[rfc-i] comment: draft-iab-streams-headers-boilerplates-05.txt

Thomas Narten narten at us.ibm.com
Fri Jan 16 11:44:01 PST 2009


Overall, I can live with this. It has a lot of good improvements over
what we have today.

But, a few observations.

Text like:

>    Users of RFCs should be aware that while all Internet standards-
>    related documents are published as RFCs, not all RFCs are Internet
>    standards-related documents.

The "Internet" has really grown/changed over the years and the general
notion of what is "The Internet" has expanded and gone well beyond the
(now) narrow focus of the IETF. We still seem to think of the Internet
and the IETF as being almost the same thing. I.e, we talk about
"Internet Standards" when we really mean "IETF Approved Internet
Standards".

I.e, one can certainly quibble today as to whether "all Internet
standards-related documents are RFCs". There are lots of other SDOs
doing things that very much relate to the Internet.

That said, I am not advocating we go down that rathole, as I don't see
a simple fix. But in following this list, there have been many times
when I think saying "IETF Standard" would have been a lot more precise
than "Internet Standard".

>    For 'Standards Track' documents:  This is an Internet Standards Track
>       document.
> 
>    For 'Best Current Practices' documents:  This memo documents an
>       Internet Best Current Practice
> 
>    For other categories  This document is not an Internet Standards
>       Track specification; <it is published for other purposes>.

BCPs have always been sort of funny. Are they "Standards" or not? They
are equivalent to Standards in many ways and certainly carry an
equivalent weight in practice (in terms of being a
recommendation). And they sometimes document operational/protocol
practices, that while not protocols in the Standards Track sense, get
pretty close sometimes.

It would be nice if we had a term that covered both BCPs and Standards
Track, so for the "other categories" we could more easily say ".. is
not an Internet Standards Track or BCP specification..."

Or should we just add BCP to that line? I think for completeness, we
should do one or the other.

There are other places where references to "not a candidate for any
level of Internet Standard" presumably also should cover BCPs. The
current wording leaves a gap here, IMO. It might make sense just to
add a sentence in the document saying that when talking about
Standards Track, BCP is also meant to be generally included.

Thomas


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