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

Mykyta Yevstifeyev evnikita2 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 5 04:28:24 PST 2011

05.03.2011 14:03, Peter Koch wrote:
> Mykyta, all,

I personally consider that we should first revise RFC 1150 (if there is 
a necessity of FYI sub series) in order to clarify what organization has 
an authority on FYIs and other issues. This probably should be IETF and 
FYIs should, therefore, be reviewed by IETF and IESG upon publication. 
However neither IAB, EDU, TOOLS teams nor ISOC or other organization 
seems to be an appropriate authority for these documents, because even 
though they are targeted to wide audience, FYIs cover Internet-related 

As for your proposed effort for revising of entire FYI sub-series, I am 
in favor of such idea, because some of them seem to be really out of 
season, such as, eg RFC 1580. However FYI numbers are assigned only once 
and cannot be de-assigned, as I remember. I would also like to propose, 
if such effort is accepted, to set clear guidelines on what should and 
what shouldn't go as FYI document ans establish the longstanding rule: 
FYIs MUST be reviewed by community. That, IMO, will help us create 
really qualitative documents, that would be needed and interesting for 
the community.

Mykyta Yevstifeyev
>> 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 ...
> -Peter

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