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Clarifying when Standards Track Documents may Refer Normatively to Documents at a Lower Level (RFC3967)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033668D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Dec-22
Document File: 7 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

R. Bush: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

IETF procedures generally require that a standards track RFC may not have a normative reference to another standards track document at a lower maturity level or to a non standards track specification (other than specifications from other standards bodies). For example, a standards track document may not have a normative reference to an informational RFC. Exceptions to this rule are sometimes needed as the IETF uses informational RFCs to describe non-IETF standards or IETF-specific modes of use of such standards. This document clarifies and updates the procedure used in these circumstances.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 23% of the total text.

Network Working Group                                            R. Bush

Request for Comments: 3967                                           IIJ

BCP: 97                                                        T. Narten

Category: Best Current Practice                          IBM Corporation

                                                           December 2004

          Clarifying when Standards Track Documents may Refer

               Normatively to Documents at a Lower Level

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the

   Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for

   improvements.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).

Abstract

   IETF procedures generally require that a standards track RFC may not

   have a normative reference to another standards track document at a

   lower maturity level or to a non standards track specification (other

   than specifications from other standards bodies).  For example, a

   standards track document may not have a normative reference to an

   informational RFC.  Exceptions to this rule are sometimes needed as

   the IETF uses informational RFCs to describe non-IETF standards or

   IETF-specific modes of use of such standards.  This document

   clarifies and updates the procedure used in these circumstances.

1.  Introduction

   The Internet Standards Process [RFC2026] Section 4.2.4 specifies the

   following:

      Standards track specifications normally must not depend on other

      standards track specifications which are at a lower maturity level

      or on non standards track specifications other than referenced

      specifications from other standards bodies.

   One intent is to avoid creating a perception that a standard is more

   mature than it actually is.

Bush & Narten            Best Current Practice                  [Page 1]

RFC 3967            Document Down-Ref Clarifications       December 2004

   It should also be noted that Best Current Practice documents

   [RFC1818] have generally been considered similar to Standards Track

   documents in terms of what they can reference.  For example, a

   normative reference to an Experimental RFC has been considered an

   improper reference per [RFC2026].

1.1.  Normative References

   Within an RFC, references to other documents fall into two general

   categories: "normative" and "informative".  Broadly speaking, a

   normative reference specifies a document that must be read to fully

   understand or implement the subject matter in the new RFC, or whose...