[Docs] [txt|pdf] [Tracker] [WG] [Email] [Diff1] [Diff2] [Nits]

Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 RFC 4228

TOOLS team                                                   A. Rousskov
Internet-Draft                                   The Measurement Factory
Expires: March 28, 2005                               September 27, 2004

             Requirements for IETF Draft Submission Toolset

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is subject to all provisions
   of section 3 of RFC 3667.  By submitting this Internet-Draft, each
   author represents that any applicable patent or other IPR claims of
   which he or she is aware have been or will be disclosed, and any of
   which he or she become aware will be disclosed, in accordance with
   RFC 3668.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

   This Internet-Draft will expire on March 28, 2005.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).


   This document specifies requirements for an IETF toolset facilitating
   Internet-Draft submission, validation, and posting.

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                 [Page 1]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  State of this draft  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  Scope  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   4.  Notation and Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   5.  Status quo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   6.  Overall toolset operation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
   7.  Upload page  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   8.  Check action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     8.1   Preprocessing  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     8.2   Storage  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     8.3   Extraction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     8.4   Validation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
       8.4.1   Absolute requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
       8.4.2   Desireable features  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   9.  Check page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     9.1   External meta-data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   10.   Post Now action  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   11.   Adjust action  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
   12.   Adjust page  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
   13.   Post Manually action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   14.   Receipt page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   15.   Bypassing the toolset  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   16.   E-mail interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   17.   Implementation stages  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
   18.   Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
   19.   IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
   20.   Compliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
   A.  Comparison with current procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
   B.  Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
   C.  Change log . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
       Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
       Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . 25

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                 [Page 2]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

1.  Introduction

   Public Internet-Drafts are primary means of structured communication
   within IETF.  Current Internet-Draft submission and posting
   mechanisms hinder efficient and timely communication while creating
   unnecessary load on the IETF Secretariat.  IETF TOOLs team recommends
   formalization and automation of the current mechanisms.  This
   document contains specific automation requirements.

   IETF Secretariat and many IETF participants have long been proponents
   of automation.  This document attempts to reflect their known needs
   and wishes, as interpreted by the TOOLs team.  [[XXX1: Secretariat
   and participant feedback has not yet been fully relayed to TOOLs
   team.  --Alex]]

2.  State of this draft

   Nothing has been set in stone.  The TOOLs team has not yet reached
   consensus on draft details.  Text marked with "XXX" usually contains
   informal descriptions of known problems the team needs to solve.
   These "XXXs" are uniquely numbered for ease of reference.

   Please provide an early high-level review of this draft.  Is the
   overall scope and functionality of the toolset appropriate? Are there
   any key pieces missing? We need to move fast with these
   recommendations, so please do not delay your comments.

   Please ignore language and style bugs for now, unless you find a bug
   that may result in misinterpretation of the text.

   Please post comments on tools-discuss@ietf.org mailing list or e-mail
   them directly to the author.

   RFC Editor Note: This section is to be removed during the final
   publication of the document.  [[XXX36: This section has been inspired
   by draft-rousskov-newtrk-id-state and related NEWTRK WG discussions.

3.  Scope

   TBD: In scope are interface(s) to submit the draft and requirements
   on submitted draft review, approval/rejection, and posting.
   Definition and sources of draft meta-information (to be used in
   Secretariat databases and elsewhere) are also in scope.  Out of scope
   are things like linking related drafts, draft persistency/archiving,
   or providing a "monitor this draft" service.  If IETF TOOLs team
   defines a general IETF authentication interface, specifics of
   authenticating draft submissions become out of this document scope.

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                 [Page 3]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

4.  Notation and Terminology

   The following terms are to be interpreted according to their
   definitions below.  [[XXX48: delete unused terms, if any.  --Alex]]

   Posted draft: A draft accepted into public IETF draft repository and,
      hence, publicly available on IETF web site.  Posting (a.k.a.,
      publication) of a draft does not imply any IETF or IESG review and

   Submitter: A human or software submitting an Internet-Draft for
      validation or posting.

   Authorized Submitter: Any of the draft authors or editors listed in
      the draft text and any member of IETF Secretariat staff.

   Immediately: without artificial software delays or human interaction.

   The toolset is specified using a set of normative requirements.
   These requirements are English phrases ending with an "(Rnnn)" mark,
   where "nnn" is a unique requirement number.

   This document specifies interface and functionality of the toolset,
   not details of the toolset implementation.  However, implementation
   hints or examples are often useful.  To avoid mixup with toolset
   requirements, such hints and examples are often marked with a "Hint:"
   prefix.  Implementation hints do not carry any normative force, and a
   different implementation may be the best choice.

5.  Status quo

   This section summarizes the process for draft submission and posting
   as it exists at the time of writing.

   To get an Internet-Draft posted on IETF web site, an IETF participant
   e-mails draft text to the IETF Secretariat, along with an informal
   note asking to post the draft.  Secretariat staff reads the note,
   reviews the draft according to a checklist, and then approves or
   rejects the submission.  Draft approval triggers the corresponding
   announcement to be sent to appropriate IETF mailing lists.  Every 4
   hours, approved drafts are automatically copied to the IETF drafts
   repository and become available on IETF web site.

   Collectively, IETF participants submit thousands of Internet-Drafts
   per year (in the year 2000, about three thousand drafts were
   submitted; 2002: 5K; 2004: 7K).  About 30-50% of posted drafts are
   Working Group drafts (among some 2,100 drafts, there were about 380
   new and 290 updated WG drafts posted in 2003).  While no statistics

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                 [Page 4]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

   is available, the vast majority of submitted drafts are approved by
   Secretariat for posting.

   It usually takes the Secretariat a few minutes to review a given
   draft.  However, since the Secretariat staff does not work 24/7, does
   not work in all time zones, and since approved drafts are posted in
   batches every 4 hours, it may take from several hours to a couple of
   days to get a draft posted.  Due to much higher demand and fixed
   processing capacity, postings during the last weeks before IETF
   face-to-face meetings take much longer, creating a long queue of
   unprocessed drafts that are then announced nearly simultaneously.

   To give IETF face-to-face meeting participants time to review
   relevant documents, Secretariat does not accept Internet-Draft
   submissions close to IETF meetings (regardless of whether a draft is
   relevant to the upcoming meeting).

   Many Working Groups have come up with ad hoc solutions to cope with
   posting delays.  For example, many draft subversions are "temporary"
   published on personal web sites or sent (completely or in part) to
   the group list.  Alternative means of publication may effectively
   replace official IETF interfaces, with only a few major draft
   revisions end up being posted on IETF web site.

   Informal interfaces for submitting and posting drafts discourage
   automation.  Lack of submission automation increases Secretariat
   load, complicates automated indexing and cross-referencing of the
   drafts, and, for some authors, leads to stale drafts not being
   updated often enough.

   Beyond a short Secretariat checklist, submitted drafts are not
   checked for compliance with IETF requirements for archival documents,
   and submitters are not notified of any violations.  As a result, IESG
   and RFC Editor may have to spend resources (and delay standard
   approval) resolving violations with draft authors.  Often, these
   violations can be detected automatically and would have been fixed by
   draft authors if authors knew about them before requesting to publish
   the draft as a standard.

   Technically, anybody and anything can submit a draft to the
   Secretariat.  There is no reliable authentication mechanism in place.
   Initial submissions of WG drafts require WG Chair approval, which can
   be faked just like the submission request itself.  No malicious
   impersonations or fake approvals have been reported to date however.

   Lack of authentication is not perceived as a serious problem,
   possibly because serious falsification are likely to be noticed
   before serious damage can be done.  Due to informal and manual nature

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                 [Page 5]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

   of the submission mechanism, its massive automated abuse is unlikely
   to cause anything but a short denial of draft posting service and,
   hence, is probably not worth defending against.  However, future
   automation may result in a different trade off.

6.  Overall toolset operation

   This section provides high-level description for the proposed
   toolset.  The description is meant to show overall operation and
   order; please refer to other sections for details specific to each

   A typical submitter goes through a sequence of 2-4 web pages and
   associated actions.  The number of pages depends on the draft
   validation and meta-data extraction results.  For example, validating
   the draft without posting it requires interacting with two web pages:
   Upload and Check.  The common case of posting a valid draft without
   manual meta-data adjustments takes three web pages (Upload, Check,

   Here is a brief overview of pages and actions:

   Upload page: Interface to copy draft from submitters computer into
      the toolset staging area (Section 7).  Multiple formats are
      accepted.  The draft is sent to the Check action.

   Check action: Stores the draft in the toolset staging area, extracts
      draft meta-data, validates the submission (Section 8).  Produces
      the Check page.

   Check page: Displays draft interpretation and validation results
      (Section 9).  Draft rendering preview may also be given on this
      page.  After reviewing draft interpretation and validation
      results, the submitter has four basic choices (a) auto-post draft
      "as is" now; (b) make manual corrections and submit the draft to
      Secretariat for manual posting later; (c) cancel submission; or
      (d) do nothing.  Automated posting option may not be available for
      drafts that failed validation.

   Automated posting: If submitter decides to proceed with automated
      posting from the Check page, the system authenticates the
      submitter and checks whether the submitter is allowed to post the
      draft.  If submitter is authorized, the draft is immediately
      posted, deleted from the staging area, and the submitter is
      notified of the result via e-mail and Receipt page (Section 10).

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                 [Page 6]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

   Manual adjustment and posting: If submitter decides to adjust
      meta-data, the draft remains in the toolset staging area, and the
      Adjust action (Section 11) presents the submitter with an Adjust
      page (Section 12).  When submitter makes the adjustments and
      proceeds with manual posting, a pointer to the stored draft and
      its adjusted meta-data is sent to the secretariat for manual
      processing (Section 13).  The submitter is notified of the pending
      Secretariat request via e-mail and Receipt page.

   Cancellation: If submitter decides to explicitly cancel the
      submission, the draft is deleted from the toolset staging area and
      an appropriate Receipt page is generated with no further actions.

   Receipt page: Contains details of a successful or failed draft
      submission and informs the submitter of the next appropriate
      step(s) related to submission result.

   The following diagram illustrates basic submission logic:

                        /---> Post Now
   Upload --> Check --+-----> Adjust ---> Send to Secretariat
                        \---> Cancel

   If the submitter does not select any explicit action for 1 hour, then
   the submission is considered abandoned, and all corresponding state
   may be deleted by garbage collection (R66).  The staging area
   maintenance algorithms must be robust in the presence of DoS attacks
   attempting to overwhelm the area with fake submissions in various
   stages (R67).

   The "web pages" this text is referring to are distinct dialogs, that
   may be visible to the submitter under the same or different URL, and
   supported by a single or several CGI scripts (or even applets).

   Hint: Except for the Upload page, pages contain submission session
   identifier to provide actions with access to stored information.  The
   session identifier is invisible to the submitter.

   Hint: A single action may correspond to multiple programs and, vice
   versa, a single CGI program may implement several actions.  Actions
   preserve and exchange state by storing it along with draft.  Grouping
   all submission-specific information in one subdirectory named using
   session identifier may increase robustness and simplify debugging.
   Session creation and destruction can then be logged in a global

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                 [Page 7]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

   Ways to partially or completely bypass the toolset are documented in
   Section 15

   [[XXX4: need to add details on how each action interacts with IETF
   infrastructure --Alex]]

   [[XXX5: add more details about error handling (generation of error
   pages).  Or is it obvious enough? --Alex]]

   [[XXX27: Mention that the system must handle (somehow) multiple
   submitters submitting the same draft.  For example, the state should
   not be per-draft but per-submit-session.  --Alex]]

7.  Upload page

   To upload the draft, the submitter goes to a well-known URL on IETF
   web site (R1).  There, two exclusive options are available.  First,
   the draft text can be uploaded using HTML file input form.  This form
   provides input fields to upload plain text format of the draft (R2)
   and all other formats allowed by IETF draft publication rules (R3).
   At the time of writing, these formats are:  XML (RFC 2629 and
   draft-mrose-writing-rfcs), Postscript, and PDF.  [[XXX55: I see
   nothing in http://www.ietf.org/ietf/1id-guidelines.txt to suggest
   that PDF is acceptable for I-Ds.  It is an option for RFCs I believe,
   but it would be an addition to current documented procedures to
   support PDF format I-Ds.  --Brian E.  Carpenter]]

   Second, the draft text can be cut-and-pasted into the form (R4).
   Only plain text version of the draft can be submitted this way.
   [[XXX7: do we really need this option? Are there any popular browsers
   or web libraries that support POST requests but do not support file
   uploads? --Alex]]

   Submitted forms are handled by the Check action (R5).

   [[XXX8: specify that automated submitters can use a post-if-valid
   hidden form option to bypass explicit confirmation after the
   successful validation step; just like using e-mail interface.

   [[XXX9: specify that automated submitters can use a validate-only
   hidden form option to let validator delete drafts from the staging
   area after validation.  Or should this be a visible option, available
   to human submitter as well? Perhaps as a "Validate Only" button? Or
   should we KISS? --Alex]].

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                 [Page 8]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

8.  Check action

   The Check action preprocesses XML draft source (if any), stores
   submitted draft (all formats) in the staging area, and then extracts
   meta-data and validates each format (R6).  Failure of each operation
   results in action failure, indicated to submitter via a
   non-successful HTTP response status code with a human-friendly
   explanation in the response body (R7).

   The toolset must reject submissions lacking plain text or XML sources
   format (R68).  XML sources are acceptable without plain text only if
   the tool successfully generates plain text version of the draft from
   those XML sources, as a part of the preprocessing step (R69).

   XML source needs to be preprocessed to resolve XML processor
   instructions to include references.  The action needs to store the
   draft so that successfully validated drafts can later be auto-posted
   at submitter request.  The action needs to extract meta-data to
   perform validation and posting.  Drafts need to be validated to catch
   broken submissions and to block automated submissions of malformed
   final draft versions for IETF Last Call and IESG review.

8.1  Preprocessing

   XML source, if any, is preprocessed in an attempt to resolve all
   <rfc? include="..."> XML processor instructions (PIs), using [a copy
   of] Marshall Rose's reference database at xml.resource.org (R8).
   Both pre-processed and post-processed XML sources may be stored
   later.  The pre-processed source with include PIs may be useful to
   the RFC Editor; it must not be made public (R9).  The post-processed
   version without PIs becomes the public XML source of the posted draft
   (R10).  If any of the include PIs cannot be handled, the action fails

   [[XXX46: There is no TOOLs team consensus on whether the toolset
   should store preprocessed XML.  There seems to be consensus that
   publicly available XML sources must not have PIs.  There are at least
   two unaddressed issues here.  First, include PIs seem to be
   undocumented in RFC 2629 and in draft-mrose-writing-rfcs.  Second,
   they are just PIs; can ignoring PIs cause fatal errors in XML world?
   It seems that the current approach with include PIs brings XML
   sources out of XML world into some pre-XML state, where DTD/schema/
   etc.  validation is not applicable.  --Alex]]

   [[XXX47: Does the RFC Editor actually care much about include PIs?
   References (i.e., things those PIs point to) contain all the
   information in the PI and more.  We need to check with the RFC
   Editor.  --Alex]]

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                 [Page 9]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

   When no plain text version of the draft is submitted, but XML sources
   are available, the toolset attempts to generate plain text version
   from submitted XML sources (R70).

   Draft formats other than XML are not preprocessed.

8.2  Storage

   The Check action stores all submitted formats of the draft in a
   staging area dedicated to the Toolset (R12).  If, after garbage
   collection, the staging area is full (i.e., the total used size
   reached configured maximum capacity), the action fails (R13).

8.3  Extraction

   Each stored draft format is interpreted to extract draft meta-data
   (R14).  If a given format is interpreted and meta-data extraction
   fails, the format is not accepted for automated posting (R15).  In
   this case, the submitter can either delete the offending format(s)
   from the submission and auto-post OR proceed along the manual
   submission route so that the Secretariat can verify all formats.

   Section 17 documents non-obvious implementation schedule related to
   the above two requirements.  When only partial support for format
   interpretation is available, only interpreted formats are subject to
   extraction and validation requirements.  In other words, if the
   toolset does not yet support interpretation of a given format, then
   the corresponding information is stored and made available "as is",
   regardless of the actual content.

   The draft interpreter extracts the following meta-data from each
   draft format (R16).

   identifier: Also known as draft "filename".  For example,

   revision: A non-negative integer also known as draft version.  For
      example, 13 in draft-ietf-tools-draft-submission-13.

   name: Common part of all draft identifiers for all revisions of the
      same draft.  For example, draft-ietf-tools-draft-submission in

   WG ID: IETF working group identifier.  WG value is empty for
      individual drafts not meant to be related to a known WG and for
      non-IETF drafts.  For example, "tools" in
      "draft-ietf-tools-draft-submission-13" and "opes" in
      "draft-rousskov-opes-ocp-00".  [[XXX42: Is it possible that an

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 10]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

      individual draft without a WG name component in its name is
      adopted as a WG draft without changing draft name? See also "WG
      flag" concerns.  --Alex]]

   WG flag: True for IETF WG drafts and false for all other drafts.  For
      example, "true" for "draft-ietf-tools-draft-submission-13".
      [[XXX40: Currently, there is no reliable way to extract WG ID from
      the draft, because some WGs (e.g., OSPF) tell the Secretariat that
      a draft-surname-wg-foo-05 draft is actually a WG document.  I
      would encourage a policy change to require this-is-a-WG-draft
      information to be embedded in WG drafts.  --Pekka Savola]][[XXX41:
      A simple policy would be the best, but, in theory, the toolset can
      also consult some IETF database to see if a
      draft-surname-wg-foo-05 draft is actually a WG draft.
      --Alex]][[XXX56: The tool should *only* recognize as WG drafts
      those that follow the draf-ietf-wgname-* convention - don't add
      complexity.  But if a WG chooses to "cheat" by not renaming a
      draft, that is their right and their problem - it's simply out of
      band as far as the tool is concerned.  No policy change is needed,
      and the WG will suffer from any resulting confusion.  Their
      problem, not ours.  --Brian E.  Carpenter]]

   title: A human-friendly draft title.  For example, the title of this
      draft is "Requirements for IETF Draft Submission Toolset"

   authors: A list of all draft authors.  For each author, their first
      name, last name, and e-mail are extracted.  [[XXX53: What if
      e-mail is not available? Should auto-posting be allowed for drafts
      without author e-mails? Even though this will make it easier to
      post drafts without co-author knowledge/consent? --Alex]]

   abstract: Draft abstract text.

   submission date: Draft submission date.

   expiration date: Draft expiration date.

   [[XXX11: number of pages and size would depend on format version;
   they probably should not (do not need to) be specified manually; do
   we need to extract them at this stage? --Alex]]

8.4  Validation

   IETF standards have to follow a set of syntax and semantics
   requirements [[XXX12: provide references to the nits document and IP
   policies --Alex]].  Most of those requirements are not enforced for
   Internet-Drafts.  However, following them may improve draft quality,
   reduce IESG load, and increase the chances of the draft being

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 11]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

   approved as an RFC.

   When validating a given draft, it is important to distinguish between
   absolute requirements and desirable draft properties.  Both
   categories are checked for, but violations have different effects
   depending on the category.  The two categories are detailed in the
   following subsections.

8.4.1  Absolute requirements

   Violating any of these requirements would prevent a draft to be
   automatically posted (R17).  The offending draft would have to be
   fixed or submitted for manual posting, with an explanation why the
   absolute requirements need to be violated (or why Validator
   mis-detected violations).  These explanations may speedup Secretariat
   posting decision and may help help Secretariat to improve draft
   submission toolset.

   1.  All available meta-data entries must match across all submitted
       draft formats (R18).  For example, if the interpreter managed to
       extract draft title from plain text and PDF version, both titles
       must match.  This requirement prevents accidental submission of
       mismatching formats.

   2.  A draft must be submitted by an authorized submitter (R19).
       [[XXX13: move this lower, we do not know the submitter at this
       stage --Alex]][[XXX14: Don't forget the co-author, changed
       editor, and drafts being posted anonymously (secretariat needs to
       know who submitter is, but name doesn't necessarily appear on
       draft) --Harald]]

   3.  A Working Group draft must be approved as a WG draft by the
       corresponding Working Group (R20).  This approval is usually
       relayed before or after the submission of the -00 version of the
       draft, by a Chair or Secretary of the corresponding WG.  [[XXX58:
       Document what the toolset must do if no approval exists at the
       time of the submission.  --Alex]]

   4.  Current draft state must allow new revisions to be posted (R21).
       [[XXX15: document IESG review states when new revisions are
       allowed.  Secretariat, Harald, and Pekka opinions seem to differ
       here.  Secretariat: No revisions are allowed in any state except
       for "I-D exists", "AD watching", or an explicit IESG request for
       a new revision.  Harald:  no revisions once submitted for
       publication.  Pekka: In practice, revisions are allowed in any
       state; don't try to solve a process knowledge problem (the I-D
       author should not submit new versions) using a technical means.
       Need further clarification.  If no clarification, always allow

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 12]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

       until approved, but issue a warning when draft is under IESG
       control.  --Alex]].

   5.  Correct draft ID (including correct revision number with respect
       to already published revisions, if any) must appear in the draft
       text (R22).

   6.  An IETF IPR statement must appear in the draft text (R23).
       [[XXX16: add the applicable parts of RFC 2026, 3667 and 3668 -
       this is mostly a matter of checking the presence of boilerplate
       text.  --Henrik]][[XXX57: Do you mean that the I-D boilerplate
       must be present, or that the entire IPR and Copyright text must
       be present, or both? --Brian E.  Carpenter]]

8.4.2  Desireable features

   Violating any of the following requirements does not prevent the
   submitter to auto-post the draft (R24).

   TBD: list testable nits here or refer to the nits document.  Henrik's
   idnits tool is a starting point:

   [[XXX33: What to do when two versions are submitted with a
   suspiciously small gap? How small should the gap be to warrant
   warnings/actions? --Stanislav]][[XXX59: to prevent both DOS attacks
   and human error, anything less than 48 hours should be kicked over
   for manual handling.  --Brian E.  Carpenter]]

9.  Check page

   The Check page, created by the Check action displays extracted draft
   meta-data and validation results (R25).  The purpose of the page is
   to allow the submitter to verify whether stored draft and
   automatically extracted meta-data match submitter's intent and to be
   informed of validation problems.

   Extracted meta-data items that were not successfully extracted or
   that failed validation checks must be marked specially (rather than
   silently omitted) (R26).  Validation messages include both errors and
   warnings.  Each validation message should refer to normative
   document(s) containing corresponding validation rules (R27).

   The submitter can also enter external meta-data (Section 9.1), which
   is required for automated posting of the draft (R28).  If validation
   was successful, an "automatically post the draft now" button is
   provided (R29).  Regardless of validation results, "adjust and post

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 13]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

   manually" and "cancel" buttons are provided (R30).

   Finally, a preview of the draft is provided (R31).  [[XXX19: should
   the entire draft be rendered, especially when submission does not
   include plain text format? --Alex]]

   [[XXX34: Report the time of the last update.  Especially useful when
   multiple authors might update.  --Stanislav]]

   [[XXX35: How about providing a link to generate a nice diff against
   the last posted version?.  --Alex]]

9.1  External meta-data

   The Check page solicits the following meta-data from the submitter.
   This information must be supplied by submitter because it cannot be
   extracted from the draft:

      Which author is the submitter? (R32) [[XXX30: with the exception
      for Secretariat manual submission? No.  Secretariat submits on
      behalf of one of the authors.  --Alex]][[XXX31: Are there any
      situations when a draft is submitted by somebody other than author
      and not on explicit authors behalf? What happens to IPR "by
      submitting this draft the authors ..." statement then? --Alex]];

      List of drafts obsoleted by this draft (R33).  This is useful to
      make obsoleted drafts invisible.  [[XXX43: Can non -00 draft
      obsolete other drafts? Or is this reserved for -00 versions for
      some reason? Is this reserved for WG drafts only? --Alex]].
      [[XXX44: This may open a bigger can of worms than we want to deal
      with, as it allows anybody to "kill" any other draft.  The toolset
      would probably need a manual check by Secretariat and/or approvals
      from both(?) WG Chairs.  A lot of work for something relatively
      rare? --Alex]][[XXX60: This is too complex and would be a luxury
      in Version 1.  Maybe for Version 2.  --Brian E.  Carpenter]]

      E-mail address for discussion of this draft (R71).  Hint: The
      toolset can suggest WG mailing list address for WG drafts,
      [submitting] author address for individual drafts, or even the
      first e-mail address in draft text.  This information is optional.

10.  Post Now action

   The Post Now action checks that the draft has been successfully
   validated (R34), validates external meta-data (including submitter
   e-mail) (R35), and posts the draft (R36).  Submitter is notified of
   the action progress and final result (R37).

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 14]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

   External data contains submitter e-mail address.  As a part of the
   validation procedure, the Post Now action checks that the submitter
   has access to e-mail sent to that address (R38).  If access rights
   are not confirmed, the submission eventually and silently times out

   Hint: To check submitter's access to e-mail the tool can e-mail a
   hard-to-guess cookie or token to the submitter's address.  The
   submitter is then requested to go to the token-holding URL in order
   to continue with the submission.

   [[XXX2: should the posting program inform all authors that their
   draft is being posted (since the draft says they all made an IPR
   statement)? Default answer: yes.  Obtaining consent from all authors
   seems impractical.  --Alex]][[XXX26: responding to e-mail should also
   be supported (as an alternative to going back to cut-and-paste the
   URL with a token) --Alex]]

   If draft posting is successful, toolset state information may be
   deleted from the toolset storage area [[XXX21: on-demand garbage
   collection may be better from debugging point of view; what may seem
   like a successful post may not be that successful --Alex]].

11.  Adjust action

   The Adjust action generates the Adjust page (R40), populating it with
   available extracted meta-data and external meta-data as well as
   validation results and preview.  Some or all of the information may
   be missing, depending on draft interpretation and rendering success.

12.  Adjust page

   The Adjust page includes the same information as the Check page, but
   allows the submitter to adjust all extracted draft meta-data (and,
   naturally, external meta-data) at will (R41).  Such adjustment is
   necessary when automated extraction failed to extract [correct]
   information.  To avoid mismatch between draft and its meta-data,
   adjusted drafts cannot be automatically posted and require manual
   validation by Secretariat (R42).  Secretariat staff can post drafts
   with adjusted meta-data as described in Section 15.

   The Adjust page allows the submitter to enter an informal comment
   explaining why adjustments are necessary and automated posting mode
   cannot be used (R48).

   The "post manually" and "cancel" buttons are provided (R43).  The
   former is backed by the "Post Manually" action (Section 13).

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 15]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

13.  Post Manually action

   The Post Manually action sends adjusted meta-data and draft pointer
   to the Secretariat for manual validation and posting (R44).  A
   receipt page is generated instruction the submitter to wait (R45).
   Secretariat will notify the submitter once the draft is posted or
   rejected.  This notification is sent by the toolset if Secretariat is
   using the toolset to post the draft (R46).

14.  Receipt page

   The Receipt page is generated by various actions to inform the
   submitter of current submission status and further actions.  The
   contents of the page is likely to be highly dependent on the action
   and state for which receipt is being generated.  This section
   documents general requirements applicable to all actions and states.

   The Receipt page should give the submitter a URI or another
   identifier that can be used by Secretariat for manual troubleshooting
   of the submission (R63).  The identifier should be perpetual (R64)
   even though the associated details are likely to be eventually lost
   (e.g., draft submission data and logs are deleted from the staging
   area as a part of the garbage collection routine).

   The Receipt page should give the submitter a Secretariat
   point-of-contact to report submission problems (R65).

15.  Bypassing the toolset

   A buggy toolset or unusual circumstances may force a submitter to
   submit draft to Secretariat for manual processing.  This can be done
   by choosing the "manual posting" route supported by the toolset (R47)
   or, as a last resort, by e-mailing the draft directly to Secretariat.
   In either case, an informal "cover letter" has to accompany the
   draft.  The letter should explain why the automated interface cannot
   be used.

   When processing manual submissions, the Secretariat may be able to
   use the toolset (R49).  A Manual Check page similar to the default
   Check page provides authenticated Secretariat staff with editable
   meta-data fields and a "force posting" action (R50).  The forced
   posting action accepts meta-data fields "as is" and proceeds with the
   regular posting algorithm (R51) [[XXX22: Should we document the
   details even though this page is for internal Secretariat use?
   --Alex]][[XXX61: Yes.  There is no reason for it to be secret.
   --Brian E.  Carpenter]]

   [[XXX23: Should forced posting script obtain authors consent or do we

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 16]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

   want to be able to bypass that as well? --Alex]][[XXX62: I think we
   need the flexibility - situations can arise where an author is on
   sabbatical or medical leave or otherwise unavailable for a long
   period.  --Brian E.  Carpenter]]

   Using manual processing may result in significant posting delays.
   Generated submission receipts or notifications ought to give the
   submitter an expected processing time estimate (R53).

   The intent of this mode is to provide a way for submitters to bypass
   bugs or limitations of automated mechanisms in order to post an
   "unusual" draft or to post a draft under "unusual" circumstances.
   One example would be a draft that does not contain standard IETF
   boilerplate but has a special IESG permission to post the draft with
   the experimental boilerplate.  Another example is a draft that fails
   automated validation tests due to a validator bug.

   The bypass mode is also likely to be used (effectively) by the
   majority of submitters during the Beta stage of the toolset
   implementation, when few submitters will know about (or be allowed to
   use) the toolset.

   [[XXX24: mention that sometimes submitter is not the author or chair
   so default authentication may not work -- unless we provide an
   interface to authorize "other" submitters? --Alex]]

16.  E-mail interface

   The toolset should have e-mail interface for automated posting of
   valid drafts (R55).  While virtually every documented toolset
   functionality can, technically, be implemented behind an e-mail
   interface, features other than posting of valid drafts are believed
   to be prohibitively awkward to implement or use via e-mail.

   E-mail interface accepts a draft as a set of e-mail attachment(s)
   (one per draft format) (R56), uses sender's e-mail address to select
   submitters identity (R57), checks the submission as if the draft was
   submitted via the web interface (R58), and posts the draft if the
   check is successful (R59).  The submitter should be notified of the
   outcome of the draft submission via e-mail (R60).  Notification
   includes detected errors and warnings (if any) (R61).

   Toolset actions should be implemented to support e-mail and web
   interfaces without code duplication.

   [[XXX54: What about external meta-data other than submitter's e-mail?
   Check that no required meta-data input is missing in the e-mail
   interface.  --Alex]]

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 17]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

   [[XXX37: If there is only one draft format, can e-mail body be used
   for submission? --Alex]]

   [[XXX38: To easily filter out spam and reduce human errors, should we
   require a special keyword in the subject or body of the submission
   e-mail? For example, we can require and check that the subject starts
   with "Please post" --Alex]]

   While both web and e-mail interfaces allow for fast posting of valid
   drafts, there are significant differences between the two interfaces.
   Primary advantages of e-mail interface are:

   off-line mode: A submitter can do all the manual work required to
      submit a draft while being disconnected from the network.  E-mail
      client actually submits the draft when connectivity is regained.
      [[XXX39: This advantage would be significantly reduced if we
      require submitter e-mail verification for each draft submission.
      Such verification would mean that valid drafts cannot be posted
      automatically when connectivity is regained -- sending an e-mail
      just starts the process.  --Alex]][[XXX63: Nevertheless, I think
      the verification emails are required - otherwise we are very
      exposed to bogons.  --Brian E.  Carpenter]]

   poor connectivity: E-mail systems are often better suited for
      automated transmission and re-transmission of e-mails when network
      connectivity is poor due to high packet loss ratios, transmission
      delays, and other problems.

   convenience: Some IETFers consider e-mail interfaces as generally
      "more convenient".

   Primary advantages of web interface are:

   confirmation: A submitter is given a chance to verify that automated
      extraction of meta-data produced reasonable results.  Other useful
      confirmations are possible (e.g., "Are you sure you want to post a
      revision of the draft that was updated 30 seconds ago by your

   validation: A submitter can validate the draft without posting it.

   quality: Non-critical warnings may prompt the submitter to postpone
      posting to improve draft quality.

   manual adjustments: The submitter can adjust extracted meta-data and
      ease Secretariat work on manually posting an unusual draft.

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 18]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

   context help: Web interface makes it easy to provide links to extra
      information about input fields, errors, posting options,
      deadlines, etc.

   convenience: Some IETFers consider web interfaces as generally "more

17.  Implementation stages

   This section defines implementation schedule for documented toolset
   requirements.  The schedule is divided into three consecutive phases.
   Requirements listed in later stages may be covered in earlier stages,
   but do not have to be.

   Beta Stage: Initial basic implementation to test major concepts and
      relieve the Secretariat from handling the most common submission
      case.  This stage should take about [[XXX49: 30? --Alex]] calendar
      days to implement.

      1.  R14 and R15 for plain text format.  Other formats are accepted
          but may not be interpreted.

      2.  R69, R70, and related requirements can be ignored, in which
          case plain text version is always required.

   Production Stage: Support for all major features.  Once this stage is
      completed, the Secretariat should only handle unusual draft
      submissions.  This stage should take about [[XXX52: 90? --Alex]]
      calendar days to implement.

      1.  R14 and R15 for plain text and XML formats.  Other formats are
          accepted but may not be interpreted.

      2.  R69, R70.

      3.  R71

   Enhancement Stage: A never-ending stage focusing on sophisticated
      features that improve draft interpretation and validation.

      1.  R14 and R15 for all formats.

   [[XXX50: Is it appropriate for us to specify stage deadlines for the
   first two stages? Should IESG do that instead? Would be nice to have
   at least a rough number to illustrate the relative duration of stages
   though.  --Alex]]

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 19]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

   Implementation experience is likely to result in changes of the
   toolset requirements.  Such changes should be documented as a part of
   stage evaluation activities.

18.  Security Considerations

   Some.  TBD: Talk about why authentication and anti-DoS measures
   become important once things become automated.  When everybody is
   using an informal e-mail interface, an automated attack will last
   only until the interface is changed.  The informal interface can be
   changed very quickly.  Only the attacker would be suffering from the
   change, since others do not automate and, hence, are flexible.  Once
   things are automated and interfaces are documented, substantially
   changing an interface would require rewriting many software agents
   that use current interfaces.

   [[XXX25: do we need an explicit IESG approval to require
   stronger-then-current submitter authentication? --Alex]]

19.  IANA Considerations


20.  Compliance

   TBD: What does it mean to be compliant with (to satisfy) our
   requirements? The definition must be usable in the context of IESG
   evaluation of Secretariat work on implementing the proposed toolset.

Appendix A.  Comparison with current procedures

   TBD: This section summarizes major differences between draft
   submission approach currently in use by IETF and the proposed
   toolset, including violations of the current IETF rules.

   o  The toolset allows posting of XML and PDF draft formats.
      Currently, the Secretariat accepts plain text, Postscript, and PDF
      formats (note that XXX55 questions IETF documentation regarding
      PDF acceptability).

   o  TBD

Appendix B.  Acknowledgments

   The author gratefully acknowledges the contributions of Harald Tveit
   Alvestrand (Cisco), Brian E.  Carpenter (IBM), Barbara B.  Fuller
   (Foretec), Henrik Levkowetz, Larry Masinter (Adobe), Pekka Savola

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 20]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

   (Netcore), and Stanislav Shalunov (Internet2).

   Special thanks to Marshall Rose for his xml2rfc tool.

Appendix C.  Change log

   RFC Editor Note: This section is to be removed during the final
   publication of the document.

   Internal WG revision control ID: $Id: id.xml,v 1.14 2004/09/28
   06:10:33 rousskov Exp $


      *  Marked formal toolset requirements using a Rnnn notation to (a)
         document implementation schedule, and (b) make compliant
         implementation and compliance evaluation easier.

      *  Marked informal implementation hints with a "Hint:" tag, to
         avoid possible confusion with formal requirements.

      *  Started documenting implementation schedule.  For example, only
         plain text formats are interpreted during the first stage, then
         XML support is added, then other formats.  Meanwhile,
         un-interpreted formats are accepted and posted as is as long as
         plain text version validates.

      *  Added explicit requirements for managing abandoned submissions
         (Brian E.  Carpenter)

      *  Plain text or XML formats are always required (Brian E.

      *  Added XXX55: Accepting PDFs is a change of current documented
         procedures? (Brian E.  Carpenter)

      *  Added an optional "discussion address" to the external
         meta-data to help reviewers know where to send comments
         (inspired by Brian E.  Carpenter suggestion; Brian wanted this
         to be a required extractable meta-data)

      *  Resolved XXX17, XXX28, and XXX29: Today, -00 WG drafts are
         approved by the Chair either before and after submission,
         depending on several factors.  Based on WG chairs feedback we
         still need to support both modes.  Thus, there is no policy
         change to talk about (and more work for the tool implementors
         to support both modes).  Still need to add specific toolset
         requirements in case there is no approval recorded.

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 21]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

      *  Resolved XXX18, XXX32, and XXX45: We are going to move "request
         for publication" functionality to a separate [simple] tool that
         works with an existing/posted draft.

      *  Resolved XXX6: We are going to move the "withdraw this ID"
         functionality desired by Secretariat to a separate [simple]
         tool that works with an existing/posted draft.

      *  Added a "comment" field to the Adjust page so that the
         submitter can tell Secretariat why manual action is necessary.
         This may both save time Secretariat and let them improve the
         toolset to minimize manual submissions (including fixing
         validation/extraction bugs).

      *  Added the Receipt page to the list of documented pages, for

      *  Emphasized that common sequence of pages to go through is as
         short as possible for a given set of features, and that "page"
         means "distinct dialog", not necessarily a "distinct URL".
         Some reviewers thought "there are too many pages".


      *  Added "E-mail Interface" section to document how key toolset
         functionality can be accessed via e-mail.  Compared e-mail and
         web interfaces.  (Suggested by Pekka Savola)

      *  Split "WG ID" meta-data into "WG ID" and "WG Flag".  The former
         seems to be easy to extract from the draft name.  Noted that
         the latter (i.e., "this is a working group draft" status)
         cannot be inferred from some WG drafts (Pekka Savola).

      *  Added "List of drafts obsoleted by this draft" external
         meta-data item (Pekka Savola), but questioned whether we are
         ready to automate that.

      *  Added more conflicting opinions to XXX15 and proposed a

      *  Added "Preprocessing" subsection to reflect the discussion on
         how/whether handle include PIs in XML draft sources.  Needs
         more discussion/work.

      *  Further clarified how an author can request the draft revision
         to be published (i.e., forwarded to IESG or RFC Editor for
         review and publication as an RFC or BCP).  It's just a checkbox
         on the web interface.  Raised doubts we can pull this off (see

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 22]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004


      *  Suggested in XXX2 that we would inform all authors but not seek
         their consent (except for the submitter) when posting their


      *  Polished high-level page/action summary and replaced text-based
         steps diagram with something that looks more like a diagram.

      *  Added "Comparison with current procedures" section placeholder
         for summarizing what this draft improves/changes/violates.

      *  Frequent draft updates is not always a good thing (Henrik

      *  Added ideas regarding frequent draft updates warnings
         (Stanislav Shalunov)

      *  Added "State of this draft" section to encourage review.


      *  Documented all major toolset pages and corresponding actions.


      *  Deleted all primary modes except for what used to be called
         "Posting Automation".  Focus on the latter and mention other
         modes as exceptions or side-effects.

      *  Changed draft outline and depth to describe specific submission
         steps and corresponding web pages rather than more general

      *  Assume, for now, that Chair authorization of WG draft work must
         exist for WG draft to be published.  This needs to be
         documented and perhaps relaxed to allow post-submission


      *  Use "toolset" instead of a less accurate "interfaces" in the
         draft title and throughout the text (Henrik Levkowetz)

      *  Use "post" instead of "publish"" in the draft title and
         throughout the text (Barbara B.  Fuller and Larry Masinter)

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 23]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

      *  Nits, clarifications, datapoints (Harald Tveit Alvestrand,
         Henrik Levkowetz, Larry Masinter, and Barbara B.  Fuller for
         the Secretariat)


      *  Initial revision.

Author's Address

   Alex Rousskov
   The Measurement Factory

   EMail: rousskov@measurement-factory.com
   URI:   http://www.measurement-factory.com/

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 24]

Internet-Draft    Draft Submission Toolset: Requirements  September 2004

Intellectual Property Statement

   The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
   Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to
   pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in
   this document or the extent to which any license under such rights
   might or might not be available; nor does it represent that it has
   made any independent effort to identify any such rights.  Information
   on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC documents can be
   found in BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any
   assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an
   attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of
   such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this
   specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository at

   The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
   copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
   rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement
   this standard.  Please address the information to the IETF at

Disclaimer of Validity

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).  This document is subject
   to the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78, and
   except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights.


   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.

Rousskov                 Expires March 28, 2005                [Page 25]

Html markup produced by rfcmarkup 1.111, available from https://tools.ietf.org/tools/rfcmarkup/