[rfc-i] Fwd: Re: Old Errata

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Tue Sep 13 19:35:06 PDT 2016

Hi Heather,
On 14/09/2016 07:32, Heather Flanagan wrote:
> Hi Brian,
> In terms of how having unhandled errata reflect on the reputation of the RFC Series, yes, this is an RFC Editor issue. That said, we do not have the necessary information to make the necessary judgements on technical errata. That must come from the authors, the WGs, or the stream approving bodies as appropriate. 

Agreed. It's just that if nobody pushes, nothing will happen.

> The RFC Editor does take responsibility for the editorial errata; that’s a relatively recent change in the last two years or so.
> As for the old Legacy RFCs, those now have pointers to either the specific groups as requested by the IESG or the IESG as a whole on their info pages.

Yes, but I still wonder what prevents a brief Last Call to the community
proposing to change *all* the UNKNOWNs to HISTORIC.

(Also, I doubt if many people will be writing to the IESG about RFC6. :-)


> -Heather
> On September 12, 2016 at 12:58:21 PM, Brian E Carpenter (brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com) wrote:
> So, I don't want to upset the IETF list, but it seems to me that unhandled errata  
> should be primarily an RFC Editor issue, not an IETF issue, even if most of them  
> need to be resolved by the IETF stream.  
> Certainly the backlog is a Bad Thing, but I agree with John's final comment  
> below.  
> (The large number of RFCs in status Unknown is a similar problem to which John's  
> comment also applies.)  
> Brian  
> -------- Forwarded Message --------  
> Subject: Re: Old Errata  
> Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2016 13:35:49 -0400  
> From: John C Klensin <john-ietf at jck.com>  
> To: Loa Andersson <loa at pi.nu>, Yoav Nir <ynir.ietf at gmail.com>, IETF Discussion Mailing List <ietf at ietf.org>  
> --On Monday, September 12, 2016 11:56 +0200 Loa Andersson  
> <loa at pi.nu> wrote:  
>> Yoar,  
>> I looked at this - to see if I missed something - and the  
>> picture that  
>> comes over is  
>> Year number of errata working group  
>> 2005 1 tewg  
>> 2010 5 nsfv4  
>> 2011 1 nsfv4  
>> 2012 1 nsfv4  
>> 2013 11 Legacy (gen), Poisson (gen), krb-wg  
>> (sec),  
>> mext (int), nsfv4, non-wg (sec) x  
>> 2,  
>> keyprov(sec) behave (tsv), non-wg  
>> (gen),  
>> dane (sec)  
>> 2014 35 many wg's  
>> 2015 57 many wg's  
>> 2016 114 many wg's  
>> I think there are one problem here that need to have some type  
>> of management action. The tewg, nsfv4 and of the wg's with  
>> errata from 2013 only dane is still active.  
>> The ADs might have to point to someone to resolve the (oldest)  
>> errata. Or errata that belong to closed wg's.  
> As former co-chair of one of the WGs listed, I don't remember  
> ever having been told about this  
> (https://www.rfc-editor.org/errata_search.php?eid=3752). If I  
> had been, or were able to comment on the erratum now (there does  
> not appear to be any way in the system for me to do that), I  
> would have said that using an erratum to change (not actually  
> correct, because it was correct when the RFC was published) an  
> email address would rank fairly high on the "pointless" scale...  
> at least until we turn RFCs from archival to living documents or  
> invent a magical mechanism that warns anyone opening an RFC that  
> there are relevant errata.... even if the copy of the RFC they  
> open was copied from the archive years ago onto a machine that  
> is not connected to the Internet.  
> Part of the point is that our Status and Type categories are  
> really not up to the job (something that has been discussed  
> extensively in the past with, AFAIK, no resolution). Given the  
> current categories, just leaving some documents in "Reported"  
> forever might be the right disposition. If we are going to use  
> errata to make minor technical changes, then we probably should  
> have a Status of "Sure, but there needs to be another way to  
> notify people about this issue", maybe with an appropriate  
> Action number in that tracker. It is also tempting to suggest  
> that the "Type" for this kind of erratum should be "smells of  
> dead fish": certainly it is not "Editorial" because the RFC was  
> absolutely correct --technically, operationally, and  
> editorially-- when written.  
> Seems to me that just keeping an alias or link until a few years  
> after the relevant RFC becomes obsolete would be a lot less  
> trouble.  
> I doubt this is the only case -- the errata filing system  
> doesn't have a great track record for S/N ratio and I, at least,  
> would much prefer to have ADs paying attention to WGs and  
> processing of current documents rather than studying the errata  
> files looking for loose ends.  
> john  
> .  
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> -- 
> Heather Flanagan
> RFC Series Editor

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