Request for Comments
draft-carpenter-request-for-comments-01

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Network Working Group                                       B. Carpenter
Internet-Draft                                         Univ. of Auckland
Intended status: Informational                             June 20, 2019
Expires: December 22, 2019

                          Request for Comments
                draft-carpenter-request-for-comments-01

Abstract

   This document discusses the Internet technical community's common
   document series and why its independence, and the professional status
   of the RFC Series Editor, must be stoutly defended.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on December 22, 2019.

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   Copyright (c) 2019 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
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   described in the Simplified BSD License.

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Table of Contents

   1.  TL;DR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  The Problems with the IETF's use of the RFC Series  . . . . .   2
   3.  Who Owns the RFC Series?  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   4.  Request for Comments means Request for Comments . . . . . . .   6
   5.  Experiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   6.  Conclusion  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   8.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   9.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   10. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   Appendix A.  Change log [RFC Editor: Please remove] . . . . . . .   9
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9

1.  TL;DR

   "I present here some of the tentative agreements reached and some of
   the open questions encountered.  Very little of what is here is firm
   and reactions are expected."  [RFC0001], Steve Crocker, 7 April 1969.

2.  The Problems with the IETF's use of the RFC Series

   It's very clear that there are problems with the way the IETF uses
   the RFC series.  For example, [RFC0791] is so badly written that it
   would never pass an IETF working group last call, let alone an IETF
   last call or an IESG review today.  Although updated by three other
   RFCs and having a dozen errata, it has never been replaced.  Yet it
   will be exercised billions of times today and every day.  Another
   example is that a newcomer wishing to implement even the simplest
   mail user agent will not find an RFC telling her how to do so.  A
   method to mitigate this problem was proposed but not adopted
   [I-D.ietf-newtrk-sample-isd].  A related problem is that finding the
   latest version of a standard requires arcane knowledge; for example,
   someone looking for the latest IPv6 standard via the popular search
   tools is still quite likely to end up consulting RFC2460, although it
   was obsoleted almost two years ago.  Another example is the frequency
   of references to RFC2616 for HTTP, obsoleted in 2014.

   A major gripe about the RFC series is its limitation to ASCII and its
   reliance on typewriter-friendly formatting and its lack of good
   diagrams.  Fortunately this is being worked on actively, so is not
   further discussed here.

   An occasional annoyance is that since the RFC series is long
   established and serves a very wide community of authors, it includes
   only some documents that are formally agreed statements of IETF rough
   consensus and even fewer that are formally agreed statements of IETF

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