[rfc-i] RFC citations committee I-D issued

Scott O. Bradner sob at harvard.edu
Fri Feb 11 11:16:46 PST 2011


There is a basic question that I've not seen asked in this discussion:
what is the reason that someone wants to cite an ID in an RFC?

if the reason is to explore the development of a technology (version 2
said this but by version 6 it had changed to ...), then citing the
specific ID by name (including version number) make a lot of sense
because the reference is to the document in which a particular
technology refinement was introduced

if the reason is to say that a particular technical concept was
introduced on a particular date, (a variant on the above) then
citing the specific ID by name make a lot of sense because the
reference is to the document in which the technology was introduced

if the reason is to discuss the technology in an abandoned ID (for
example an ID series that was abandoned by a working group and will
never be published as a RFC) then citing the specific ID by name make a
lot of sense to ensure that the reader gets the same version the RFC is
discussing

but if the purpose is reference a technology under development, for
example as being relevant to your RFC, then citing the specific ID by
name makes no sense since the reference will likely be out of date by
the time the RFC ever gets published

I suggest that the question of allowing ID filenames in RFCs is not a
yes/no question - some logic should be applied as to why the document is
being cited

this is entirely unrelated to the question of whether the IETF should
stop pretending that IDs evaporate at some arbitrary point in time or if
the tools website is stable or not

Scott



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