[rfc-i] Proper status for pre-IETF RFCs currently with "unknown"

Joe Touch touch at isi.edu
Sun Nov 6 08:33:05 PST 2011


On Nov 6, 2011, at 8:22 AM, John C Klensin wrote:

> --On Sunday, November 06, 2011 08:09 -0800 Joe Touch
> <touch at isi.edu> wrote:
>>> So I propose that we ask the RFC Editor to create a new
>>> category, called, e.g., "ARPANET".  The list of categories in
>>> RFC 2026 need not be changed (unless the IETF Stream wants to
>>> use it for IETF Stream documents) because, seen as above, the
>>> categories in 2026 are relevant to the IETF Stream.  We then
>>> reclassify all of the ARPANET-period Network Working Group
>>> documents, or at least those that are listed as "UNKNOWN",
>>> into that category.
>> For exactly the reasons *you* state above, this is completely
>> inappropriate.
> If the RFC Editor does it, rather than the IESG/IETF doing it, I
> don't understand why.   Certainly the status of those documents
> is not, in any sense, "unknown".  We know what they are; they
> just don't have any status at all wrt the IETF steam other than
> "not in it".

So your view is that anything can be done as long as the RFC Editor does it? Then why not allow all the goofy renaming that has been proposed? So long as the RFC Editor does it, it's OK, right?

My view is that history shouldn't be rewritten.

> If I understand you, you are suggesting that we call the IETF
> Stream today be separated from the RFC Series entirely?  I think
> the time at which that might have been possible is long gone and
> that it is a far more radical suggestion than classifying a
> bunch of early documents out of "unknown".  

The time to rename or add names to early docs has clearly passed.

I appreciate that how "radical" either suggestion is depends on how many people remain who authored old docs. As those decline, rewriting history will be less radical.

It's still rewriting history. Leave the old docs alone.

The only reason to do this labeling is to avoid "confusion" between a name the IESG didn't earn for itself and one the early RFCs did.

> YMMD, but I don't believe that discussion is even worth having
> today (even though I would prefer it to notions of getting rid
> of the Independent Stream).

I'm saying:

	1- if you want to be called an RFC, then you need to admit
	that you do not control the legacy RFCs, and have no right
	to rename/reclassify them

	2- if you don't like #1, then create your own series (stream
	within RFC if the new stream label is sufficient; if you
	don't want the term "RFC" to be confusing, come up with 
	a new name for a new document series)

Remember, the IENs predate the RFCs. Maybe it's time the IESG considers creating its own doc series whose names/tags it can change with abandon.


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