions to this language MUST define a capability string that
   uniquely identifies that extension.  If a new version of an extension
   changes the functionality of a previously defined extension, it MUST
   use a different name.

   In a situation where there is a submission protocol and an extension
   advertisement mechanism aware of the details of this language,
   scripts submitted can be checked against the mail server to prevent
   use of an extension that the server does not support.

   Extensions MUST state how they interact with constraints defined in
   section 2.10, e.g., whether they cancel the implicit keep, and which
   actions they are compatible and incompatible with.

6.1.     Capability String

   Capability strings are typically short strings describing what
   capabilities are supported by the server.



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 33]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   Capability strings beginning with "vnd." represent vendor-defined
   extensions.  Such extensions are not defined by Internet standards or
   RFCs, but are still registered with IANA in order to prevent
   conflicts.  Extensions starting with "vnd." SHOULD be followed by the
   name of the vendor and product, such as "vnd.acme.rocket-sled".

   The following capability strings are defined by this document:

   envelope    The string "envelope" indicates that the implementation
               supports the "envelope" command.

   fileinto    The string "fileinto" indicates that the implementation
               supports the "fileinto" command.

   reject      The string "reject" indicates that the implementation
               supports the "reject" command.

   comparator- The string "comparator-elbonia" is provided if the
               implementation supports the "elbonia" comparator.
               Therefore, all implementations have at least the
               "comparator-i;octet" and "comparator-i;ascii-casemap"
               capabilities.  However, these comparators may be used
               without being declared with require.

6.2.     IANA Considerations

   In order to provide a standard set of extensions, a registry is
   provided by IANA.  Capability names may be registered on a first-
   come, first-served basis.  Extensions designed for interoperable use
   SHOULD be defined as standards track or IESG approved experimental
   RFCs.

   To: XXX@XXX.XXX
   Subject: Registration of new Sieve extension

   Capability name:
   Capability keyword:
   Capability arguments:
   Standards Track/IESG-approved experimental RFC number:
   Person and email address to contact for further information:

6.3.     Capability Transport

   As the range of mail systems that this draft is intended to apply to
   is quite large, a method of advertising which capabilities an
   implementation supports is difficult due to the wide range of
   possible implementations.  Such a mechanism, however, should have the
   following properties.



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 34]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   (1)  The implementation can advertise the complete set of extensions
        that it supports.


7.      Transmission

   The MIME type for a Sieve script is "application/sieve".

   The registration of this type for RFC 2048 requirements is as
   follows:

        Subject: Registration of MIME media type application/sieve

        MIME media type name: application
        MIME subtype name: sieve
        Required parameters: none
        Optional parameters: none
        Encoding considerations: Most sieve scripts will be textual,
           written in UTF-8.  When non-7bit characters are used,
           quoted-printable is appropriate for transport systems
           that require 7bit encoding.
        Security considerations: Discussed in section 10 of RFC XXXX.
        Interoperability considerations: Discussed in section 2.10.5
           of RFC XXXX.
        Published specification: RFC XXXX.
        Applications which use this media type: sieve-enabled mail servers
        Additional information:
          Magic number(s):
          File extension(s): .siv
          Macintosh File Type Code(s):
        Person & email address to contact for further information:
           See the discussion list at ietf-mta-filters@imc.org.
        Intended usage:
           COMMON
        Author/Change controller:
           See Author information in RFC XXXX.

8.      Parsing

   The Sieve grammar is separated into tokens and a separate grammar as
   most programming languages are.

8.1.     Lexical Tokens

   Sieve scripts are encoded in UTF-8.  The following assumes a valid
   UTF-8 encoding; special characters in Sieve scripts are all ASCII.





Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 35]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   The following are tokens in Sieve:
           - identifiers
           - tags
           - numbers
           - quoted strings
           - multi-line strings
           - other separators

   Blanks, horizontal tabs, CRLFs, and comments ("white space") are
   ignored except as they separate tokens.  Some white space is required
   to separate otherwise adjacent tokens and in specific places in the
   multi-line strings.

   The other separators are single individual characters, and are
   mentioned explicitly in the grammar.

   The lexical structure of sieve is defined in the following BNF (as
   described in [ABNF]):

   bracket-comment = "/*" *(CHAR-NOT-STAR / ("*" CHAR-NOT-SLASH)) "*/"
           ;; No */ allowed inside a comment.
           ;; (No * is allowed unless it is the last character,
           ;; or unless it is followed by a character that isn't a slash.)

   CHAR-NOT-DOT = (%x01-09 / %x0b-0c / %x0e-2d / %x2f-ff)
           ;; no dots, no CRLFs

   CHAR-NOT-CRLF = (%x01-09 / %x0b-0c / %x0e-ff)

   CHAR-NOT-SLASH = (%x00-57 / %x58-ff)

   CHAR-NOT-STAR = (%x00-51 / %x53-ff)

   comment = bracket-comment / hash-comment

   hash-comment = ( "#" *CHAR-NOT-CRLF CRLF )

   identifier = (ALPHA / "_") *(ALPHA DIGIT "_")

   tag = ":" identifier

   number = 1*DIGIT [QUANTIFIER]

   QUANTIFIER = "K" / "M" / "G"







Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 36]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   quoted-string = DQUOTE *CHAR DQUOTE
           ;; in general, \ CHAR inside a string maps to CHAR
           ;; so \" maps to " and \\ maps to \
           ;; note that newlines and other characters are all allowed strings

   multi-line          = "text:" *(SP / HTAB) (hash-comment / CRLF)
                         *(multi-line-literal / multi-line-dotstuff)
                         "." CRLF
   multi-line-literal  = [CHAR-NOT-DOT *CHAR-NOT-CRLF] CRLF
   multi-line-dotstuff = "." 1*CHAR-NOT-CRLF CRLF
           ;; A line containing only "." ends the multi-line.
           ;; Remove a leading `.' if followed by another '.'.

   white-space = 1*(SP / CRLF / HTAB) / comment

8.2.     Grammar

   The following is the grammar of Sieve after it has been lexically
   interpreted.  No white space or comments appear below.  The start
   symbol is "start".

   argument = string-list / number / tag

   arguments = *argument [test / test-list]

   block = "{" commands "}"

   command = identifier arguments ( ";" / block )

   commands = *command

   start = commands

   string = quoted-string / multi-line

   string-list = "[" string *("," string) "]" / string         ;; if
   there is only a single string, the brackets are optional

   test = identifier arguments

   test-list = "(" test *("," test) ")"

9.      Extended Example

   The following is an extended example of a Sieve script.  Note that it
   does not make use of the implicit keep.





Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 37]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   #
   # Example Sieve Filter
   # Declare any optional features or extension used by the script
   #
   require ["fileinto", "reject"];

   #
   # Reject any large messages (note that the four leading dots get "stuffed"
   # to three)
   #
   if size :over 1M
           {
           reject text:
   Please do not send me large attachments.
   Put your file on a server and send me the URL.
   Thank you.
   .... Fred
   .
   ;
           stop;
           }

   #
   # Handle messages from known mailing lists
   # Move messages from IETF filter discussion list to filter folder
   #
   if header :is "Sender" "owner-ietf-mta-filters@imc.org"
           {
           fileinto "filter";  # move to "filter" folder
           }
   #
   # Keep all messages to or from people in my company
   #
   elsif anyof address :domain :is ["From", "To"] "company.com"
           {
           keep;               # keep in "In" folder
           }














Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 38]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   #
   # Try and catch unsolicited email.  If a message is not to me,
   # or it contains a subject known to be spam, file it away.
   #
   elsif anyof (not address :all :contains
                  ["To", "Cc", "Bcc"] "me@company.com",
                header :matches "subject"
                  ["*make*money*fast*", "*university*dipl*mas*"])
           {
           # If message header does not contain my address,
           # it's from a list.
           fileinto "spam";   # move to "spam" folder
           }
   else
           {
           # Move all other (non-company) mail to "personal"
           # folder.
           fileinto "personal";
           }

10.     Security Considerations

   Users must get their mail.  It is imperative that whatever method
   implementations use to store the user-defined filtering scripts be
   secure.

   It is equally important that implementations sanity-check the user's
   scripts, and not allow users to create on-demand mailbombs.  For
   instance, an implementation that allows a user to reject or redirect
   multiple times to a single message might also allow a user to create
   a mailbomb triggered by mail from a specific user.  Site- or
   implementation-defined limits on actions are useful for this.

   Several commands, such as "discard", "redirect", and "fileinto" allow
   for actions to be taken that are potentially very dangerous.

   Implementations SHOULD take measures to prevent languages from
   looping.

11.     Acknowledgments

   I am very thankful to Chris Newman for his support and his ABNF
   syntax checker, to John Myers and Steve Hole for outlining the
   requirements for the original drafts, to Larry Greenfield for nagging
   me about the grammar and finally fixing it, to Greg Sereda for
   repeatedly fixing and providing examples, to Ned Freed for fixing
   everything else, to Rob Earhart for an early implementation and a
   great deal of help, and to Randall Gellens for endless amounts of



Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 39]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


   proofreading.  I am grateful to Carnegie Mellon University where most
   of the work on this document was done.  I am also indebted to all of
   the readers of the ietf-mta-filters@imc.org mailing list.

12.     Author's Address

   Tim Showalter
   Mirapoint, Inc.
   Two Results Way, Suite 100
   Cupertino, CA 95014

   E-Mail: tjs@mirapoint.com







































Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 40]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


Appendix A.  References

   [ABNF] Crocker,  D.,  and  P.  Overell,  "Augmented  BNF  for  Syntax
   Specifications:   ABNF", Internet Mail Consortium, RFC 2234, November
   1997.

   [ACAP]  Newman,  C.,  and  J.  G.   Myers,   "ACAP   --   Application
   Configuration  Access  Protocol",  RFC  2244,  Innosoft and Netscape,
   November 1997.

   [BINARY-SI] "Standard IEC 60027-2:  Letter  symbols  to  be  used  in
   electrical  technology - Part 2: Telecommunications and electronics",
   January 1999.

   [DSN] Moore, K., and G. Vaudreuil, "An Extensible Message Format  for
   Delivery Status Notifications", RFC 1894, January 1996.

   [FLAMES] Borenstein, N, and C. Thyberg,  "Power,  Ease  of  Use,  and
   Cooperative  Work  in a Practical Multimedia Message System", Int. J.
   of Man-Machine Studies, April, 1991.  Reprinted in Computer-Supported
   Cooperative  Work  and  Groupware,  Saul  Greenberg, editor, Harcourt
   Brace Jovanovich, 1991.   Reprinted  in  Readings  in  Groupware  and
   Computer-Supported  Cooperative  Work, Ronald Baecker, editor, Morgan
   Kaufmann, 1993.

   [KEYWORDS] Bradner, S., "Key  words  for  use  in  RFCs  to  Indicate
   Requirement Levels", RFC 2119, Harvard University, March 1997.

   [IMAP] Crispin, M.,  "Internet  Message  Access  Protocol  -  version
   4rev1", RFC 2060, University of Washington, December 1996.

   [IMAIL] Crocker, D., "Standard for the Format of ARPA  Internet  Text
   Messages", STD 11, RFC 822, University of Delaware, August 1982.

   [MIME] Freed, N., and  N.  Borenstein,  "Multipurpose  Internet  Mail
   Extensions  (MIME)  Part One: Format of Internet Message Bodies", RFC
   2045, Innosoft and First Virtual, November 1996.

   [MDN]  Fajman,  R.,  "An  Extensible  Message  Format   for   Message
   Disposition Notifications", RFC 2298, March 1998.

   [SMTP] Postel, J., "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol", STD 10, RFC  821,
   USC/Information Sciences Institute, August 1982.

   [UTF-8] Yergeau, F. "UTF-8, a transformation format  of  Unicode  and
   ISO 10646", RFC 2044, Alis Technologies, October 1996.





Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 41]

Internet DRAFT                   Sieve                    April 25, 2000


Appendix B.  Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society 2000. All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and  furnished  to
   others,  and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be  prepared,  copied,  published
   and  distributed,  in  whole  or  in part, without restriction of any
   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
   included  on  all  such  copies  and derivative works.  However, this
   document itself may not be modified in any way, such as  by  removing
   the  copyright  notice or references to the Internet Society or other
   Internet  organizations,  except  as  needed  for  the   purpose   of
   developing  Internet  standards  in  which  case  the  procedures for
   copyrights  defined  in  the  Internet  Standards  process  must   be
   followed,  or  as  required to translate it into languages other than
   English.

   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will  not  be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on  an
   "AS  IS"  basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING
   TASK FORCE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS  OR  IMPLIED,  INCLUDING
   BUT  NOT  LIMITED  TO  ANY  WARRANTY  THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION
   HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS  OR  ANY  IMPLIED  WARRANTIES  OF
   MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
























Showalter                 Expire in Six Months                 [Page 42]


Html markup produced by rfcmarkup 1.108, available from http://tools.ietf.org/tools/rfcmarkup/