Re: [rfc-i] archiving outlinks in RFCs

Ted Hardie <> Fri, 28 April 2023 08:02 UTC

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From: Ted Hardie <>
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2023 09:02:23 +0100
Message-ID: <>
To: Alexis Rossi <>
Cc: Michael Richardson <>,
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Subject: Re: [rfc-i] archiving outlinks in RFCs
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On Thu, Apr 27, 2023 at 9:10 PM Alexis Rossi <> wrote:

> It seems like using the errata system would maybe be a more haphazard
> method of fixing broken links over time, since it relies on humans to
> notice the original link is dead, report that as an errata, and then
> another human to check and approve it. Unless the proposal is to have a bot
> that files errata when links die (and then there’s just one human step to
> approve)?
> Yes, sorry that was clear.  Essentially, the steps I propose:

On RFC publication, archive the outlink.

Run a periodic check on the status of the links in each RFC.

When one is determined to be unavailable, file an erratum mechanically

The community that would normally determine erratum validity examines the
issue and determines the next step, which might be one of:

1) The erratum is approved and lists the archived information as the target
for approval on document update
2) The erratum is approved a different URL is listed as the target for
approval on document update (e.g. the ieee.example/standards/08675
replacing ieee.example/standards/8675
3) The erratum is rejected as the error was transient or will be corrected
by the origin (where these are sibling SDOs, we generally have a way to
reach out to them for this information).

The normal erratum process is then used to provide this information to the
community (either separately or in-line, depending on the method they

The advantage of this approach is that we are using community approved
processes in a pretty easily understood way.  We can also use the same
process when the link is live but something like a paywall has changed the
state of availability.  That's not something we can likely identify
mechanically, but we can re-use this set of steps.

Sorry that this wasn't clearer before.



> On Apr 27, 2023, at 1:40 AM, Ted Hardie <> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 26, 2023 at 6:12 PM Michael Richardson <>
> wrote:
>> Ted Hardie <> wrote:
>>     > I agree with Ekr that this is problematic, but my concern is with
>> external
>>     > links to other standards.  If I replace a link to
>> https://ieee.example/876.1
>>     > to an archive link like
>>     >
>> https://archivesite.example/see?https_ieee_example/876.1_retrieved_the_day_of_publication
>>     > then ieee.example has no chance to use its own redirects or
>> tombstones to
>> It also keeps ieee.example from replacing the link that we were using
>> with a
>> link that goes through a paywall.
>> (Which, btw, DOES HAPPEN regularly)
> I think this would also be grounds for filing an erratum.  But my basic
> point remains that the erratum process triggers the right thing: discussion
> among the folks within the IETF who are responsible for the relevant RFC.
> There are several different "correct" responses depending on the
> circumstances, and they are the right folks to make the decision.  We
> already have a way to indicate that there are errata and/or display them in
> line.  We can use that here, rather than trying to decide in advance.
> regards,
> Ted
>> --
>> Michael Richardson <>   . o O ( IPv6 IøT consulting
>> )
>>            Sandelman Software Works Inc, Ottawa and Worldwide
>> _______________________________________________
> rfc-interest mailing list