[rfc-i] Comments about draft-flanagan-style-00

Ole Jacobsen ole at cisco.com
Sun Nov 11 13:44:58 PST 2012

A little bit of history might be in order here.

Many years ago it became evident that I-Ds were being used in 
citations (references) in journals such as the one I edit, in spite of 
the "Thou shall not cite I-Ds" edict. Discussion eventually led to 
what I might term a "compromise": You can cite an I-D as long as you 
include the term "work in progress". This does NOT imply that it 
actually IS work in progress, rather it implies that the document 
should not be relied upon to be "official" or "final" or "stable" or 
<insert your favorite term here>.

In a perfect world, searches for draft-idea-while-drunk-xx would
lead you to either "This became RFC nnnn after the author sobered
up and considerably re-wrote the document" or "This document was
considered a wholly bad idea and was abandoned." Either way, the
current mechanism, while not perfect, allows authors to point to
(perhaps) the only writeup of an emerging technology while still
giving us at least SOME hint as to what happened after the fact.

Let me give you an example: While preparing my rather minimalist
4-slide preso from the IETF Trust Chair I was asked to include
the information about the licence in <draft-ietf-codec-opus-16>
Searching for that string leads you directly to the conclusion
that this is now RFC 6716. That's only one example, but my point
is that I think we have (or can develop) tools that are powerful
enough to deal with documents that either advance or expire
without attaching a new label. "Work in progress" may be quaint
or even slightly misleading, but it sort of works.


Ole J. Jacobsen
Editor and Publisher,  The Internet Protocol Journal
Cisco Systems
Tel: +1 408-527-8972   Mobile: +1 415-370-4628
E-mail: ole at cisco.com  URL: http://www.cisco.com/ipj
Skype: organdemo

On Sun, 11 Nov 2012, SM wrote:

> Hi Julian,
> At 12:21 11-11-2012, Julian Reschke wrote:
> >"Expired Draft" would only work for ... expired drafts. Is it worth to
> >introduce that distinction?
> A draft is an incomplete piece of work.  If it is "Work in progress" you are
> saying that the author is working on it and people might expect that the work
> will be published as a RFC in the near future.  if the draft has expired it
> signifies no interest in completing the work.  The point in time where the
> distinction is made is when the document referencing the draft is being
> published.
> Regards,
> -sm 
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