Getting the latest version of an RFC specification

Dave Crocker <> Wed, 29 March 2017 11:51 UTC

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To: IETF general list <>
From: Dave Crocker <>
Subject: Getting the latest version of an RFC specification
Organization: Brandenburg InternetWorking
Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 06:51:04 -0500
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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:

would display the contents of:

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.


Dave Crocker
Brandenburg InternetWorking