[rfc-i] Feeding search engines, was: feedback on draft-iab-styleguide-01

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Tue Mar 25 10:19:12 PDT 2014

On 3/25/14, 8:45 AM, Julian Reschke wrote:
> On 2014-03-24 19:17, Julian Reschke wrote:
>> On 2014-03-24 18:55, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) wrote:
>>> ...
>>>>>>      The following format is required when a reference to an errata
>>>>>> report
>>>>>>      is necessary:
>>>>>>         [ErrNNNN]  RFC Errata, Errata ID NNNN, RFC NNNN,
>>>>>>                    <http:/www.rfc-editor.org>.
>>>>>>         [Err1912]  RFC Errata, Errata ID 1912, RFC 2978,
>>>>>>                    <http://www.rfc-editor.org>.
>>>>>> Big -1. The RFC Editor should provide stable URIs for errata, and
>>>>>> they
>>>>>> should be used in the reference.
>>>>>> Also, the format is very misleading. The erratum is not the RFC, so
>>>>>> this
>>>>>> is a case where the notation deviates from what we use elsewhere.
>>>>>> Can we make it "RFC Erratum RFCXXXX-NNNN", so we can drop the "RFC
>>>>>> NNNN"
>>>>>> entry?
>>>>> The errata system is slated for a pretty extensive overhaul as
>>>>> part of
>>>>> the fallout from the upcoming format changes.  I suggest leaving the
>>>>> Style Guide guidance as is for now, noting that it will change
>>>>> significantly in the next 12-24 months.
>>>> -1. This is new text. Either don't have it at all, or get it right
>>>> now.
>>> I argue that the new text is, while not a complete answer to what we
>>> need to do with errata, is still an improvement over what we have
>>> today.
>> I believe the first point I made needs to be addressed:
>> "Also, the format is very misleading. The erratum is not the RFC, so
>> this is a case where the notation deviates from what we use elsewhere."
>> Also, why can't we define the stable errata URI right now?
>>> ...
>>>> Also, I don't think pointing readers at the info page does them a
>>>> favor right now, as the thing they likely want to see is the actual
>>>> document, not the metadata about it.
>>> Sandy and I talked about this, and felt that the info page was the best
>>> choice for two main reasons:
>>> - in the future, we will have multiple publication formats and people
>>> will need to be sent to a location where they can choose the one they
>>> want
>> People following a link on the web will want to see the HTML version
>> something like 99.9% of the time.
>> That being said, we need to discuss how to reach the goal of having
>> search engines return meaningful results of RFC searches. If we insist
>> on linking only to the metadata, the *actual* spec will not get the
>> ranking it should have.
>> ...
> To illustrate the point:
>   http://bit.ly/1jqVkzz
> ...and now think about why the first ietf.org/rfc-editor.org hit is on
> page 4.
> Best regards, Julian
The whole question of SEO is definitely of interest to me, but I think
it ties more closely to the website work.  I'll be turning more of my
attention to that after I get the Style Guide wrapped up.


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