RFC Publication of Errata of Standards Track Documents Considered Harmful
draft-klensin-newtrk-8540style-harmful-00

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Network Working Group                                         J. Klensin
Internet-Draft                                              June 7, 2019
Intended status: Informational
Expires: December 9, 2019

   RFC Publication of Errata of Standards Track Documents Considered
                                Harmful
               draft-klensin-newtrk-8540style-harmful-00

Abstract

   There appear to be some recent trends in the IETF, involving both
   published documents and proposals, to use Informational Documents to
   effectively update Standards Track ones, presenting documents as
   normative while avoiding the requirements for a higher level of
   community review and consensus and relationship tracking that would
   be required, in practice, for Standards Track updates RFC 4460,
   titled "Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) Specification
   Errata and Issues" and RFC 8540, titled "Stream Control Transmission
   Protocol: Errata and Issues in RFC 4960", were published as
   Informational documents although their clear intent is to update, or
   posit alternatives to some of the provisions of, RFcs 2960 and 4960
   respectively.  This critique suggests that it is undesirable for the
   IETF to publish documents of that type and form, explains the
   reasons, and identifies several alternatives.

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
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on December 9, 2019.

Klensin                 Expires December 9, 2019                [Page 1]
Internet-Draft        RFC Errata Summaries Harmful             June 2019

Copyright Notice

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   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Identifying Issues with Informational Updates or Reflections
       on Standards Track Documents  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     2.1.  Use of Normative Languege . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     2.2.  Failure to Explicitly Update Precedessor Documents  . . .   4
     2.3.  Usability: Organization by Erratum Date and Number  . . .   5
     2.4.  IETF Consensus and "Verified" Errata  . . . . . . . . . .   6
   3.  Problem Statement and Alternatives  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   4.  Conclusion  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   5.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11

1.  Introduction

   Recent developments strongly suggest that IETF procedures and
   criteria for accepting and publishing documents, particularly
   Informational documents that appear to modify Standards Track ones,
   are in need of review.  This document is a critique of those
   criteria, using two recent published documents as examples of styles
   and practices that should, in the opinion of the author, not be
   repeated.  It does not alter or update the content of the RFCs
   mentioned in this document as examples, nor does it address the
   substantive content of those RFCs.  The intention of this document is
   to encourage the IETF (and any relevant related bodies) to address
   any issues around using Informational RFCs to demonstrably update
   Standards track RFCs in a different way in the future.
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