[rfc-i] RFC 5000 on Internet Official Protocol Standards

Paul Hoffman paul.hoffman at vpnc.org
Fri May 9 09:24:26 PDT 2008

At 9:09 AM +0200 5/9/08, Frank Ellermann wrote:
>  > URL:        http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc5000.txt

Maybe thanks are not in order. While it's certainly time to update 
STD 1, I can't remember an RFC with as many problems as this one.

- It says that it's Informational, while all previous versions of STD 
1 have been Standards Track. In specific, RFC 5000 obsoletes RFC 
3700. RFC 3700 and its predecessors were on standards track; RFC 5000 
is Informational.  It's hard to see how a document can both be 
Informational and STD. This seems like a glaring error.

- The data is not timely; according to the abstract it's describing 
the situation as of almost three months ago. If the purpose was to 
obsolete RFC 3700, a one-page RFC that just described rfcxx00.html 
would have been much more useful.

- It shows how slowly the RFC publishing process is running. This RFC 
sat in the queue for almost three months, as the first sentence of 
the abstract makes clear.

- The "author" is an organization, not a person, breaking with 
decades of practice. This could lead to companies using only the 
company's name without a responsible individual's name for 
Informational RFCs that describe their protocols; that would be a bad 
change from the current policy.

- On an editorial level, it references RFC 2026 but there is no 
"References" section.

All of these problems (other than the slowness) could have been 
avoided if the authors had published an Internet Draft and asked for 
comments, as is normal for documents that will become RFCs (other 
than April 1 RFCs). I'm sure people on this list would have been 
happy to review the draft and make suggestions.

--Paul Hoffman, Director
--VPN Consortium

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