[rfc-i] GitHub references

Jim Schaad ietf at augustcellars.com
Thu Mar 8 14:32:39 PST 2018

> -----Original Message-----
> From: rfc-interest [mailto:rfc-interest-bounces at rfc-editor.org] On Behalf Of
> Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor)
> Sent: Thursday, March 8, 2018 11:59 AM
> To: rfc-interest at rfc-editor.org
> Subject: [rfc-i] GitHub references
> Hello all,
> The RFC Editor is proposing to update the reference format for informative
> references to GitHub repositories (noting that GitHub repositories are not
> currently accepted as normative references).
> Specifically, we propose to standardize on the following:
> 1) No author name(s). A repository may have many contributors, and there is
> no way to easily determine major contributors versus all others.
> 2) The title of the repository will be whatever is in the top left of the main
> repository page.
> 3) The URL will be to the main page of the repository.
> 4) The reference will not include any particular commit hash. It will include
> the date of the last commit at the time the RFC-to-be is edited.
> So:
>    [mpingSource]
>               Fan, X., Mathis, M., and D. Hamon, "Git Repository for
>               mping: An IP Level Performance Diagnostic", Sept 2013,
>               <https://github.com/m-lab/mping>.
>    [mpingSource]
>               "mping", July 2016, <https://github.com/m-lab/mping>.
> Does anyone have any feedback re: the above proposal? This is outside the
> realm of CMOS today, so we're breaking some new ground here.

I have a couple of things that I am trying to think about.  I am not sure that I think that having the github org just in the URL is sufficient.   If I look at one of my repositories, the string at the top left is "Com-AugustCellars/RfcEditor" so at a minimum you may want to expand your definition a bit more.

I think that you might want to have the ability to reference a branch that is not the main branch.  For some cases, esp. if on is referring to an implementation of a specification, it may only be on a single branch and not on the master branch at that point.  I do not have a problem w/ not having the commit hash as long as there is a date because one can do a reconstruction if necessary.


> Thanks!
> Heather Flanagan, RSE
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