[rfc-i] Format for STDs, BCPs, FIYs

SM sm at resistor.net
Sun Aug 19 06:12:33 PDT 2012

At 08:46 18-08-2012, Paul Hoffman wrote:
>The file that describes the BCP or STD, regardless of format, might 
>have another value: to give the history of the grouping. As a 
>specific example, a reference to BCP 9 made in August of 2009 meant 
>"RFC 2026". Two months later, it meant "RFC 2026 and RFC 5657", the 
>latter of which has some valuable changes to the IETF process. This 
>type of history would be valuable to someone who is looking at a 
>reference to BCP 9 from, say, 2005.

What STD gives you is an updated reference to a standard (which may 
be a set of RFCs).  Instead of following the obsolete/update path, 
you only have to specify STD x and leave it to the RFC Editor to keep 
the set of RFCs up to date.  The STD had an interesting 
property.  The underlying specification would not change 
significantly unless the future of the Internet is at 
stake.  Nowadays, STDs are usually decrepit documents as it is 
considered as a burden to maintain specifications.

BCPs are still perceived as valuable as a document that is labelled 
as "Best Common Practice" must be best common practice.  BCPs have 
the property of making referencing easier.

The concatenation of more than on RFC is a lazy way to serve the BCP 
or STD.  It's convenient though as the RFC Editor does not have to 
decide about format and other details.  The document set property can 
be useful from a maintenance and readability perspective.


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