[Docs] [txt|pdf] [Tracker] [Email] [Nits]

Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 RFC 4897

Network Working Group                                         J. Klensin
Internet-Draft                                            March 23, 2006
Expires: September 24, 2006


          A Process Experiment in Normative Reference Handling
                     draft-klensin-norm-ref-00.txt

Status of this Memo

   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 becomes
   aware will be disclosed, in accordance with Section 6 of BCP 79.

   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.

   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
   http://www.ietf.org/ietf/1id-abstracts.txt.

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at
   http://www.ietf.org/shadow.html.

   This Internet-Draft will expire on September 24, 2006.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).

Abstract

   The IETF and RFC Editor have a long-standing rule that a document at
   a given maturity level cannot be published until all documents it
   references as normative are at that maturity level or higher.  This
   rule has sometimes resulted in very long publication delays for
   documents and some claims that it was a major obstruction to
   advancing documents in maturity level.  The IETF agreed to a way to
   bypass this rule with RFC 3967.  This document proposes a one-year
   process experiment in which the "hold on normative reference" rule
   will be replaced by a "note downward normative reference and move on"



Klensin                Expires September 24, 2006               [Page 1]

Internet-Draft            Normative References                March 2006


   approach.


Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.  Proposal  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
     2.1.  Documents Not Yet Processed by the IESG . . . . . . . . . . 3
     2.2.  Documents Already in RFC Editor Queue . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   3.  Discussion of Experiment  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   6.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   7.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements  . . . . . . . . . . 7



































Klensin                Expires September 24, 2006               [Page 2]

Internet-Draft            Normative References                March 2006


1.  Introduction

   The IETF and RFC Editor have a long-standing rule (see, e.g., RFC
   2026, Section 4.2.4 [RFC2026] and the extended discussion in RFC 3967
   [RFC3967]) that a document at a given maturity level cannot be
   published until all documents it references as normative are at that
   maturity level or higher.  This rule has sometimes resulted in very
   long publication delays for documents and some claims that it was a
   major obstruction to advancing documents in maturity level.
   Recognizing the problems that rule sometimes caused, RFC 3967
   established an exception procedure for normative downward references
   under some specific circumstances.  Perhaps because of its fairly
   stringent requirements, RFC 3967 has not proven adequate either to
   clear the backlog of documents awaiting upgraded documents or to
   prevent additional documents from joining that queue.

   This document assumes that downward references are possible only to
   documents that are already published or approved for publication.
   While downward references to, e.g., Internet Drafts, are possible,
   they are not contemplated here.

   This document proposes a one-year process experiment in which the
   "hold on normative reference" rule will be replaced by a "note
   downward normative reference and move on" approach.


2.  Proposal

   This document specifies a one-year RFC 3933 [RFC3933] process
   experiment (see the next section) that creates an alternative to
   holding documents until all documents referenced normatively are
   upgraded or by applying the procedure of RFC 3967.

2.1.  Documents Not Yet Processed by the IESG

   An author or editor who requires a normative downward reference uses
   the following very simple procedure:

   o  The reference text (i.e., in the "Normative References" section)
      is written as usual.
   o  A note that indicates that the reference is to a document of a
      lower maturity level, that some caution should be used since it
      may be less stable than the document from which it is being
      referenced, and, optionally, explaining why the downward reference
      is appropriate.

   The IESG may, at its discretion, specify the exact text to be used.




Klensin                Expires September 24, 2006               [Page 3]

Internet-Draft            Normative References                March 2006


   These annotations are part of the document.  If members of the
   community consider either the downward reference or the annotation
   text to be inappropriate, those issues can be raised at any time in
   the document life cycle, just as with any other text in the document.
   There is no separate review on these references.

   At the option of the author, similar notes may be attached to non-
   normative references.

2.2.  Documents Already in RFC Editor Queue

   The IESG may, at its discretion, specify a procedure to be applied to
   documents that are already in the RFC Editor queue, awaiting
   referenced documents.  That procedure might involve asking the RFC
   Editor to apply an appropriate annotation to all such documents, or
   to a selective list of documents.  It might alternately involve the
   application of some additional review process to those documents,
   such as by directorates or other AD-appointed review committees,
   working group chairs, or appointed experts, each subject to appeal.
   That list of options is not intended to limit what the IESG might
   specify, but to give some indication of possibilities.  While nothing
   in this document would prevent the IESG from concluding that each
   document now on hold for normative references should be put through
   an additional Last Call to eliminate the restriction, that decision
   would definitely not be in the spirit of the experiment proposed
   here.


3.  Discussion of Experiment

   Several claims have been made about problems that are being caused by
   the "no downward references" rule.  The number of documents waiting
   for lower-maturity documents in the RFC Editor queue is objective and
   easily-measured.  But claims about how many documents would be
   completed and processed to higher maturity levels if the normative
   reference rule were eliminated are impossible to validate without
   this type of experiment.  Consequently, this experiment should serve
   three purposes:

   1.  Prevent any new documents from entering the "hold for normative
       reference" queue unless there is an explicit decision made that
       doing so is desirable.
   2.  At the option of the IESG, and under rules it adopts, clear the
       RFC Editor's current "hold for normative reference" queue.
   3.  Permit the community to examine questions of how much effective
       elimination of the normative reference rule increases document
       throughput and the number of documents being advanced.




Klensin                Expires September 24, 2006               [Page 4]

Internet-Draft            Normative References                March 2006


4.  Security Considerations

   This document specifies an IETF procedure.  It is not believed to
   raise any security issues although, in principle, relaxing the
   normative downward reference rules for references associated with
   security mechanisms could make a specification less stable and hence
   less secure.


5.  IANA Considerations

   This document requires no actions by the IANA.


6.  Acknowledgments

   This proposal was suggested by a comment by Spencer Dawkins and many
   complaints about the negative impact of the current rules.  The
   author is unsure about the validity of some of those complaints; the
   proposal is, in part, a way to test the validity question.  Spencer
   also provided helpful comments on a preliminary draft.

7.  Normative References

   [RFC2026]  Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
              3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996.

   [RFC3933]  Klensin, J. and S. Dawkins, "A Model for IETF Process
              Experiments", BCP 93, RFC 3933, November 2004.

   [RFC3967]  Bush, R. and T. Narten, "Clarifying when Standards Track
              Documents may Refer Normatively to Documents at a Lower
              Level", BCP 97, RFC 3967, December 2004.


















Klensin                Expires September 24, 2006               [Page 5]

Internet-Draft            Normative References                March 2006


Author's Address

   John C Klensin
   1770 Massachusetts Ave, #322
   Cambridge, MA  02140
   USA

   Phone: +1 617 491 5735
   Email: john-ietf@jck.com










































Klensin                Expires September 24, 2006               [Page 6]

Internet-Draft            Normative References                March 2006


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
   http://www.ietf.org/ipr.

   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
   ietf-ipr@ietf.org.


Disclaimer of Validity

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an
   "AS IS" basis and THE CONTRIBUTOR, THE ORGANIZATION HE/SHE REPRESENTS
   OR IS SPONSORED BY (IF ANY), THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET
   ENGINEERING TASK FORCE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED,
   INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE
   INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED
   WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.


Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).  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.


Acknowledgment

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




Klensin                Expires September 24, 2006               [Page 7]


Html markup produced by rfcmarkup 1.107, available from http://tools.ietf.org/tools/rfcmarkup/