[rfc-i] ISBN and DOI

John R Levine johnl at taugh.com
Tue May 29 07:30:03 PDT 2012

> Everyone who has been in this business for more than 5 minutes knows 
> what an RFC is and they're freely available online ...

That's not who DOIs are for.  They're for the other 99% of the world who 
has no idea who the IETF is, but come across a reference to an RFC in a 
document from some other industry.

A year or two ago someone sent a snarky comment to the IETF list about a 
power industry SCADA standard that referred to the TCP RFCs, and said you 
could buy copies from Global Engineering Documents for $45.  Ha, ha, 
aren't they stupid.  No, that just shows our indexing stinks, we're not 
even in the obvious ACM and IEEE indexes, other than a one time dump of 
RFCs into the IEEE index a decade ago.

By the way, if we added DOIs, it wouldn't require inventing new numbers. 
If our DOI prefix were 10.2468, a reasonable DOI for RFC 1234 would be 
10.2468/RFC.1234.  The design is pretty reasonable, the question is 
whether we think it's worth the fees to put all the RFCs into the DOI 
database.  The DOI database is run by CNRI, who old timers should remember 
used to run the IETF secretariat.

John Levine, johnl at taugh.com, Taughannock Networks, Trumansburg NY
"I dropped the toothpaste", said Tom, crestfallenly.

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