[rfc-i] Categories of references

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Thu Oct 2 14:24:44 PDT 2014


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On 10/2/14 2:17 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> 
> 
>> 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)
> 
> Overkill. We have too much bureaucracy already. The text you
> supplied makes the status of such a draft 100% clear.
> 
> Historically, the only reason for splitting the references was to 
> semi-automate the detection and avoidance of downrefs to I-Ds
> and/or non-standards. With good metadata we could have avoided even
> that. Unfortunately it's become a sacred cow.
> 

I admit, I've been struggling to figure out how the proposed
"historical reference" is practically any difference from "informative
reference."  Either way, it's something that only provides supporting
material and is not required in any way for implementation or
understanding.  If the IESG approved a draft that had subsections
within the structure of normative/informative references, I wouldn't
kick it back, but I don't see the added value.

- -Heather Flanagan, RSE

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