Re: Status of RFC 20

Nico Williams <> Tue, 09 December 2014 05:09 UTC

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Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2014 23:09:25 -0600
From: Nico Williams <>
To: John C Klensin <>
Subject: Re: Status of RFC 20
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On Sun, Dec 07, 2014 at 05:13:57PM -0500, John C Klensin wrote:
> --On Sunday, December 07, 2014 13:47 -0800 joel jaeggli
> <> wrote:
> > Anyone raising downref issues with rfc 20 is out of their mind.
> There we agree, [...]

+1, and +1 to moving RFC20 to Standard.

> > that said you'll note a rather large gap in citations, given
> > that for something like 29 of the last 45 years there wasn't
> > an online copy in the rfc repository.
> (I added Heather to the distribute because of the above)
> To the best of my knowledge, there has _never_ been a
> requirement that cited documents be available online, and
> especially that authoritative copies be available online.

But perhaps there should be one as to new RFCs.  We mind (or should) our
copyright business nowadays so as to ensure such availability.  That
isn't enough to ensure the existence of an online archive, but then the
IETF and the RFC-Editor seem to strive to provide one (I should, but
don't, know whether and which RFC provides for that function, but if
there is none, that seems like a rather funny omission).

> Certainly it is preferred for many reasons, but never has it
> been a rule, nor is there a rule that makes RFCs special in that
> regard.  If the IESG asked the community for permission to

This is certainly true.  We can't really require that external documents
referenced from RFCs be archived online.

> impose such a rule, it certainly was not within my memory.  As
> to the "last 45 years", there simply has not been an online
> repository for that long, so that criticism would apply to any
> older RFC.

> If we want to start inventing new rules about citations to block
> progress, I think there are any number of members of the
> community who would be happy to contribute to the effort.  More
> constructively, April 1 will be here soon.  :-(

We shouldn't invent new rules, no, but this seems like a nice place to
segway into proposing a new rule as to online availability of new RFCs.