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

Joe Touch touch at isi.edu
Fri Feb 11 11:30:13 PST 2011

On 2/11/2011 8:17 AM, Henning Schulzrinne wrote:
> The closest we have for a permanent URL is the DOI system, used by both IEEE and ACM (among others, but they are most relevant). Random example for ACM
> http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/354401.354407

DOIs are useful ONLY where the entity owning the document actually 
updates the DOI when its actual location changes.

DOIs are thus *more fragile* in many cases. They require that BOTH the 
DOI system AND the final URL are correct. They are less fragile only 
when the original document moves AND where the owning entity actively 
updates its location.

My recent experience in updating my pubs list is that I ended up 
removing all DOIs where possible, as a result of their instability.


> On Feb 11, 2011, at 11:14 AM, RJ Atkinson wrote:
>> Earlier, Ted Hardie wrote:
>>> Note that URNs are available for this, so that you can have long term
>>> identifier without reference to who hosts it.  See RFC 2648, which
>>> has
>>> draft-nss = "id:" string
>>> The example the draft gives is:
>>> urn:ietf:id:ietf-urn-ietf-06
>>> Note that this cites a specific version.
>> Sadly, no web browser that I use can locate an ID from
>> a URN alone.  Apparently that is a common circumstance
>> at present.
>> I wish URNs were more widely useful in widely deployed tools,
>> but sadly today they aren't.   I don't object to someone
>> including a URN in a citation.   I also don't think that today
>> (or in the near future) a URN in a citation helps a reader
>> of the citation locate a copy of the cited document.
>> Back to the root issue, whether to include a URL for I-Ds
>> or not, the committee did discuss this.  The challenge in
>> always including them appeared to be the perception that URLs
>> pointing to tools.ietf.org are not "stable enough" [1] combined
>> with the observation that I-D URLs offered at www.ietf.org
>> really do break after 6 months.
>> If either the IETF declared tools.ietf.org to be a "production"
>> "reliable" web server OR the IETF offered "permanent/long-lived"
>> URLs for both current and historical IDs, then one imagines that
>> particular committee recommendation might have been different.
>> Cheers,
>> Ran
>> [1] I consider tools.ietf.org to be well maintained and highly
>>     available, for my own part.
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