IEEE 802.1 Email Lists
General Information

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Updated August 2, 2010

802.1 Email lists

Working Group 802.1, also known as the Higher Layer Interface (HILI) working group, is part of the IEEE LAN MAN Standards Committee (LMSC), Project 802.

802.1 uses several email distribution lists (or "reflectors"), including:

Subscribers to these lists may also be interested in the 802.1 ballot list. See the subscriber pages for more information.

All 802.1 lists operate under similar procedures, described on these pages.

About the 802.1 list

The 802.1 list distributes email to Working Group participants. Email discussion covers

  • procedural and technical issues on all 802.1 projects or organizational concerns;
  • announcements of documents, and of electronic ballots on work in progress; and
  • information about ongoing work or future meetings.
The participants include active members of 802.1, but membership is not required.

All contributions (other than ballot responses) bearing on 802.1 projects or documents should be submitted to this list.

The 802.1 list exists to support ongoing work, not to offer public tutorials on the standards. Requests for tutorial help are not prohibited, but no responses can be promised. Moreover, the respondents (if any) may be most interested in whether the question reveals a case for correcting or clarifying the standard. Before asking for help, newcomers should study the available documents carefully.

The work of 802.1 covers a wide range. Subscribers who are interested in only part of the material can expect to discard a lot. (The list software supports topical subdivisions of lists, but the organizational requirements are, for the moment, beyond us.)

About the 802 Architecture list

The 802 Architecture list supports an Architecture group hosted by, but not a part of, 802.1. Participants on the 802 Architecture group are drawn from the whole LMSC, and include only a subset of 802.1 or any other Working Group.

This group works on issues in LAN and MAN communications architecture that cross Working Group boundaries. The list disseminates its meeting agendas, presentation material, discussion items, etc.

Depending on the architectural issues that arise, this list generally has short bursts of activity around LMSC plenary meetings. In the absence of such issues, it may be inactive for extended periods.


To be useful, the lists must be defended against spam, viruses, auto-responders, and other garbage. The greatest security threat is publication of the list address in a form easily collected by webcrawlers.

If you forward or copy list-distributed email to another list, and that list might have an unprotected public archive, please try to eliminate visible copies of the list address. This specifically includes the email list of the LMSC Executive Committee (SEC).


Obviously, email distributed to a list exposes the sender's address. The administrator has tried to design the list and its archive configuration to minimize that exposure.

Simply subscribing to either list makes your address available to the admininistrator, who may supply it to other technical or organizational leaders to assist them in running the group. IEEE staff also have access, but rarely use it.

Subscriber names and addresses are not advertised publicly or made available to outside organizations. By default, they are concealed from other subscribers (except as noted above).


IEEE staff gives some assistance, but a volunteer from 802.1 does most of the work. This administrator tries to be as helpful as possible, but may be less than charming when information published here is ignored.

The current administrator, Hal Keen, uses "throwaway" email addresses to manage the lists, because spammers eventually assault whatever address appears as the "owner." A current throwaway address appears as the Sender on the headers of list email. That address is subject to change at any time; the Sender address on older email might not be valid.

As the administrator changes addresses, a current link is kept here.

ListServ® software is the basis for operating and maintaining the lists.

Drawbacks of ListServ®

With one exception, ListServ® accepts email commands only for the address in the "From:" field of the email. This can interfere with subscribing, or managing a subscription for, an address that does not appear in that field.

Web-based workarounds are available on the "Web interfaces" page. The most general Web interface to ListServ® requires a login associated with the user's email address, and easily obtained with one confirmation. Another Web interface allows list-specific access without a login, and requires email confirmation of each change.

Advantages of ListServ®

List email for a particular address can be suspended without dropping it off the list. Subscribers may find this convenient when going on vacation or temporarily using a different email address.

ListServ® allows us to track a subscriber's name along with the email address. Supplying a name is optional, but helpful to the administrator and highly recommended.

Mail is distributed to the list more quickly if the From: header field matches a subscribed address. Participants may want to subscribe all the addresses from which they plan to send mail to the reflector, but to receive reflector email only on a subset of them (usually, just one).