RFC 8963

Evaluation of a Sample of RFCs Produced in 2018, January 2021

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C. Huitema

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DOI:  10.17487/RFC8963

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This document presents the author's effort to understand the delays involved in publishing an idea in the IETF or through the Independent Stream, from the first individual draft to the publication of the RFC. We analyze a set of randomly chosen RFCs approved in 2018, looking for history and delays. We also use two randomly chosen sets of RFCs published in 2008 and 1998 for comparing delays seen in 2018 to those observed 10 or 20 years ago. The average RFC in the 2018 sample was produced in 3 years and 4 months, of which 2 years and 10 months were spent in the working group, 3 to 4 months for IETF consensus and IESG review, and 3 to 4 months in RFC production. The main variation in RFC production delays comes from the AUTH48 phase.

We also measure the number of citations of the chosen RFC using Semantic Scholar, and compare citation counts with what we know about deployment. We show that citation counts indicate academic interest, but correlate only loosely with deployment or usage of the specifications. Counting web references could complement that.

For the definition of Status, see RFC 2026.

For the definition of Stream, see RFC 8729.