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

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Thu Jan 28 00:22:41 PST 2010

Joe Touch wrote:
> ...
>> That's true, but that's not really relevant.
>> Let's assume for a moment that we'll move to HTML as standard format by
>> April 1, 2010.
> Let's continue that discussion when that happens (or at least when
> that's on the visible horizon, as part of the process to accept a new
> format).

Well, I'd like to have this changed as soon as possible. It's simply a 
bad design style to expose a format name in a URL.

In case you haven't seen that: <http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI>.

> ...
>> What if we decide to serve HTML versions even for earlier RFCs? Maybe
>> based on the TXT version (monospaced font etc...), or even based on the
>> XML2RFC source? Do we still serve that with a .TXT extension then? What
>> about historic RFCs where the canonical version is *not* the TXT
>> version, maybe because they were scanned in?
> The scans are provided only until a .txt is available for existing RFCs,
> ...

So the ASCII versions become the authoritative version, even though they 
might not faithfully reproduce the original document?

>> The media type simply does not *belong* into the URI. Period. And if
>> it's not part of the URI it does not matter when we switch, and to what
>> format. The URI format will always be the same.
> If you would like that to be the case, then the following MUST
> *currently* return the ASCII text:
> 	http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc793
> I don't mind if that's the case, if that's what we want to have happen.
> But that is NOT what happens right now.

Yes. That's what should change.

> Note that ".txt" is the *filename*. It doesn't need to be the format of
> the information therein, FWIW.

That's true. As such ".txt" simply is irrelevant information, and thous 
shouldn't have been in the URL in the first place.

Best regards, Julian

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