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

Paul Hoffman paul.hoffman at vpnc.org
Tue Jan 26 19:29:07 PST 2010

At 6:32 PM -0800 1/26/10, Joe Touch wrote:
>Paul Hoffman wrote:
>>>  Canonical URL:
>>>    http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc793.txt
>>> When that policy changes, then it would be useful to provide the URL to
>>> the specific canonical document (.ps, .pdf, .xml, .wahoo, or whatever).
>> This says "because now we have text as the canonical format, we
>> should
>> hard-code that into canonical URLs that will be used in the future". The
>> Web community (that is, not the IETF) have found this type of statement
>> to be short-sighted and, more importantly, unnecessary.
>Our current documents don't cite "documents to be written in the
>future". They cite docs that are already written. Either there are known
>exceptions when the doc is written, or there are not. This is easy to
>determine at publication time.
>The time when this needs to change is when a non-txt RFC is cited. There
>will be plenty of warning for that.

If you really want to be not-forward-looking, that's fine. ("That was the old canonical URI; they have now changed internal formats; I'll change my canonical URI.") People with lots of modern web experience have been there, done that. Folks who have been badly burnt by people not reading technical errata for RFCs (<4753 cough cough>) have been there, done that. The RFC Editor has said they are going to maintain the /info URIs, and I trust them.

--Paul Hoffman, Director
--VPN Consortium

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