Sieve Email Filtering: Body Extension
RFC 5173

Document Type RFC - Proposed Standard (April 2008; No errata)
Updates RFC 5229
Authors Jutta Degener  , Philip Guenther 
Last updated 2015-10-14
Replaces draft-degener-sieve-body
Stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
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IESG IESG state RFC 5173 (Proposed Standard)
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Network Working Group                                         J. Degener
Request for Comments: 5173                                   P. Guenther
Updates: 5229                                             Sendmail, Inc.
Category: Standards Track                                     April 2008

                 Sieve Email Filtering: Body Extension

Status of This Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


   This document defines a new command for the "Sieve" email filtering
   language that tests for the occurrence of one or more strings in the
   body of an email message.

Degener & Guenther          Standards Track                     [Page 1]
RFC 5173         Sieve Email Filtering: Body Extension        April 2008

1.  Introduction

   The "body" test checks for the occurrence of one or more strings in
   the body of an email message.  Such a test was initially discussed
   for the [SIEVE] base document, but was subsequently removed because
   it was thought to be too costly to implement.

   Nevertheless, several server vendors have implemented some form of
   the "body" test.

   This document reintroduces the "body" test as an extension, and
   specifies its syntax and semantics.

2.  Conventions Used in This Document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [KEYWORDS].

   Conventions for notations are as in [SIEVE] Section 1.1, including
   the use of the "Usage:" label for the definition of text and tagged
   argument syntax.

   The rules for interpreting the grammar are defined in [SIEVE] and
   inherited by this specification.  In particular, readers of this
   document are reminded that according to [SIEVE] Sections 2.6.2 and
   2.6.3, optional arguments such as COMPARATOR and MATCH-TYPE can
   appear in any order.

3.  Capability Identifier

   The capability string associated with the extension defined in this
   document is "body".

4.  Test body

                <key-list: string-list>

   The body test matches content in the body of an email message, that
   is, anything following the first empty line after the header.  (The
   empty line itself, if present, is not considered to be part of the

   The COMPARATOR and MATCH-TYPE keyword parameters are defined in
   [SIEVE].  As specified in Sections 2.7.1 and 2.7.3 of [SIEVE], the
   default COMPARATOR is "i;ascii-casemap" and the default MATCH-TYPE is

Degener & Guenther          Standards Track                     [Page 2]
RFC 5173         Sieve Email Filtering: Body Extension        April 2008

   The BODY-TRANSFORM is a keyword parameter that governs how a set of
   strings to be matched against are extracted from the body of the
   message.  If a message consists of a header only, not followed by an
   empty line, then that set is empty and all "body" tests return false,
   including those that test for an empty string.  (This is similar to
   how the "header" test always fails when the named header fields
   aren't present.)  Otherwise, the transform must be followed as
   defined below in Section 5.

   Note that the transformations defined here do *not* match against
   each line of the message independently, so the strings will usually
   contain CRLFs.  How these can be matched is governed by the
   comparator and match-type.  For example, with the default comparator
   of "i;ascii-casemap", they can be included literally in the key
   strings, or be matched with the "*" or "?" wildcards of the :matches
   match-type, or be skipped with :contains.

5.  Body Transform

   Prior to matching content in a message body, "transformations" can be
   applied that filter and decode certain parts of the body.  These
   transformations are selected by a "BODY-TRANSFORM" keyword parameter.

   Usage: ":raw"
        / ":content" <content-types: string-list>
        / ":text"

   The default transformation is :text.

5.1.  Body Transform ":raw"

   The ":raw" transform matches against the entire undecoded body of a
   message as a single item.

   If the specified body-transform is ":raw", the [MIME] structure of
   the body is irrelevant.  The implementation MUST NOT remove any
   transfer encoding from the message, MUST NOT refuse to filter
   messages with syntactic errors (unless the environment it is part of
   rejects them outright), and MUST treat multipart boundaries or the
   MIME headers of enclosed body parts as part of the content being
   matched against, instead of MIME structures to interpret.
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