Re: Getting the latest version of an RFC specification

Yoav Nir <ynir.ietf@gmail.com> Wed, 29 March 2017 12:19 UTC

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From: Yoav Nir <ynir.ietf@gmail.com>
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Subject: Re: Getting the latest version of an RFC specification
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 07:19:41 -0500
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To: dcrocker@bbiw.net
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Hi, Dave

This is definitely doable, although I’d prefer that /latest redirect to the latest rather than display it.

I question how useful it is.  The obsoletes/obsoletedBy relationship is semantically overloaded. Consider the header of RFC 4306:

   Obsoleted by: 5996
   Updated by: 5282
   Request for Comments: 4306
   Obsoletes: 2407, 2408, 2409

RFC 5996 defines IKEv2, same as RFC 4306, but the three RFCs that 4306 obsoletes define the protocol IKEv1, a different protocol.

So what should https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2407/latest <https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2407/latest> return?  2407, because that is the latest RFC defining IKEv1, or 5996 (actually, 7296) because it’s the latest IKE?

The 822 —> 2822 —> 5322 path is one we should follow. I’m not sure the same applies to different versions of a protocol.

Yoav

> On 29 Mar 2017, at 6:51, Dave Crocker <dhc@dcrocker.net> wrote:
> 
> 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
>