[rfc-i] "canonical" URI for RFCs, BCPs

Joe Touch touch at ISI.EDU
Tue Jan 26 13:40:34 PST 2010

So how many of these IDs do we need:


When can we stop? AFAICT, the DOI consortium wants us to use just DOIs,
but then that's *their* business model. ICANN's is that we should just
use DNS names (e.g., in the URL or URN). The US ISBN Agency has their own.

IMO, these are all "OBE" with the advent of search engines. I don't see
a real need for any of them. However, if we're going to provide anything
authoritative, and we *can* give out something that's under our control,
we ought to do so.

FWIW, we can give out a single URL or URN for all RFCs, or one from
which each RFC's URL/URN can be determined, but the same does not appear
as easy (if at all possible) for DOIs.


Henning Schulzrinne wrote:
> Joe,
> I obviously can't prove or disprove your assertion (and neither of us is
> likely to be around to collect on a bet), but I suspect that librarians
> know a thing or two about long-term archival, certainly more than I do.
> Given that IEEE and ACM use the system, among many others scientific
> publishers, I'd guess they'd find somebody to take over doi.org
> <http://doi.org> should the current consortium bite the dust.
> ("Approximately 40 million DOI names have been assigned by DOI
> System Registration Agencies
> <http://www.doi.org/registration_agencies.html> in the US, Australasia,
> and Europe.")
> Henning
> On Jan 26, 2010, at 4:18 PM, Joe Touch wrote:
>> DOIs appear to be just "yet another level of indirection", in much the
>> same way as TinyURLs. I.e., when the DOI website fails, you can't find
>> the info even if the destination site is available. The DOI system
>> doesn't maintain the actual docs, just a pointer. We have
>> rfc-editor.org <http://rfc-editor.org>
>> for that.
>> Why do we need this level of indirection and additional point of failure?
>> AFAICT, the following pattern ought to be the one with the long-term
>> commitment:
>> http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc[0-9]+.txt
>> My money is on rfc-editor.org being around long after doi.org has bitten
>> the dust.
>> Joe
>> Henning Schulzrinne wrote:
>>> DOIs would be nice, given that every other technical paper of
>>> relevance now has one.
>>> On Jan 26, 2010, at 3:29 PM, Julian Reschke wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>> is there a canonical URI for references to RFCs and BCPs?
>>>> I'm well aware of all the various URIs that *work*, but is there one
>>>> for which there is a long-term commitment of stability?
>>>> Best regards, Julian
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