Re: Getting the latest version of an RFC specification

Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de> Thu, 30 March 2017 05:39 UTC

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Subject: Re: Getting the latest version of an RFC specification
To: dcrocker@bbiw.net, IETF general list <ietf@ietf.org>
References: <94f81f6a-6a34-6587-a4f7-683586c2f436@dcrocker.net>
From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Message-ID: <14811bee-fd75-8f09-a29d-06cf1e23eb69@gmx.de>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:38:57 +0200
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On 2017-03-29 13:51, Dave Crocker 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.
> ...

FWIW, a related (ans so far unanswered) question is how to present the 
updated/obsoleted information in the new HTML variant of the RFC format.

tools.ietf.org generates as static header block such as:

> [Docs] [txt|pdf] [draft-ietf-http-v...] [Diff1] [Diff2] [Errata]
>
> Obsoleted by: 7230, 7231, 7232, 7233, 7234, 7235          DRAFT STANDARD
> Updated by: 2817, 5785, 6266, 6585                          Errata Exist

-- <https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2616>

rfc2629.xslt inserts similar information dynamically (querying 
tools.org), example:

	<https://greenbytes.de/tech/webdav/rfc2616.html#rfc.status>

(details in 
<https://greenbytes.de/tech/webdav/rfc2629xslt/rfc2629xslt.html#rfc-editor.meta-data>).

Best regards, Julian