Re: Getting the latest version of an RFC specification

Matthew Kerwin <> Wed, 29 March 2017 21:19 UTC

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From: Matthew Kerwin <>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:19:34 +1000
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Subject: Re: Getting the latest version of an RFC specification
To: Dave Crocker <>
Cc: IETF general list <>
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On 29 Mar 2017 21:52, "Dave Crocker" <> wrote:


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

It sounds good, for the most part, as a quick and dirty tool (though a 30x
redirect would probably be better than displaying the ultimate RFC

Out of malign curiosity, what would you expect from:
<> ?