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

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Mon Nov 12 01:15:09 PST 2012

On 11/11/12 10:44 PM, Ole Jacobsen wrote:
> 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
> 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
Thanks, Ole.  This is helpful.

Whether we use "working draft" or "work in progress", the goal of having
something there that indicates this is not a stable/finished reference
will be met. 


> 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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