[rfc-i] Updating one paragraph of RFC 2026 to reflect current practice

Dave Crocker dhc at dcrocker.net
Fri May 29 12:32:23 PDT 2015

On 5/29/2015 8:07 AM, Julian Reschke wrote:
> There are several orthogonal things to consider:
> 1) Whether the formatted citation should contain the seriesName (as per
> xml2rfc vocab) "Internet-Draft".
> 2) Whether a citation should contain the draft name (incl. "-nn")
> 3) Whether we need an extra indicator such as "work in progress"
> 4) What to link to.
> My 2 cents:
> 1) Let's include "Internet-Draft". (Otherwise, we'll need *yet another*
> special case in our formatting tools for simply no good reason)
> 2) Yes, it should (and it seems we all agree on that as the current
> style guide says that, too)
> 3) My preference would be not to, but if we have to "Working Draft"
> would be better. Many people read "work in progress" as "work
> *currently* in progress", which simply is incorrect.
> 4) I can understand why people would *not* want to link to
> tools.ietf.org. In practice, the full draft name is good enough to find
> the document. Some formatters will automatically link to tools.ietf.org
> no matter what...

I think Julian's list is pretty comprehensive on the topic and his
choices for each are reasonable, although I'm inclined towards some

Work in Progress:

     1.  It might help if we stop talking about 'intent' and stop
factoring in 'permanence'.  The thing being cited exists (at the time of
citation.)  It is being cited. A citation presumes available into some
future.  I suspect what people actually mean, when they refer to a
document as not being permanent or not being intended to be permanent,
is that the document is not yet 'final'.  Temporal qualities are
debatable.  Completeness is not.  No I-D is ever final.  By definition.
 Any published document, like an RFC, is final.  The fact that a final
document might be subject to revision is quite different from the fact
that an I-D is in a context of continuing development, even if that
continuation is not pursued.

     2.  So the label "work in progress" might not be semantically pure
in some cases, but it highlights the context of the I-D series and the
'status' of the document.  As such, I think it marginally helpful to
include that label, even if only as a bit of marketing CYA...


   The premise of including a link is that the citation is to something
in a particular place and/or that the reader won't necessarily know
where to look for the document.  For the more formal publication series,
we assume they know where to look.  For more obscure series, we shouldn't.

   So the choice of whether to include a link for I-D to some degree
depends upon whether we want to assume (or, rather, demand) there is
global knowledge of the the I-D series...


Dave Crocker
Brandenburg InternetWorking

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