[rfc-i] citing historic internet drafts

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Sat Nov 1 03:34:37 PDT 2008

RFC Editor wrote:
> Hi Julian,
> We suggest that you include your annotations in the acknowledgments
> section (instead of their presence in the references section, without
> specifying draft strings).  This is much more in line with
> previously published RFCs that want to acknowlege previous works. 

That could work for one of them, but doesn't seem to be the right thing 
for a reference to a Requirements document.

However, I'm concerned with making changes like this in AUTH48 (past 
last call and IESG approval), so, I'd really prefer to publish a new 
draft, get it approved by the community and move on then.

> ...
> We are happy to document a new policy regarding expired
> internet-drafts if one arises from this discussion.  But, unless the
> IAB declares consensus that some other process has been adopted, we
> will continue to follow current procedures.  Again, this decision is
> not one that the RFC Editor can make unilaterally, as it a policy
> change that impacts all future RFCs.  Please note that we are not
> "against" making a change to the policy, but we want to make sure it
> is a change that we can live with for years to come.
> ...

Understood. I really hope that a change *does* happen, though.

> A few comments regarding including URLs to specific documents hosted
> at www.webdav.org...
> - We typically cut links to specific I-Ds from any document; this is
> common practice for the RFC Editor.  This is why it was originally
> deleted from the references section.  We can leave the more
> general link to www.webdav.org if that is your preference.

Linking to a site is not the same thing as linking to a document. Not 
linking to the actual document is a disservice to the reader.

You say "We typically cut links to specific I-Ds from any document; this 
is common practice for the RFC Editor." -- so, in addition to what you 
do "typically", is there some *rule* that requires this? Where?

Earlier on you said that there were concerns about URL stability. 

However, I think you should trust the authors and the community of 
people who reviewed and approved the document on this.

One of the URLs I use has been stable since 2004, the other one since 
2000. It is unlikely that these URL could become unstable as long as 
ownership of www.webdav.org changes; in which case pointing to the site 
won't help as well.

An alternative is to use one level of indirection, such as 
<http://purl.org/NET/webdav/dasl-references/dasl-protocol-00> and 
<http://purl.org/NET/webdav/dasl-references/reqs>. Please let me know 
whether that would be acceptable.

> - Possibly, if URLs of Internet-Drafts were included in RFCs, then
> there should be consensus on what is the "official" archive of I-Ds.
> We imagine it could be tools.ietf.org.  However, while it appears that
> the Tools team permanently archives all I-Ds, (as far as I can
> remember) there has never been a formal decision/announcement that
> I-Ds were going to be permanently archived.

Of course tools.ietf.org would come to mind first. I would support that.

Note that this helps only with one of my two references, as one is to a 
document that was *not* published as Internet Draft.


    [DASLREQ]  Davis, J., Reddy, S., and J. Slein, "Requirements for DAV
               Searching and Locating", February 1999, <http://

               This is an updated version of the Internet Draft
               "draft-ietf-dasl-requirements-00", but obviously never was
               submitted to the IETF.

Speaking of which, why do you apply your I-D citing rule to this 
document when the version being referenced actually was never published 
as Internet Draft?

> ...

Best regards, Julian

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