Re: Status of RFC 20 (was: Re: Gen-ART and OPS-Dir review of draft-ietf-json-text-sequence-09)

John C Klensin <> Sat, 06 December 2014 18:00 UTC

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Date: Sat, 06 Dec 2014 12:59:53 -0500
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Stephen Farrell <>,
Subject: Re: Status of RFC 20 (was: Re: Gen-ART and OPS-Dir review of draft-ietf-json-text-sequence-09)
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--On Saturday, December 06, 2014 17:21 +0000 Stephen Farrell
<> wrote:

> On 06/12/14 17:06, John Levine wrote:
>> PS: Thought experiment: Let's say we made RFC 20 a full
>> standard. What Bad Things will happen?
> Some people will be upset. Same as if we don't do that:-)

Based on working in some closely-related areas, the only
legitimate objection I can think of would come from folks who
would claim that ASCII has outlived its usefulness and that we
should drop all references to ASCII, US-ASCII, and RFC 20 in
favor of what I guess would be something like "the Basic Latin
and C0 repertoire of Unicode, represented by code points U+0000
through U+007F, coded in UTF-8".   However, if one takes that
position, then RFC 20 should be moved to Historic, all protocol
specs that we now have that reference ASCII should be viewed as
obsolescent, and we should refuse to accept any new specs that
depend on ASCII unless it is defined in those Unicode terms (see
my previous note and remember that includes almost anything that
depends on ABNF).  If only because it would generate a lot of
basically-useless work, I don't think we want to go there.

While it would affect very few specs in practice, there are also
some subtle differences between ASCII and the Unicode C0+Basic
Latin definition.

> I'm fine with pushing this one along the stds track and
> will kick that off next week. I need to go re-read whatever
> process stuff is involved, but if someone wants to be the
> shepherd for this, (I'm guessing one is needed/handy) then
> just mail me.

Since I started this and believe that very little is required
(and most of that is putting what has been written already into
shepherd template form), I'm willing to do it unless someone
else volunteers.   

However, if there is anyone around with a little less experience
in this stuff than you, me, or John L and who would like to get
a first-hand introduction to the process of moving/shepherding a
document through the system with me playing advisor, I'd rather
spend my time that way than on template construction.  So, if
you or other IESG members, or any mentor or EDU team members who
happen to be reading this know likely candidates who could use
that bit of education (or someone out there wants to volunteer
themselves), speak up.

> PS: If Barry or anyone else wants to do this instead that's
> fine by me.