Re: BCP97bis

"Murray S. Kucherawy" <> Mon, 18 October 2021 17:30 UTC

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From: "Murray S. Kucherawy" <>
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2021 10:30:10 -0700
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: BCP97bis
To: John C Klensin <>
Cc: "Salz, Rich" <>, Carsten Bormann <>, ietf <>
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On Mon, Oct 18, 2021 at 8:38 AM John C Klensin <> wrote:

> Murray, I think Rich is right.  Maybe it should be different,
> but when I have written, been shepherd for, or otherwise been
> heavily involved with documents that make normative references
> outside the RFC Series in recent years, I think it has been
> unusual if even one IESG member other than the responsible AD
> studied all of the references documents carefully.

It's happened at least twice during my time on the IESG, which led me (or,
I suppose, us, meaning the current IESG) to believe this is a pattern that
might be worth addressing with revised guidance as there currently doesn't
seem to be any.  It's certainly true that this might be unusual overall,
but it has stood out in my own context.

> The solution to the latter type of situation is not to be sure
> free copies of [BigDoc] are available to anyone who might (or
> should) be interested in the hope they will read them, but for
> the IESG to push things more in the direction of RFC 20 and good
> summaries about exactly what the actual requirements are in
> practice.  There are many much more recent examples that have
> done just that.

So then the way to resolve this problem might be to codify exactly the
practice you're proposing: If the primary target document is not freely
available, craft an RFC that captures the important requirements of it so
we can use that as our reference.  That document can then be normative for
our future work on that topic.  It's more work for the IETF, to be sure,
but if we say this is the process then at least working groups will know
what's expected of them as far ahead of time as possible.