Re: Last Call: <draft-leiba-3967upd-downref-00.txt> (Updating when Standards Track Documents may Refer Normatively to Documents at a Lower Level) to Best Current Practice

Brian E Carpenter <> Tue, 18 October 2016 19:31 UTC

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Subject: Re: Last Call: <draft-leiba-3967upd-downref-00.txt> (Updating when Standards Track Documents may Refer Normatively to Documents at a Lower Level) to Best Current Practice
References: <>
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2016 08:31:18 +1300
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I broadly in favour of this change, but I have a few comments.
First, a minor suggestion on the text itself:

   The responsible AD should
   still check for downrefs before sending out the last call notice, but
   any need to repeat a last call if this has not been done is at the
   discretion of the IESG.
   The responsible AD should
   still check for downrefs before sending out the last call notice, but
   if an undetected downref is noticed during last call or IESG review,
   any need to repeat the last call is at the discretion of the IESG.


>    there are no related security
>    considerations.

That bothers me a tiny bit. A missed downref could have security implications.

Third, I believe that in addition to this procedural change, there is a
little work needed on the ecosystem:

1. Make the downref registry an intrinsic part of the data tracker. I mean that
each document listed at
would instead be tagged as 'downref allowed' in the tracker, with appropriate GUI
support for the IESG to apply this tag.

2. Enhance idnits slightly to check this tag when it detects a downref.
A downref to a 'downref allowed' document would be a warning, and a downref
to a non-downref-allowed document would be an error.

   Brian Carpenter

On 19/10/2016 04:11, The IESG wrote:
> The IESG has received a request from an individual submitter to consider
> the following document:
> - 'Updating when Standards Track Documents may Refer Normatively to
>    Documents at a Lower Level'
>   <draft-leiba-3967upd-downref-00.txt> as Best Current Practice
> The IESG plans to make a decision in the next few weeks, and solicits
> final comments on this action. Please send substantive comments to the
> mailing lists by 2016-11-15. Exceptionally, comments may be
> sent to instead. In either case, please retain the
> beginning of the Subject line to allow automated sorting.
> Abstract
>    RFC 3967 specifies a process for allowing normative references to
>    documents at lower maturity levels ("downrefs"), which involves
>    calling out the downref explicitly in the last call notice.  That
>    requirement has proven to be unnecessarily strict, and this document
>    updates RFC 3967, allowing the IESG more flexibility in accepting
>    downrefs in Standards Track documents.
> The file can be obtained via
> IESG discussion can be tracked via
> No IPR declarations have been submitted directly on this I-D.