Getting the latest version of an RFC specification

Dave Crocker <dhc@dcrocker.net> Wed, 29 March 2017 11:51 UTC

Return-Path: <dhc@dcrocker.net>
X-Original-To: ietf@ietfa.amsl.com
Delivered-To: ietf@ietfa.amsl.com
Received: from localhost (localhost [127.0.0.1]) by ietfa.amsl.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id A24381296BC for <ietf@ietfa.amsl.com>; Wed, 29 Mar 2017 04:51:14 -0700 (PDT)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at amsl.com
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -2.001
X-Spam-Level:
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-2.001 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[BAYES_00=-1.9, DKIM_SIGNED=0.1, DKIM_VALID=-0.1, DKIM_VALID_AU=-0.1, RCVD_IN_DNSWL_NONE=-0.0001, SPF_HELO_PASS=-0.001, SPF_PASS=-0.001, URIBL_BLOCKED=0.001] autolearn=ham autolearn_force=no
Authentication-Results: ietfa.amsl.com (amavisd-new); dkim=pass (1024-bit key) header.d=dcrocker.net
Received: from mail.ietf.org ([4.31.198.44]) by localhost (ietfa.amsl.com [127.0.0.1]) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id Bs59mf6g73aP for <ietf@ietfa.amsl.com>; Wed, 29 Mar 2017 04:51:13 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from simon.songbird.com (simon.songbird.com [72.52.113.5]) (using TLSv1.2 with cipher ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384 (256/256 bits)) (No client certificate requested) by ietfa.amsl.com (Postfix) with ESMTPS id 238901294F4 for <ietf@ietf.org>; Wed, 29 Mar 2017 04:51:13 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from [192.168.0.158] (50-232-11-130-static.hfc.comcastbusiness.net [50.232.11.130]) (authenticated bits=0) by simon.songbird.com (8.14.4/8.14.4/Debian-4.1ubuntu1) with ESMTP id v2TBrH03032478 (version=TLSv1/SSLv3 cipher=DHE-RSA-AES128-SHA bits=128 verify=NOT) for <ietf@ietf.org>; Wed, 29 Mar 2017 04:53:17 -0700
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=simple/simple; d=dcrocker.net; s=default; t=1490788398; bh=kOa0I7oB/lGztKL4hgqu34K4OX1bnnx70MKKEiJCzQo=; h=To:From:Subject:Reply-To:Date:From; b=dgRg8/FcW4ltuv3zCBGVc+rsQ7SsVCl5QFXrh5f/rHYZX/Jh06w10YIEHLb6caFqQ NEPecQIJdKwVnNQcGP9fsTS7cP+V5hYANB/MN7KjOydY8WpeExYbt6tl5jgMIZs7aW q4HILcbGP7k7oVnF1NgNggFwHst0fmyzq30nB/Mc=
To: IETF general list <ietf@ietf.org>
From: Dave Crocker <dhc@dcrocker.net>
Subject: Getting the latest version of an RFC specification
Organization: Brandenburg InternetWorking
Reply-To: dcrocker@bbiw.net
Message-ID: <94f81f6a-6a34-6587-a4f7-683586c2f436@dcrocker.net>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 06:51:04 -0500
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.8.0
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Archived-At: <https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/ietf/iFY_SIUPBvSZhOMgSSJwdrP9j6w>
X-BeenThere: ietf@ietf.org
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.22
Precedence: list
List-Id: IETF-Discussion <ietf.ietf.org>
List-Unsubscribe: <https://www.ietf.org/mailman/options/ietf>, <mailto:ietf-request@ietf.org?subject=unsubscribe>
List-Archive: <https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/browse/ietf/>
List-Post: <mailto:ietf@ietf.org>
List-Help: <mailto:ietf-request@ietf.org?subject=help>
List-Subscribe: <https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/ietf>, <mailto:ietf-request@ietf.org?subject=subscribe>
X-List-Received-Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 11:51:15 -0000

G'day.

The RFC labeling model is to assign a unique serial number to a static 
document.  A new version of a spec gets a new serial number. This basic 
model has the benefit of both simplicity and predictability.

To this we've added an overlay model, using Obsoletes/ObsoletedBy. This 
makes it dramatically easier to see that something has been obsoleted 
and to find its replacement.

However the seeing and the finding are an essentially manual process. 
One must go to the online older document, then notice the Obsoleted By 
tag and then click to follow it.

Sometimes it would be helpful for the requester to be able to say 'give 
me the latest' more easily.

So I'm wondering whether the IETF should consider adding a citation 
feature for this.

Something like:

      https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc822/latest

would display the contents of:

      https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5322

by having the fetching system automatically traversing the Obsoleted By 
links in RFC 822 and then RFC 2822.

Some sort of display banner would flag this, to help the user see that 
they are getting a different version than they cited.


Thoughts?

d/
-- 
Dave Crocker
Brandenburg InternetWorking
bbiw.net