[Docs] [txt|pdf] [draft-iab-streams...] [Diff1] [Diff2] [Errata]

INFORMATIONAL
Errata Exist
Internet Architecture Board (IAB)                         L. Daigle, Ed.
Request for Comments: 5741                               O. Kolkman, Ed.
Updates: 2223, 4844                                          For the IAB
Category: Informational                                    December 2009
ISSN: 2070-1721


                 RFC Streams, Headers, and Boilerplates

Abstract

   RFC documents contain a number of fixed elements such as the title
   page header, standard boilerplates, and copyright/IPR statements.
   This document describes them and introduces some updates to reflect
   current usage and requirements of RFC publication.  In particular,
   this updated structure is intended to communicate clearly the source
   of RFC creation and review.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
   and represents information that the IAB has deemed valuable to
   provide for permanent record.  Documents approved for publication by
   the IAB are not a candidate for any level of Internet Standard; see
   Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5741.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2009 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the BSD License.




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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
   2.  RFC Streams and Internet Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  RFC Structural Elements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     3.1.  The Title Page Header  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     3.2.  The Status of this Memo  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       3.2.1.  Paragraph 1  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       3.2.2.  Paragraph 2  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       3.2.3.  Paragraph 3  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
       3.2.4.  Noteworthy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     3.3.  Additional Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     3.4.  Other Structural Information in RFCs . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   4.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   5.  RFC Editor Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   6.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     6.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     6.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   Appendix A.  Some Example 'Status of This Memo' Boilerplates . . . 12
     A.1.  IETF Standards Track . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     A.2.  IETF Experimental, with Consensus Call . . . . . . . . . . 12
     A.3.  IETF Experimental, No Consensus Call . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     A.4.  IAB Informational  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     A.5.  IRTF Experimental, No Consensus Call . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     A.6.  Independent Submission Informational . . . . . . . . . . . 15
   Appendix B.  IAB Members at Time of Approval . . . . . . . . . . . 15
   Appendix C.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

1.  Introduction

   Previously, RFCs (e.g., [RFC4844]) contained a number of elements
   that were there for historical, practical, and legal reasons.  They
   also contained boilerplate material to clearly indicate the status of
   the document and possibly contained "Notes" to indicate how the
   document interacts with IETF Standards Track documents.

   As the RFC Series has evolved over the years, there has been
   increasing concern over appropriate labeling of the publications to
   make clear the status of each RFC and the status of the work it
   describes.  Chiefly, there is a requirement that RFCs published as
   part of the IETF's review process not be easily confused with RFCs
   that may have had a very different review and approval process.
   Various adjustments have been made over the years, including evolving
   text of "Notes" included in the published RFC.

   With the definition of the different RFC streams [RFC4844], it is
   appropriate to formalize the definition of the various pieces of
   standard RFC boilerplate and introduce some adjustments to ensure



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   better clarity of expression of document status, aligned with the
   review and approval processes defined for each stream.

   This memo identifies and describes the common elements of RFC
   boilerplate structure, and provides a comprehensive approach to
   updating and using those elements to communicate, with clarity, RFC
   document and content status.  Most of the historical structure
   information is collected from [RFC2223].

   The changes introduced by this memo should be implemented as soon as
   practically possible after the document has been approved for
   publication.

2.  RFC Streams and Internet Standards

   Users of RFCs should be aware that while all Internet Standards-
   related documents are published as RFCs, not all RFCs are Internet
   Standards-related documents.

   The IETF is responsible for maintaining the Internet Standards
   Process, which includes the requirements for developing, reviewing,
   and approving Standards Track and BCP RFCs.  The IETF also produces
   non-Standards-Track documents (Informational, Experimental, and
   Historic).  All documents published as part of the IETF Stream are
   reviewed by the appropriate IETF bodies.

   Documents published in streams other than the IETF Stream are not
   generally reviewed by the IETF for such things as security,
   congestion control, or inappropriate interaction with deployed
   protocols.  They have also not been subject to approval by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), including an IETF-wide
   last call.  Therefore, the IETF disclaims, for any of the non-IETF
   Stream documents, any knowledge of the fitness of those RFCs for any
   purpose.

   Refer to [RFC2026], [RFC5742], and [RFC4844] and their successors for
   current details of the IETF process and RFC streams.

3.  RFC Structural Elements

3.1.  The Title Page Header

   This section describes the elements that are commonly found in RFCs
   published today.  For the sake of clarity, this document specifies
   the elements precisely as a specification.  However, this is not
   intended to specify a single, static format.  Details of formatting
   are decided by the RFC Editor.  Substantive changes to the header and




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   boilerplate structure and content may be undertaken in the future,
   and are subject to general oversight and review by the IAB.

   An RFC title page header can be described as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
<document source>                                          <author name>
Request for Comments: <RFC number>                [<author affiliation>]
[<subseries ID> <subseries number>]    [more author info as appropriate]
[<RFC relation>:<RFC number[s]>]
Category: <category>
                                                            <month year>
------------------------------------------------------------------------

   For example, a sample earlier RFC header is as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Network Working Group                                          T. Dierks
Request for Comments: 4346                                   Independent
Obsoletes: 2246                                              E. Rescorla
Category: Standards Track                                     RTFM, Inc.
                                                              April 2006
------------------------------------------------------------------------

   The right column contains author name and affiliation information as
   well as the RFC publication month.  Conventions and restrictions for
   these elements are described in RFC style norms and some individual
   stream definitions.

   This section is primarily concerned with the information in the left
   column:

   <document source>
      This describes the area where the work originates.  Historically,
      all RFCs were labeled Network Working Group.  "Network Working
      Group" refers to the original version of today's IETF when people
      from the original set of ARPANET sites and whomever else was
      interested -- the meetings were open -- got together to discuss,
      design, and document proposed protocols [RFC0003].  Here, we
      obsolete the term "Network Working Group" in order to indicate the
      originating stream.

      The <document source> is the name of the RFC stream, as defined in
      [RFC4844] and its successors.  At the time of this publication,
      the streams, and therefore the possible entries are:






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      *  Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)

      *  Internet Architecture Board (IAB)

      *  Internet Research Task Force (IRTF)

      *  Independent Submission

   Request for Comments: <RFC number>
      This indicates the RFC number, assigned by the RFC Editor upon
      publication of the document.  This element is unchanged.

   <subseries ID> <subseries number>
      Some document categories are also labeled as a subseries of RFCs.
      These elements appear as appropriate for such categories,
      indicating the subseries and the documents number within that
      series.  Currently, there are subseries for BCPs [RFC2026], STDs
      [RFC1311], and FYIs [RFC1150].  These subseries numbers may appear
      in several RFCs.  For example, when a new RFC obsoletes or updates
      an old one, the same subseries number is used.  Also, several RFCs
      may be assigned the same subseries number: a single STD, for
      example, may be composed of several RFCs, each of which will bear
      the same STD number.  This element is unchanged.

   [<RFC relation>: <RFC number[s]>]
      Some relations between RFCs in the series are explicitly noted in
      the RFC header.  For example, a new RFC may update one or more
      earlier RFCs.  Currently two relationships are defined: "Updates"
      and "Obsoletes" [RFC2223].  Alternatives like "Obsoleted by" are
      also used (e.g., in [RFC5143]).  Other types of relationships may
      be defined by the RFC Editor and may appear in future RFCs.

   Category: <category>
      This indicates the initial RFC document category of the
      publication.  These are defined in [RFC2026].  Currently, this is
      always one of: Standards Track, Best Current Practice,
      Experimental, Informational, or Historic.  This element is
      unchanged.

3.2.  The Status of this Memo

   The "Status of This Memo" describes the category of the RFC,
   including the distribution statement.  This text is included
   irrespective of the source stream of the RFC.

   The "Status of This Memo" will start with a single sentence
   describing the status.  It will also include a statement describing
   the stream-specific review of the material (which is stream-



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   dependent).  This is an important component of status, insofar as it
   clarifies the breadth and depth of review, and gives the reader an
   understanding of how to consider its content.

3.2.1.  Paragraph 1

   The first paragraph of the Status of this Memo section contains a
   single sentence, clearly standing out.  It depends on the category of
   the document.

   For 'Standards Track' documents:
      "This is an Internet Standards Track document."

   For 'Best Current Practices' documents:
      "This memo documents an Internet Best Current Practice."

   For other categories:
      "This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification;
      <it is published for other purposes>."

   For Informational, Experimental, Historic and future categories of
   RFCs, the RFC Editor will maintain an appropriate text for <it is
   published for other purposes>.  Suggested initial values are:

   Informational:
      "it is published for informational purposes."

   Historic:
      "it is published for the historical record."

   Experimental:
      "it is published for examination, experimental implementation, and
      evaluation."

3.2.2.  Paragraph 2

   The second paragraph of the "Status of This Memo" will now include a
   paragraph describing the type of review and exposure the document has
   received.  This is defined on a per-stream basis, subject to general
   review and oversight by the RFC Editor and IAB.  There is a specific
   structure defined here to ensure there is clarity about review
   processes and document types.  These paragraphs will need to be
   defined and maintained as part of RFC stream definitions.  Suggested
   initial text, for current streams, is provided below.

   The paragraph may include some text that is specific to the initial
   document category; when a document is Experimental or Historic, the
   second paragraph opens with:



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   Experimental:
      "This document defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
      community."

   Historic:
      "This document defines a Historic Document for the Internet
      community."

   The text that follows is stream dependent -- these are suggested
   initial values and may be updated by stream definition document
   updates.

   IETF Stream:
      "This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
      (IETF)."

      If there has been an IETF consensus call per IETF process, an
      additional sentence should be added:

         "It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
         received public review and has been approved for publication by
         the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG)."

      If there has not been such a consensus call, then this simply
      reads:

         "It has been approved for publication by the Internet
         Engineering Steering Group (IESG)."

   IAB Stream:
      "This document is a product of the Internet Architecture Board
      (IAB) and represents information that the IAB has deemed valuable
      to provide for permanent record."

   IRTF Stream:
      "This document is a product of the Internet Research Task Force
      (IRTF).  The IRTF publishes the results of Internet-related
      research and development activities.  These results might not be
      suitable for deployment."

      In addition, a sentence indicating the consensus base within the
      IRTF may be added:

         "This RFC represents the consensus of the <insert_name>
         Research Group of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF)."

      or alternatively




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         "This RFC represents the individual opinion(s) of one or more
         members of the <insert_name> Research Group of the Internet
         Research Task Force (IRTF)."

   Independent Stream:
      "This is a contribution to the RFC Series, independently of any
      other RFC stream.  The RFC Editor has chosen to publish this
      document at its discretion and makes no statement about its value
      for implementation or deployment."

   For non-IETF stream documents, a reference to Section 2 of this RFC
   is added with the following sentence:

      "Documents approved for publication by the [stream approver --
      currently, one of: "IAB", "IRSG", or "RFC Editor"] are not a
      candidate for any level of Internet Standard; see Section 2 of RFC
      5741."

   For IETF stream documents, a similar reference is added for BCP and
   Standards Track documents:

      "Further information on [BCPs or Internet Standards] is available
      in Section 2 of RFC 5741."

   For all other categories:

      "Not all documents approved by the IESG are a candidate for any
      level of Internet Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741."

3.2.3.  Paragraph 3

   The boilerplate ends with a reference to where further relevant
   information can be found.  This information may include, subject to
   the RFC Editor's discretion, information about whether the RFC has
   been updated or obsoleted, the RFC's origin, a listing of possible
   errata, information about how to provide feedback and suggestion, and
   information on how to submit errata as described in [RFC-ERRATA].
   The exact wording and URL is subject to change (at the RFC Editor's
   discretion), but current text is:

      "Information about the current status of this document, any
      errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
      http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc<rfc-no>."








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3.2.4.  Noteworthy

   Note that the text in paragraph 1 and 2 of the boilerplate indicate
   the initial status of a document.  During their lifetime, documents
   can change status to e.g., Historic.  This cannot be reflected in the
   document itself and will need be reflected in the information
   referred to in Section 3.2.3.

3.3.  Additional Notes

   Exceptionally, a review and publication process may prescribe
   additional notes that will appear as labeled notes after the "Status
   of This Memo".

   While this has been a common feature of recent RFCs, it is the goal
   of this document to make the overall RFC structure adequately clear
   to remove the need for such notes, or at least make their usage truly
   exceptional.

3.4.  Other Structural Information in RFCs

   RFCs contain other structural informational elements.  The RFC Editor
   is responsible for the positioning and layout of these structural
   elements.  Note also that new elements may be introduced or obsoleted
   using a process consistent with [RFC4844].  These additions may or
   may not require documentation in an RFC.

   Currently the following structural information is available or is
   being considered for inclusion in RFCs:

   Copyright Notice
      A copyright notice with a reference to BCP 78 [BCP78] and an
      Intellectual Property statement referring to BCP 78 and BCP 79
      [BCP79].  The content of these statements are defined by those
      BCPs.

   ISSN
      The International Standard Serial Number [ISO3297]:
      ISSN 2070-1721.  The ISSN uniquely identifies the RFC series as
      title regardless of language or country in which it is published.
      The ISSN itself has no significance other than the unique
      identification of a serial publication.

4.  Security Considerations

   This document tries to clarify the descriptions of the status of an
   RFC.  Misunderstanding the status of a memo could cause
   interoperability problems, hence security and stability problems.



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5.  RFC Editor Considerations

   The RFC Editor is responsible for maintaining the consistency of the
   RFC series.  To that end the RFC Editor maintains a style manual
   [RFC-style].  In this memo we mention a few explicit structural
   elements that the RFC Editor needs to maintain.  The conventions for
   the content and use of all current and future elements are to be
   documented in the style manual.

   Adding a reference to the stream in the header of RFCs is only one
   method for clarifying from which stream an RFC originated.  The RFC
   Editor is encouraged to add such indication in e.g., indices and
   interfaces.

6.  References

6.1.  Normative References

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

   [RFC5742]     Alvestrand, H. and R. Housley, "IESG Procedures for
                 Handling of Independent and IRTF Stream Submissions",
                 BCP 92, RFC 5742, December 2009.

6.2.  Informative References

   [ISO3297]     Technical Committee ISO/TC 46, Information and
                 documentation, Subcommittee SC 9, Identification and
                 description., "Information and documentation -
                 International standard serial number (ISSN)", 09 2007.

   [RFC0003]     Crocker, S., "Documentation conventions", RFC 3,
                 April 1969.

   [RFC1311]     Postel, J., "Introduction to the STD Notes", RFC 1311,
                 March 1992.

   [RFC1150]     Malkin, G. and J. Reynolds, "FYI on FYI: Introduction
                 to the FYI Notes", RFC 1150, March 1990.

   [RFC2223]     Postel, J. and J. Reynolds, "Instructions to RFC
                 Authors", RFC 2223, October 1997.

   [RFC2629]     Rose, M., "Writing I-Ds and RFCs using XML", RFC 2629,
                 June 1999.





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   [RFC4844]     Daigle, L. and Internet Architecture Board, "The RFC
                 Series and RFC Editor", RFC 4844, July 2007.

   [RFC5143]     Malis, A., Brayley, J., Shirron, J., Martini, L., and
                 S. Vogelsang, "Synchronous Optical Network/Synchronous
                 Digital Hierarchy (SONET/SDH) Circuit Emulation Service
                 over MPLS (CEM) Encapsulation", RFC 5143,
                 February 2008.

   [RFC-ERRATA]  Hagens, A., Ginoza, S., and R. Braden, "RFC Editor
                 Proposal for Handling RFC Errata", Work in Progress,
                 May 2008.

   [BCP78]       Bradner, S., Ed. and J. Contreras, Ed., "Rights
                 Contributors Provide to the IETF Trust", BCP 78,
                 RFC 5378, November 2008.

   [BCP79]       Bradner, S., Ed. and T. Narten, Ed., "Intellectual
                 Property Rights in IETF Technology", BCP 79, RFC 3979,
                 April 2007.

                 Narten, T., "Clarification of the Third Party
                 Disclosure Procedure in RFC 3979", BCP 79, RFC 4879,
                 April 2007.

   [RFC-style]   RFC Editor, "RFC Style Guide",
                 <http://www.rfc-editor.org/styleguide.html>.
























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Appendix A.  Some Example 'Status of This Memo' Boilerplates

A.1.  IETF Standards Track

   The boilerplate for a Standards Track document that (by definition)
   has been subject to an IETF consensus call.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by
   the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further
   information on Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of
   RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any
   errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc<rfc-no>.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A.2.  IETF Experimental, with Consensus Call

   The boilerplate for an Experimental document that has been subject to
   an IETF consensus call.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for examination, experimental implementation, and
   evaluation.

   This document defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
   community.  This document is a product of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF
   community.  It has received public review and has been approved for
   publication by the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not
   all documents approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of
   Internet Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any
   errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc<rfc-no>.
------------------------------------------------------------------------



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A.3.  IETF Experimental, No Consensus Call

   The boilerplate for an Experimental document that not has been
   subject to an IETF consensus call.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for examination, experimental implementation, and
   evaluation.

   This document defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
   community.  This document is a product of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  It has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not all documents
   approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any
   errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc<rfc-no>.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A.4.  IAB Informational

   The boilerplate for an Informational IAB document.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Architecture Board
   (IAB) and represents information that the IAB has deemed valuable
   to provide for permanent record.  Documents approved for publication
   by the IAB are not a candidate for any level of Internet Standard;
   see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any
   errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc<rfc-no>.
------------------------------------------------------------------------







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A.5.  IRTF Experimental, No Consensus Call

   The boilerplate for an Experimental document that has been produced
   by the IRTF and for which there was no RG consensus.  This variation
   is the most verbose boilerplate in the current set.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for examination, experimental implementation, and
   evaluation.

   This document defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
   community.  This document is a product of the Internet Research Task
   Force (IRTF).  The IRTF publishes the results of Internet-related
   research and development activities.  These results might not be
   suitable for deployment.  This RFC represents the individual
   opinion(s) of one or more members of the <insert_name> Research Group
   of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF).  Documents approved for
   publication by the IRSG are not a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any
   errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc<rfc-no>.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
























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A.6.  Independent Submission Informational

   The boilerplate for an Informational document that has been produced
   by the Independent Submission stream.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This is a contribution to the RFC Series, independently of any
   other RFC stream.  The RFC Editor has chosen to publish this
   document at its discretion and makes no statement about its value
   for implementation or deployment.  Documents approved for
   publication by the RFC Editor are not a candidate for any level of
   Internet Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any
   errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc<rfc-no>.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Appendix B.  IAB Members at Time of Approval

   The IAB members at the time this memo was approved were (in
   alphabetical order): Loa Andersson, Gonzalo Camarillo, Stuart
   Cheshire, Russ Housley, Olaf Kolkman, Gregory Lebovitz, Barry Leiba,
   Kurtis Lindqvist, Andrew Malis, Danny McPherson, David Oran, Dave
   Thaler, and Lixia Zhang.  In addition, the IAB included two
   ex-officio members: Dow Street, who was serving as the IAB Executive
   Director, and Aaron Falk, who was serving as the IRTF Chair.

Appendix C.  Acknowledgements

   Thanks to Bob Braden, Brian Carpenter, Steve Crocker, Sandy Ginoza,
   and John Klensin who provided background information and inspiration.

   Various people have made suggestions that improved the document.
   Among them are: Lars Eggert, Alfred Hoenes, and Joe Touch.

   This document was produced using the xml2rfc tool [RFC2629].









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RFC 5741           RFC Streams, Headers, Boilerplates      December 2009


Authors' Addresses

   Leslie Daigle (editor)
   EMail: daigle@isoc.org, leslie@thinkingcat.com


   Olaf M. Kolkman (editor)
   EMail: olaf@nlnetlabs.nl


   Internet Architecture Board
   EMail: iab@iab.org







































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