Perspective on the Host Requirements RFCs (RFC1127)
Original Publication Date: 1989-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-18
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This RFC is for information only; it does not constitute a standard, draft standard, or proposed standard, and it does not define a protocol.
Network Working Group R. Braden Request for Comments: 1127 ISI October 1989
A Perspective on the Host Requirements RFCs
Status of This Memo
This RFC is for information only; it does not constitute a standard, draft standard, or proposed standard, and it does not define a protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
This RFC contains an informal summary of the discussions and conclusions of the IETF Working Group on Host Requirements while it was preparing the Host Requirements RFCs. This summary has several purposes: (1) to inform the community of host protocol issues that need further work; (2) to preserve some history and context as a starting point for future revision efforts; and (3) to provide some insight into the results of the Host Requirements effort.
A working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has recently completed and published a monumental standards document on software requirements for Internet hosts [RFC-1122, RFC-1123]. This document has been published as two RFC’s: "Requirements for Internet Hosts -- Communication Layers", referred to here as "HR-CL", and "Requirements for Internet Hosts -- Application and Support", referred to here as "HR-AS". Together, we refer to them as the Host Requirements RFCs, or "HR RFCs".
Creation of the Host Requirements document required the dedicated efforts of about 20 Internet experts, with significant contributions from another 20. The Host Requirements working group held 7 formal meetings over the past 20 months, and exchanged about 3 megabytes of electronic mail. The HR RFCs went through approximate 20 distinct drafts.
This group of people struggled with a broad range of issues in host implementations of the Internet protocols, attempting to reconcile theoretical and architectural concerns with the sometimes conflicting imperatives of the real world. The present RFC recaps the results of this struggle, with the issues that were settled and those that remain for future work. This exegesis has several goals:
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RFC 1127 Perspective on Host Requirements October 1989
(1) to give the Internet technical community some insight into the results of the host requirements effort;
(2) to inform the community of areas that need further work; and
(3) to preserve some history and context of the effort as a starting point for a future revision.
1.1 GOALS OF THE HOST REQUIREMENTS RFCs
The basic purpose of the Host Requirements RFCs is to define the requirements for Internet host software. However, the document goes far beyond a simple prescription of requirements, to include:
(a) a bibliography of the documents essential to an implementor;
(b) corrections and updates to the original standards RFC’s;
(c) material to fill gaps in the previous specifications;
(d) limitations on implementation choices, where appropriate;
(e) clarification of important issues and the intent of the protocols; and
(f) documentation of known solutions to recurring problems...