[rfc-i] RFC Style guide

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Sat Jan 29 11:15:11 PST 2011

On 2011-01-30 05:34, Dave CROCKER wrote:
> On 1/29/2011 4:41 AM, Julian Reschke wrote:
>> On 27.01.2011 22:49, Bob Brade wrote:
>>>> It would force the author of the style guide to work within the
>>>> constraints it defines. Aka: "eat your own dogfood".
> ...
>> when I wrote this I wasn't thinking about the current style guide, but
>> a new one
>> that might get written. In the past years, I've seen some IETF
>> material being
>> published as Word, HTML, or PDF only.
> It might help to have a general rule that distinguishes between what
> IETF information is ok to issue only on a web page, versus what
> information needs to be issued as an RFC.
> (I'm not mention I-Ds, because those are only intended as a development
> tool and the point behind the rule I'm suggesting is to guide the
> longer-time choice of publication vehicle.)
> Here's my start at the rule:
>      If something is highly ephemeral or subject to frequent changes, it
> should be issued on a web page.  If something is more stable, and
> especially if it represents IETF "policy", it needs to be published as
> an RFC.

Pragmatically, that appears to be current IETF policy, and the ION
experiment aimed at finding a halfway house between those two models
was declared a failure by the IESG.

We took a conscious decision in the IPR WG to *not* publish the detailed
legal provisions for copyright as a BCP, but to mandate the IETF Trust
to publish them from time to time as they see fit - hence they are
published as http://*.pdf. I guess that we (the IETF) got what we asked for.


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