[rfc-i] Titles for divided reference sections in non-standards track documents

Barry Leiba barryleiba at computer.org
Sat May 31 15:02:54 PDT 2014

> So, if the text says "...MUST support avian carriers [RFC1149]"
> it's entirely reasonable to expect the references to be
> separated. But if it says "...might be useful to consider
> avian carriers [RFC1149]", not so much.

That's not the sort of thing I was thinking about, though.  I'm
thinking about, say, an Informational document that tells you how to
achieve a certain result with pseudowires when you use the Farble
feature.  Now, you won't get a thing out of this document if you don't
understand pseudowires in general, and the Farble feature in
particular.  At least one base PW RFC is normative here, and the RFC
that describes the Farble feature is as well.

That's the kind of thing I'm talking about, and we do it all the time.
 If we have a problem statement document for xyz, and then we do a
requirements document, the problem statement is probably a normative
reference for the requirements doc, whether or not the requirements
doc has 2119 key words in it.

> But I don't think that legislating for this is going to help,
> since it surely remains a judgment call anyway.

Guidance.  We're talking about guidance here.  No legislation.  We're
talking about making sure that people understand what we want
normative references to mean, and that they think about it when they
separate their references.  We're talking about making sure that
people understand that the fact that a document is Informational
doesn't mean it won't have normative references.  We're talking about
giving people guidance about what to do.  Of course judgment is
involved, as it always should be.


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