[rfc-i] Possible new text re I-Ds [RFC citations committee I-D issued]

RJ Atkinson rja.lists at gmail.com
Sun Feb 13 05:16:07 PST 2011


> How about adding something like this as a new second paragraph of
> section 4:
> 
> 	It is not a matter of RFC Editor policy whether RFCs 
> 	in a particular stream [RFC4844] are allowed to cite 
> 	Internet-Drafts. Each stream should establish its own policy 
> 	and criteria in this regard; for example, it is clear from 
> 	RFC 2026 that IETF standards track documents must not cite 
> 	I-Ds as normative references. In this document, we only
> 	consider the practical issues in the format of such citations, 
> 	not whether they should occur.

I like the idea of adding some explanatory text.  I really don't like 
the idea of this document, which really is merely a committee report
and is not binding upon anyone, talking about specific rules for any 
specific streams.  Frankly those rules or policies are well outside
the charter of the committee, so the report would be best if it
side-stepped those questions and issues.


So, I'd like to suggest a friendly amendment to the above:

	  There are multiple RFC publication streams.[RFC 4844]
	  Different RFC publication streams might have different
	  policies and practices with respect to an RFC citing
	  an Internet-Draft.[RFC 4844]   This document is merely
	  the report of an ad-hoc committee to the RFC Editor.  
	  As such, this document does not create or modify any
	  stream-specific policies or practices about whether or
	  when an RFC might cite an Internet-Draft.  Authors and
	  editors of documents intended for RFC publication should 
	  consult stream-specific authorities to learn the policies 
	  and practices applicable to the various document streams.

	  Some RFC publication streams at present do permit some
	  citations of Internet-Drafts under some circumstances.
	  So this committee could not ignore the question of how an
	  RFC should cite an Internet-Draft.  This committee focused 
	  purely on the practical issues of how an RFC citation of
	  an Internet-Draft should be formatted.


As a matter of scope, I think it desirable for this committee report 
to avoid all reference to RFC-2026 or other stream-specific process/
policy documents (and similarly avoid repeating/summarising any 
stream-specific rules or policies).  

This draft is not an IETF document.  It is not particularly IETF focused.
IRTF RFCs and Individual Submission RFCs at present are allowed to cite 
Internet-Drafts (e.g. to give credit for ideas to the people who originated 
those ideas).  So the committee can't ignore the question of how such
citations ought to be formatted.

However, the committee's recommendations are not binding upon any party, 
not even upon the RFC Editor.   This document is just a committee report 
about how citations should be formatted in the situation(s) where such 
citations are permitted.  It makes recommendations to the RFC Editor,
who might or might not adopt some or all of those recommendations.

> And then in section 6, start by saying something like:
> 
> 	It is a matter of fact that many documents written and published
> 	outside the RFC process cite Internet-Drafts, despite their
> 	ephemeral nature. Without condoning this practice, we offer 
> 	some suggestions as to how such citations should be made.

Again, I'd like to suggest a friendly amendment, trying to move
the text a bit more towards (what I perceive as) the center ground:


	It is a matter of fact that many documents written and published
	outside the RFC process cite Internet-Drafts, despite their
	ephemeral and unpublished nature.  The question of whether
	a particular publisher or publication permits citation of
	Internet-Drafts is outside the scope of this committee.  The
	committee focused purely on the practical issues of how another
	document's citation of an Internet-Draft should be formatted.


(Some minor editing might be necessary to insert the proposed
paragraphs into the existing dcument, but the proposals above
should be sufficient for list review. :-)


Yours,

Ran Atkinson




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