[rfc-i] IETF RFC format <-> W3C pubrules

Martin Rex mrex at sap.com
Thu May 10 07:58:46 PDT 2012

Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
> This is now the second post where you have failed to mention what they
> are or give a justification for continuing to consider them.
> I have invariably found that people who claim that there is a really
> good reason to take a course of action that they refuse to disclose
> despite requests to do so have no real argument to make.
> IETF process is that decisions are made on the Internet and not in
> meetings. If people think those reasons are valid they should write
> 'em up and post here.

You're confusing some things here.  For cross-area topics, the
discussion during plenaries matter *SIGNIFICANTLY* more than discussion
on ietf-discuss or any other IETF discussion list, since they actively
reach a much larger fraction of the active IETF participants.

Example: "The Danvers Doctrine"

For working group session at IETF meeting, gauging consensus of the
room by various means, including show-of-hands or humming is also a
very regular and appropriate IETF process tool.  But the difference
with WGs is, that consensus gauging on IETF meetings will need to
be confirmed on the IETF mailing list.

The huge advantage of RFCs in ASCII is not only that they still work
fine 30 years after publication, but that they also work fine during
EMail discussions (we do not need HTML Email for discussing sections
of the documents), they work fine in the Errata process, and most
importantly, they work fine in the "diff two different versions of
the document", the 2-column side-by-side comparison at tools.ietf.org.

btw. checking frequency of online access to see which format is
more popular gives meaningless results.  During discussions on IETF
mailing lists, I use URLs to the tools-html format, because it
allows to point to sections _and_ alternatively to pages(!), and the
latter is often necessary for long sections or long appendixes.

For reading RFCs, I often use the downloaded, plain ascii version instead.
I have a local mirror of all RFCs and all I-Ds, and I sometimes use
"grep" on it...


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