[rfc-i] FYI sub-series and RFC 1150 - proposal to update

Peter Koch pk at DENIC.DE
Sat Mar 5 04:03:56 PST 2011

Mykyta, all,

> but they seem not to response at any email addresses I found.  So my 
> question is whether updating RFC 1150, FYI 1, to align it with the 
> current practice will make any sense?  Or this work won't be interesting 
> for the community at all?

I'll quote some notes I sent around roughly two years ago when an FYI came
up in our DNSOP WG.  As the excerpt suggests, it's probably more an IETF
than an RFC Editor topic.

FYI1, RFC1150,"F.Y.I. on F.Y.I., Introduction to the F.Y.I. Notes",
describes the purpose, focus, and review process as well as editorial
and formatting details.  Section 9 defines the IETF User Services WG
as the primary review venue.  While distinctions were probably not so
strict back then, this suggests the IETF has the authority (and responsibility)
for the FYI series, which seems to be in line with the latest communication
on the respective roles of the IETF/IAB and the RFC Editor (RFC4844 and
subsequent IAB I-Ds on this topic).

The usvwg was probably closed around 2002, when the user services area
was also closed. There had been an attempt to address some of the
editing and maintenance issues for those documents aimed at end users
in the "weird" working group.  However, my recollection is that this did
not work too well and far due to the special challenges of ongoing web
site maintenance by WG volunteers.  Today's TOOLS and EDU teams are
probably close to what "weird" intended to be, but more successful - and with
a different target audience.

The list of FYIs <http://www.rfc-editor.org/fyi-index.html> currently consists
of 38 documents.  The five most recent additions or edits are:

4949 Internet Security Glossary, Version 2. R. Shirey. August 2007.
     (Format: TXT=867626 bytes) (Obsoletes RFC2828) (Also FYI0036)
     (Status: INFORMATIONAL)

4677 The Tao of IETF - A Novice's Guide to the Internet Engineering
     Task Force. P. Hoffman, S. Harris. September 2006. (Format:
     TXT=127383 bytes) (Obsoletes RFC3160) (Also FYI0017) (Status:

3160 The Tao of IETF - A Novice's Guide to the Internet Engineering
     Task Force. S. Harris. August 2001. (Format: TXT=98411 bytes)
     (Obsoletes RFC1718) (Obsoleted by RFC4677) (Also FYI0017) (Status:

3098 How to Advertise Responsibly Using E-Mail and Newsgroups or - how
     NOT to $$$$$ MAKE ENEMIES FAST! $$$$$. T. Gavin, D. Eastlake 3rd, S.
     Hambridge. April 2001. (Format: TXT=64687 bytes) (Also FYI0038)
     (Status: INFORMATIONAL)

2901 Guide to Administrative Procedures of the Internet
     Infrastructure. Z. Wenzel, J. Klensin, R. Bush, S. Huter. August
     2000. (Format: TXT=63680 bytes) (Also FYI0037) (Status:

The TAO is the most actively and frequently updated document in the series,
but other than that the RFC numbers indicate that little has happened after
the usvwg shutdown. Several topics, though, do either have "natural" homes
in the IETF or at least overlap with active WGs (RFC1713/FYI27 "Tools for
DNS debugging", dnsop, for the former or RFC1355/FYI15 "Privacy and Accuracy
Issues in Network Information Center Databases", crisp/geopriv, for the latter).

I'd like to suggest we initiate an effort to review and investigate the
concept and status of the FYI series and the documents labelled as FYIs
to come up with a recommendation to the community. Some of the questions
to be asked:

o What is the intended target audience and is it still feasible and appropriate
  for the IETF to address this audience?
o Is this audience well served by an RFC subseries or would other publication
  and maintenance methods be more helpful and better received?
o Would ISOC be a better custodian for such documents (either way)?
o Even though the EDU team aims more at intra-IETF education about the IETF's
  processes and procedures, (how) could it be reasonably involved?

Possible outcomes:

1) Do nothing
2) Abandon the FYI subseries completely
3) Review all the FYI documents and revoke FYI numbers if the document has
   no relevance in today's Internet. This might include declaring the RFCs
   and their predecessors as Historic.
4) Review the FYI RFCs, identify those topics still relevant for the IETF
   today.  Identify ways to update these, revoke FYI numbers for the others.
   This would start with an update for FYI1, clarifying target audiences,
   potential topics of interest, drafting and review processes.
5) ... other ...


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