Re: Last Call: <draft-leiba-cotton-iana-5226bis-12.txt> (Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs) to Best Current Practice

Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie> Sat, 04 June 2016 00:13 UTC

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Subject: Re: Last Call: <draft-leiba-cotton-iana-5226bis-12.txt> (Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs) to Best Current Practice
To: Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com>, Joe Touch <touch@isi.edu>, Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org>
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From: Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie>
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On 04/06/16 00:35, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> That's not realistic. If IANA refers to RFC822, and the programmer has a
> copy of RFC822 on her disk, that's what she will follow, because RFC text
> never changes and does not say "I am obsolete".

I don't get how that applies.

Do we think there's a programmer who will start from IANA and
not notice that there are references to 5322 and 2822? If
there is such a peculiarly myopic programmer, their code will
likely be crap anyway won't it?

Or do we think there's a programmer who'll start from RFC822
and not think "hey, this thing's 43 years old - I wonder did
anything happen in the meantime?" ;-)

And anyway the current facts are that folks will much more
likely depend on stack overflow, not IANA, so the entire question
of the best reference is pretty much close to moot.

IMO the only reason any of this matters is when there's a subtle
difference between the RFCyyyy and RFCxxxx versions of the same
registered thing and where there's significantly improved text in
RFCxxxx. In which case... we don't have a problem - RFCxxxx has
solved it for us by definition.

All that's to say that there is no need to, and only a downside
to, forcing document authors to jump through more useless hoops.

Cheers,
S.