[rfc-i] Branding

Paul Hoffman paul.hoffman at vpnc.org
Mon Aug 6 09:52:51 PDT 2012

On Aug 3, 2012, at 11:02 PM, Joe Hildebrand (jhildebr) wrote:

> Note: I'm not saying that IRC is bad here, or that the process was flawed,
> or anything like that.  The question is, to a casual observer, should
> those RFCs look exactly the same (aside from the word "INFORMATIONAL" in
> the title) as a fully consensus-based document?

Just to be clear, there are many ways to cause RFCs to not "look exactly the same" other than using color or shading. In specific, Joe has shown that individual readers should be able to supply their own CSS for HTML-formatted RFCs, so specifying a color or shading for an RFC would be ineffective. A possible standards-level branding might be a header box at the top of the RFC that briefly explains the standards level.

Having said that, the idea of branding by standards level might be useless and/or harmful. In the IETF stream, "experimental" and "standards track" sometimes overlap in reality, regardless of what RFC 2026 says should happen. Instead, branding by stream seems more important, so the reader can quickly determine which documents have had some sort of IETF consensus versus those that are research from the IRTF, statements from the IAB, and "other" from the ISE. If such branding happens, and the IESG wants sub-branding within their series, that should be considered.

--Paul Hoffman

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