Re: [Gendispatch] I-D Action: draft-nottingham-where-does-that-come-from-00.txt

Mark Nottingham <> Mon, 15 March 2021 04:22 UTC

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From: Mark Nottingham <>
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Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2021 15:22:05 +1100
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To: "Joel M. Halpern" <>
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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] I-D Action: draft-nottingham-where-does-that-come-from-00.txt
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Hi Joel,

> On 15 Mar 2021, at 3:11 pm, Joel M. Halpern <> wrote:
> Mark, I think the whole game with domains is a mistake.
> As others have said, the content (drafts, RFCs, ...) is mirrored in multiple places.  And we want people to do that.

I'm not proposing that we disallow people from mirroring drafts and RFCs - I see the value in mirroring, and even dabble in it myself.

What I'm proposing is that we not lend the IETF branding -- in the form of the domain name, which appears in the browser bar for tools and datatracker -- to any random draft that gets submitted. That's misleading as to its status, and is one of the reasons we see I-Ds cited as 'the IETF draft...'.

> Also, when it comes to drafts, it is actually important that individual drafts aimed at a working group be known to and easily visible by the working group.  So if folks are using things like the datatracker WG summary page, the drafts need to be there.  At which point putting them in a different domain is completely worthelss.

Nothing in the proposal prevents *linking* to drafts elsewhere on such a page.

> I don't object to putting logos on  different stream RFCs.  I don't know that it will help much.
> Note that none of your changes would seem to help much with the most common consufion, namely informational or experimental IETF RFCs being treated as Standards Track RFCs by external promoters.  And no, I do not think the right answer is to remove Informational or Experimental RFCs.

That's indeed a problem, but personally I think we need to get this part of our house in order before we can tackle it.

> And we already see folks (maybe deliberately, maybe accidentally) confusing individual or WG Internet Drafts with RFCs.  Even though any form of reference is completely different.
> I don't see most of this document as usefully improving much of any of the many problems I have seen.
> Yours,
> Joel
> PS: At least in my experience, folks don't generally conflate or misrepresent either IRTF or Independent Stream documents with IETF product.  Maybe if we could figure out why not, we could get more leverage for actually solving the problem.
> PPS: My recommendation would be to not dispatch this document.
> On 3/14/2021 11:58 PM, Mark Nottingham wrote:
>> Hi Brian,
>>> On 13 Mar 2021, at 7:53 am, Brian E Carpenter <> wrote:
>>> As already  noted, this can't really be an IETF document since it purports to cover all streams.
>> Some parts will need to be initiated by other streams, but they stream managers can effectively opt into its suggestions. Also, much of it is about what it *not* associated with the IETF -- which we do control.
>>>> 2.1.3. Proposal 3: domain usage
>>> I think this section is actively harmful. The canonical place for all RFCs is; I think that we should very likely deprecate copies in any other domains (although those domains should certainly have pointers to the canonical copies).
>>> Really, RFCs have no place in the IETF data tracker, except as pointers.
>> If we can cure ourselves of the addition to the augmented views on tools and datatracker, I'm all for this. What we really need to encourage is augmentation of the RFC Editor view (perhaps on the metadata page, etc.).
>>>> 2.2. Internet-Drafts
>>>> The following recommendations apply to the publication of Internet-Drafts.
>>> The problem here is that draft-foo-bar has no intrinsic link to any of the streams. A differentiation can only be made later, if the draft becomes draft-ietf-bar or draft-irtf-bar. So how would we algorithmically classify draft-nottingham-quic-new-idea or draft-nottingham-where-does-that-come-from?
>> As unassociated drafts on; they're not adopted on any stream.
>> Cheers,
>>> Regards
>>>   Brian
>>> On 12-Mar-21 14:44, wrote:
>>>> A New Internet-Draft is available from the on-line Internet-Drafts directories.
>>>>        Title           : Clarifying IETF Document Status
>>>>        Author          : Mark Nottingham
>>>> 	Filename        : draft-nottingham-where-does-that-come-from-00.txt
>>>> 	Pages           : 7
>>>> 	Date            : 2021-03-11
>>>> Abstract:
>>>>   There is widespread confusion about the status of Internet-Drafts and
>>>>   RFCs, especially regarding their association with the IETF and other
>>>>   streams.  This document recommends several interventions to more
>>>>   closely align reader perceptions with actual document status.
>>>> The IETF datatracker status page for this draft is:
>>>> There is also an HTML version available at:
>>>> Please note that it may take a couple of minutes from the time of submission
>>>> until the htmlized version and diff are available at
>>>> Internet-Drafts are also available by anonymous FTP at:
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> I-D-Announce mailing list
>>>> Internet-Draft directories:
>>>> or
>>> -- 
>>> Gendispatch mailing list
>> --
>> Mark Nottingham

Mark Nottingham