[rfc-i] Enhancement proposal for RFC Errata Search

Alfred Hönes ah at TR-Sys.de
Thu Oct 14 01:38:38 PDT 2010

The RFC Production Center wrote [and according to RFC 5620,
they actually might have been speaking for the RFC Publisher
function jointly contracted to the same party  :-) ] :

> Alfred,
> FYI, the date submitted is a partial match, so some useful ranges are
> possible. For examples:
> For all errata submitted this year, search Date Submitted: 2010.
> For all errata submitted last month, search Date Submitted: 2010-09.

Thanks for these hints!
Indeed, this is a valuable option that I didn't recognize so far.
I tried it, and it works very well.

> Thank you for the detailed suggestions. However, at this time, we
> believe it is a higher priority to improve the search functionality
> of the RFC search engine (http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfcsearch.html).
> The usefulness and the potential audience of an improved/modernized
> RFC search engine seems more beneficial than improving the errata
> search engine.

The RFC repository has a simple structure, is almost static (besides
steady additions in a highly predictable part, by new RFC publications)
and can be easily mirrored.
Thus, many folks do so and perform RFC searches locally (and even
offline), using their preferred tools, not via rfcsearch.html.
The XML form of the RFC index also enables local search by metadata.

In contrast, the Errata information is rather complex and highly
dynamic and it cannot easily be mirrored -- which all makes sense.
Thus, the /info/rfcXXXX pages and the errata.php are the only available
options for locating and searching RFC Errata.

These circumstances make Errata Search an essential tool, whereas some
aspects of "RFC Search++" IMO seem to be more like a "would be nice to
have" feature.  (Of course, some changes perhaps deserve high priority,
for instance providing links to the /info/ pages in the search results
-- as promised in the discussion towards RFC 5741 -- instead of the
'bypassing' direct links to the RFC documents.)

As always, YMMV.

Kind regards,

> Thank you.
> RFC Production Center
> On Fri, Oct 01, 2010 at 09:15:43AM +0200, Alfred Hönes wrote:
>> RFC Errata have become commonplace, and a substantial amount
>> of new Errata reports is filed now continuously.
>> Therefore, it becomes more and more important to be able to look
>> for "recent" Errata reports, for some definition of "recent",
>> in an efficient manner.  Verifiers might also be particularly
>> interested in "old" reports, for some definition of "old".
>> To achieve this end in a flexible manner, I suggest to amend the
>> search options to the RFC Errata Search page,
>>    <http://www.RFC-Editor.ORG/errata_search.php> :
>> o  allow to specify a search interval by Errata ID;
>>    this could be managed by offering "exact match" and "range match"
>>    alternatives, or in an integrated UI offering "from" and "to"
>>    EID fields, with two additional special values for the latter:
>>    "undefined" for implied exact match (i.e. "to" == "from") and
>>    "unlimited" or "infinity" for open-ended search;
>> o  allow to specify a search range by date (with similar details as
>>    above); I'd also suggest to allow the type of date either to be
>>    selected explicitly (date submitted / date of verification action /
>>    date last modified) or -- less preferable and less flexible --
>>    implicitly based on the "Status" selection (Status "All/Any" -->
>>    date search is by submission date, specific Status --> date search
>>    is by date of transition to that state).
>> As before, these new/modified search criteria would be applied in
>> parallel to other criteria specified (AND of all conditions).
>> Kind regards,
>>   Alfred Hönes.
>> --
>> +------------------------+--------------------------------------------+
>> | TR-Sys Alfred Hoenes   |  Alfred Hoenes   Dipl.-Math., Dipl.-Phys.  |
>> | Gerlinger Strasse 12   |  Phone: (+49)7156/9635-0, Fax: -18         |
>> | D-71254  Ditzingen     |  E-Mail:  ah at TR-Sys.de                     |
>> +------------------------+--------------------------------------------+
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