[rfc-i] date-less citations

Carsten Bormann cabo at tzi.org
Sun May 14 14:40:27 PDT 2017

> is there an agreement about how to reference things that have no publiccation date (for whatever reason)?

There are two main reasons:

— the date is not given on the document (because the author didn’t think this was an archival document, forgot to date, …).
- there was no publication date in that sense (e.g., for a web page that is continually being updated)

For the first, I like to have some indication of “no date” (and we can discuss whether “n.d.” is Latin enough here :-).
For the second case, the date-less reference may make most sense:

> xml2rfc doesn't allow skipping <date>, but it does allow leaving out all attributes, and this generates a date-less reference entry.
> However, recently, I have seen many documents saying "n.d.", which I believe originates from the use of kramdown-rfc2629 (abusing the date element, FWIW).

I don’t see n.d. as an abuse at all (RFC 7749, 2.13):

   In the case of bibliographic references, the date information can
   have prose text for the month or year.

The default in kramdown-rfc is “n.d.” if the date: member of the yaml is not given or null.
(This is the default so the proofreader is reminded to do something about missing dates.)
You can set the date explicitly to false to get a date-less reference.
(Kramdown-rfc tries to parse any string given for date: as a date; the hack to suppress this is to put it inside an array.)

Grüße, Carsten

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