[rfc-i] Categories of references

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Thu Oct 2 02:13:24 PDT 2014

On 2014-10-02 11:06, Carsten Bormann wrote:
> I just reviewed another draft that, once RFC, will have the same I problem I have previously introduced into other RFCs:
> References to documents that are only there for a historical record (or for acknowledgments).
> As in: “This document was motivated by the problem statement in the unimplementable proposal [I-D.bozo-xwg-wrong-approach], but turned everything upside down and made it work."
> Right now, references are either normative or informative.
> Clearly, these historical references are not normative.
> But mixing them into the informative references is confusing:
> As an implementer, I would expect an informative reference to provide additional information about the present specification, not about historical paths not taken.
> (As a generator of specifications, I consider these references to be highly useful, so they should not simply be left out.)
> So how about a tripartition of
> — normative (MUST read to implement this specification)
> — informative (SHOULD read to implement this specification)
> — historical (MAY read to understand historical background; NOT RECOMMENDED to read for implementers)
> (Of course, this can also be done by allowing subdivisions in the informative references.)
> Grüße, Carsten

Moin Carsten.


My preference wold be to just add a third reference subsection (because 
the tools already allow that), and to establish and document a 
convention that "Historical" implies "Informative" with respect to 
maturity checks.

Best regards, Julian

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