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

RJ Atkinson rja.lists at gmail.com
Sun Feb 13 05:34:44 PST 2011

Earlier, Bob Hinden wrote:
> I note that from a practical sense as long as the reference includes 
> the author and title, it will be easy for someone to find all of the 
> old drafts by entering this information in a search engine.  For example,
> I entered into google:
>   internet draft IPv6 Router Advertisement Options for DNS Configuration  Jeong
> and found links to the old versions (including a link to the tools page 
> with links all of the drafts and the published RFC in this case).
> What every the problem we are solving here, it's not actually
> finding the actual documents.  

The committee considered this very topic at some length, 
and ultimately the consensus disagreed with that conclusion.

While many "modern" Internet-Drafts are indeed easily located,
a number of "ancient" Internet-Drafts are NOT easily located.

Further, many search engines give different search results 
depending upon one's location.  Not all search engines are
available in all countries, yet the Internet is global.

Ancient I-Ds are still likely to be cited (e.g. for patents
seeking prior art, the oldest reference is best; for researchers, 
it is important to give credit to the oldest reference to an idea).

Having the filename, in addition to author(s) and title, 
does make a significant improvement in the ease of locating 
these ancient I-Ds.  It also crisply clarifies which precise
version of the I-D was meant.  Even on a single day, it is not
uncommon to have more than 1 version of a given I-D.  It might
be important to cite a very specific version in at least some
cases (e.g. since text usually varies between versions).

Mind, the limitations of search engines go beyond I-Ds.  IEN-1 
is not trivial to locate if one types "IEN-1" into the search 
engine, or goes to the usual places.  In fact, the IEN-1 document 
does exist online.  Locating it is left as an exercise.[1]



[1] Some hints:  
It is in PDF only, apparently can only be read properly with
Adobe Acrobat not Preview.app, and apparently is missing the
page numbered 9 -- sadly).  

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