[rfc-i] comment: draft-iab-streams-headers-boilerplates-05.txt

Dave CROCKER dhc2 at dcrocker.net
Fri Jan 16 14:47:08 PST 2009

Thomas Narten wrote:
>> Users of RFCs should be aware that while all Internet standards- related 
>> documents are published as RFCs, not all RFCs are Internet 
>> standards-related documents.
> I.e, one can certainly quibble today as to whether "all Internet 
> standards-related documents are RFCs". There are lots of other SDOs doing 
> things that very much relate to the Internet.
> That said, I am not advocating we go down that rathole, as I don't see a 
> simple fix.

How about:

      Users of RFCs should be aware that while all IETF standards-related
      documents are published as RFCs, not all RFCs are IETF standards.

  But in following this list, there have been many times when I
> think saying "IETF Standard" would have been a lot more precise than 
> "Internet Standard".


>> For other categories  This document is not an Internet Standards Track 
>> specification; <it is published for other purposes>.
> BCPs have always been sort of funny. Are they "Standards" or not?

RFC 2026:

   "Some RFCs standardize the results of community deliberations about
    statements of principle or conclusions about what is the best way to
    perform some operations or IETF process function.  These RFCs form
    the specification has been adopted as a BCP"



    The BCP subseries of the RFC series is designed to be a way to
    standardize practices and the results of community deliberations."
    Historically Internet standards have generally been concerned with
    the technical specifications for hardware and software required for
    computer communication across interconnected networks.
    While these guidelines are generally different in scope and style
    from protocol standards, their establishment needs a similar process
    for consensus building.

on the other hand:

   "Not all specifications of protocols or services for the Internet
    should or will become Internet Standards or BCPs."


   "5.1 BCP Review Process

    Unlike standards-track documents, the mechanisms described in BCPs"

Basically, we seem to make a distinction between "standard" and
"standards-track", with a BCP qualifying as a kind of standard, albeit not one
on the standards-track.  Messy.

Personally, I think it entirely accurate to call BCPs standards, because they
make normative statements and they go through formal IETF approval.  To me, that
combination is the essence of the meaning standard.

The fact that it is a one-step process, rather than multiple steps is important
in terms of bookkeeping but not in terms of a useful public view of IETF work.


   Dave Crocker
   Brandenburg InternetWorking

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