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

RJ Atkinson rja.lists at gmail.com
Sun Feb 13 14:16:42 PST 2011


Earlier, Brian Carpenter wrote:
> Yes, for drafts that in current development and truly deserve the
> phrase Work in Progress.
> 
> No, for drafts that are long dead or if there is a specific reason
> to cite a specific version. Certainly these are the exception
> rather than the rule.
> 
> Clearly circumstances alter cases - so I think that our first
> recommendation on this:
> 
>> 1.  The RFC Editor should include the exact publication date
>>     in the citation of an Internet-Draft.
> 
> should perhaps become a "may".

Below is some candidate text in 2 chunks, reflecting Brian's observation
that there are 2 possible states for any given I-D (active xor expired):


	1.  The RFC Editor SHOULD include the exact publication date 
	    when an expired Internet-Draft without an active version
	    is cited from an RFC, and MAY include the exact publication 
	    date in other cases when Internet-Draft is cited from an RFC.



> A bit more radically, this suggests that
> 
>> 3.  If further disambiguation is necessary, the RFC Editor should
>>     have the discretion to include the full Internet-Draft file name.
>> 
> 
> would logically become
> 
>     3.  The RFC Editor should have the discretion to include the full
>         Internet-Draft file name, including the version number if
>         disambiguation is necessary.


	3.  The RFC Editor SHOULD include a full Internet-Draft filename
	    when an expired Internet-Draft without an active version
	    is cited from an RFC, and MAY include a full Internet-Draft 
	    filename in other cases when an Internet-Draft is cited 
	    from an RFC.


The wording above might sound slightly odd at first, but is trying 
to be careful about the case where expired I-D draft-some-name-5.txt 
is being cited and draft-some-name-6.txt exists as a then-active I-D.

I'm particularly sensitive about the citations to expired I-Ds because
I have cited several I-Ds in recent years in various publications, 
including peer-reviewed articles.  I've done so partly because I try 
to be quite careful in crediting other folks' ideas (although I gather
such care is not the mainstream fashion in the IETF at present; sigh).  

Each time this has happened, I've received unexpected contacts from readers 
of those peer-reviewed articles asking me where the reader might locate an 
actual copy of the cited, but expired, Internet-Draft so that they could 
read the work being cited.  Dates very much matter in such cases, partly 
for establishing the sequence of ideas, partly to help locate the document.  
Filenames matter because they often (but not always) help in locating a 
copy of the cited I-D.  Versions often also matter, because different versions
happen at different days/times.  Often, one wants to cite the precise
version of an I-D where some specific idea initially appeared in print.  
Lastly, complete citations are customary in the publications world; 
both filename and full date are important parts of having a complete citation.

Cheers,

Ran

  


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