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INFORMATIONAL
Errata Exist
Internet Architecture Board (IAB)                       H. Flanagan, Ed.
Request for Comments: 8700                                    RFC Editor
Updates: 2555, 5540                                        December 2019
Category: Informational
ISSN: 2070-1721


                          Fifty Years of RFCs

Abstract

   This RFC marks the fiftieth anniversary for the RFC Series.  It
   includes both retrospective material from individuals involved at key
   inflection points as well as a review of the current state of
   affairs.  It concludes with thoughts on possibilities for the next
   fifty years for the Series.  This document updates the perspectives
   offered in RFCs 2555 and 5540.

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.  It represents the consensus of the
   Internet Architecture Board (IAB).  Documents approved for
   publication by the IAB are not candidates for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8700.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2019 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
   (https://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.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction
   2.  Key Moments in RFC History
   3.  Perspectives
     3.1.  The Origins of RFCs - by Stephen D. Crocker
     3.2.  The RFC Management and Editing Team - by Vint Cerf
     3.3.  Formalizing the RFC Editor Model - by Leslie Daigle
     3.4.  The Continuation, or Creation, of a Stream - by Nevil
           Brownlee
     3.5.  A View from inside the RFC Editor - by Sandy Ginoza
   4.  The Next Fifty Years of RFCs
     4.1.  Preservation
     4.2.  Evolution of the RFC Format
     4.3.  Stream Structure
   5.  Conclusion
   6.  IANA Considerations
   7.  Security Considerations
   8.  Informative References
   IAB Members at the Time of Approval
   Acknowledgements
   Contributors
   Author's Address

1.  Introduction

   The RFC Series began in April 1969 with the publication of "Host
   Software" by Steve Crocker.  The early RFCs were, in fact, requests
   for comments on ideas and proposals; the goal was to start
   conversations rather than to create an archival record of a standard
   or best practice.  This goal changed over time, as the formality of
   the publication process evolved and the community consuming the
   material grew.  Today, over 8500 RFCs have been published, ranging
   across best practice guidance, experimental protocols, informational
   material, and, of course, Internet standards.  Material is accepted
   for publication through the IETF, the IAB, the IRTF, and the
   Independent Submissions streams, each of which have clear processes
   on how drafts are submitted and potentially approved for publication
   as an RFC.  Ultimately, the goal of the RFC Series is to provide a
   canonical source for the material published by the RFC Editor and to
   support the preservation of that material in perpetuity.

   The RFC Editor as a role came a few years after the first RFC was
   published.  The actual date the term "RFC Editor" was first used is
   unknown, but it was formalized by [RFC0902] in July 1984; Jon Postel,
   the first RFC Editor, defined the role by his actions and later by
   defining the initial processes surrounding the publication of RFCs.
   What is certain is that the goal of the RFC Editor is to produce
   documents that are readable, clear, consistent, and reasonably
   uniform, and that the archival record of what has been published is
   maintained.

   Change does come to the Series, albeit slowly.  First, we saw the
   distribution method change from postal mail to FTP and then to email.
   RFCs could not be distributed electronically in the beginning, as the
   means to do that distribution would not be defined until years after
   the first RFC was "published".  Not all early RFCs were even created
   electronically; some were written out by hand or on a typewriter.
   Eventually, the process for creating RFCs became more structured;
   authors were provided guidance on how to write an RFC.  The editorial
   effort went from Steve Crocker to a more official model with a
   designated editor, Jon Postel, and later to a team of five to seven
   individuals.  The actual editing and publishing work split from the
   service for registration of protocol code points.  The whole RFC
   Editor structure was reviewed [RFC4844], refined [RFC5620], and
   refined again [RFC6635].  And, in the last few years, the process to
   change the format of the RFC documents themselves has started
   [RFC7990].

   This is evolution; and the Series will continue to be adapted in
   order to meet the needs and expectations of the implementers,
   operators, historians, and community of authors that uses the RFC
   Series.  These changes will always be balanced against the core
   mission of the Series: to maintain a strong, stable, archival record
   of technical specifications, protocols, and other information
   relevant to the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET)
   and Internet networking communities.

   There is more to the history of the RFC Series than can be covered in
   this document.  Readers interested in earlier perspectives may find
   the following RFCs of particular interest.  These RFCs focus on the
   enormous contributions of Jon Postel, Czar of Socket Numbers
   [RFC0433] and first RFC Editor:

   *  [RFC2441]"Working with Jon, Tribute delivered at UCLA, October 30,
      1998"

   *  [RFC2555]"30 Years of RFCs"

   *  [RFC5540]"40 Years of RFCs"

   In this document, the history of the Series is viewed through the
   eyes of several individuals who have been a part of shaping it.
   Narratives of this nature offer a limited perspective on events;
   there are almost certainly other viewpoints, memories, and
   perspectives on events that are equally valid and would reflect a
   different history.  So, while these retrospectives are enormously
   valuable and provide an insight to events of the day, they are just
   one lens on the history of the RFC Series.

   Steve Crocker, author of [RFC0001], offers his thoughts on how and
   why the Series began.  Leslie Daigle, a major influence in the
   development of the RFC Editor model, offers her thoughts on the
   change of the RFC Editor to a stronger, contracted function.  Nevil
   Brownlee, Independent Submissions Editor from 2010 through February
   2018, shares his view on the clarification of the Independent Stream
   (IS) and its transition upon the retirement of Bob Braden from the
   position.  As the current RFC Series Editor, I will put my thoughts
   in on the most recent changes in formalizing the digital preservation
   of the Series, the process to modernize the format while respecting
   the need for stability, and my thoughts on the next fifty years of
   RFCs.

   This document updates the perspectives offered in [RFC2555] and
   [RFC5540].

2.  Key Moments in RFC History

   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | Marker             | Date     | Event                             |
   +====================+==========+===================================+
   | [RFC0001]          | April    | First RFC published               |
   |                    | 1969     |                                   |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC0114]          | April    | First distribution of RFCs        |
   |                    | 1971     | over the network                  |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC0433]          | December | First mention of the Czar of      |
   |                    | 1972     | Socket Numbers and the            |
   |                    |          | proposal for a formal             |
   |                    |          | registry                          |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC0690]          | June     | Relationship starts between       |
   |                    | 1975     | the Information Sciences          |
   |                    |          | Institute (ISI) and the RFC       |
   |                    |          | Editor (judging by Jon            |
   |                    |          | Postel's affiliation change)      |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC0748]          | April    | First April 1st RFC               |
   |                    | 1977     | published                         |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [IETF1]            | January  | First Internet Engineering        |
   |                    | 1986     | Task Force (IETF) meeting         |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [IAB-19880712]     | July     | IAB approved the creation of      |
   |                    | 1988     | an Internet-Draft series          |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC1122][RFC1123] | December | First major effort to review      |
   |                    | 1988     | key specifications and write      |
   |                    |          | applicability statements          |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC1083]          | October  | Three-stage standards             |
   |                    | 1989     | process first defined             |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC1150]          | March    | FYI sub-series started            |
   |                    | 1990     |                                   |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC1311]          | March    | STD sub-series started            |
   |                    | 1992     |                                   |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC1818]          | August   | BCP sub-series started            |
   |                    | 1995     |                                   |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC-ONLINE]       | approx.  | RFC Online Project to             |
   |                    | 1998     | restore early RFCs that were      |
   |                    |          | "lost" started                    |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC2441]          | 15       | Jon Postel's death                |
   |                    | October  |                                   |
   |                    | 1998     |                                   |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC4844]          | July     | RFC Series administrative         |
   |                    | 2007     | structure documented              |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC4846]          | July     | Independent Submission            |
   |                    | 2007     | document stream is                |
   |                    |          | formalized                        |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC5620]          | August   | RFC Editor organization           |
   |                    | 2009     | officially established as         |
   |                    |          | RFC Series Editor,                |
   |                    |          | Independent Submission            |
   |                    |          | Editor, RFC Production            |
   |                    |          | Center, and RFC Publisher         |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [ISI-to-AMS]       | October  | Transition of RFC Production      |
   |                    | 2009     | Center and RFC Publisher          |
   |                    |          | starts from Information           |
   |                    |          | Sciences Institute (ISI) to       |
   |                    |          | Association Management            |
   |                    |          | Solutions (AMS)                   |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC5540]          | January  | Bob Braden retires from RFC       |
   |                    | 2010     | Editor                            |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC5743]          | December | Internet Research Task Force      |
   |                    | 2009     | document stream formalized        |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC-ONLINE]       | approx.  | RFC Online Project to             |
   |                    | 2010     | restore early RFCs that were      |
   |                    |          | "lost" finished                   |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC6360]          | August   | FYI sub-series ended              |
   |                    | 2011     |                                   |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC6410]          | October  | Two-stage standards process       |
   |                    | 2011     | formalized                        |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC6635]          | June     | Updated responsibilities of       |
   |                    | 2012     | RFC Series allocated to RFC       |
   |                    |          | Series Editor, RFC                |
   |                    |          | Production Center, and RFC        |
   |                    |          | Publisher                         |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC6949]          | May 2013 | RFC format change project         |
   |                    |          | started                           |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+
   | [RFC8153]          | April    | RFCs no longer printed to         |
   |                    | 2017     | paper upon publication            |
   +--------------------+----------+-----------------------------------+

                    Table 1: Key Moments in RFC History

3.  Perspectives

3.1.  The Origins of RFCs - by Stephen D. Crocker

   (This is a revision of material included more than 30 years ago in
   [RFC1000].)

   The Internet community now includes millions of nodes and billions of
   users.  It owes its beginning to the ARPANET, which was once but a
   gleam in the eyes of J. C. R. Licklider, Bob Taylor, and Larry
   Roberts of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).  While much
   of the development proceeded according to plan, the initial design of
   the protocols and the creation of the RFCs was largely accidental.

   The procurement of the ARPANET was initiated in the summer of 1968;
   remember Vietnam, flower children, etc.? There had been prior
   experiments at various ARPA sites to link together computer systems,
   but this was the first version to explore packet switching as a core
   part of the communication strategy.  ("ARPA" didn't become "DARPA"
   (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) until 1972.  It briefly
   changed back to ARPA in 1993 and then back again to DARPA.)  The
   government's Request for Quotations (RFQ) called for four packet-
   switching devices, called Interface Message Processors ("IMPs"), to
   be delivered to four sites in the western part of the United States:
   University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); SRI International
   (Stanford Research Institute) in Menlo Park, CA; University of
   California, Santa Barbara (UCSB); and the University of Utah in Salt
   Lake City.  These sites were running a Scientific Data Systems (SDS)
   Sigma 7, an SDS 940, an IBM 360/75, and a DEC PDP-10, respectively.
   These machines not only had different operating systems, but even
   details like character sets and byte sizes varied.  Other sites would
   have further variations.

   The focus was on the basic movement of data.  The precise use of the
   ARPANET was not spelled out in advance, thus requiring the research
   community to take some initiative.  To stimulate this process, a
   meeting was called in August 1968 with representatives from the
   selected sites, chaired by Elmer Shapiro from SRI.  Based on
   Shapiro's notes from that meeting, the attendees were Dave Hopper and
   Jeff Rulifson from SRI; Glen Culler and Gordon Buck from Santa
   Barbara; R.  Stephenson, C.  Stephen Carr, and W.  Boam from Utah;
   Vint Cerf and me from UCLA; and a few others from potential future
   sites.

   That first meeting was seminal.  We had lots of questions.  How would
   IMPs and "hosts" (I think that was the first time I was exposed to
   that term) be connected?  What would hosts say to each other?  What
   applications would be supported?  The only concrete answers were
   remote login as a replacement for dial-up, telephone-based
   interactive terminal access, and file transfer, but we knew the
   vision had to be larger.  We found ourselves imagining all kinds of
   possibilities: interactive graphics, cooperating processes, automatic
   database query, electronic mail, etc., but no one knew where to
   begin.  We weren't sure whether there was really room to think hard
   about these problems; surely someone senior and in charge, likely
   from the East, would be along by and by to bring the word.  But we
   did come to one conclusion: we ought to meet again.  Over the next
   several months, we met at each of our sites, thereby setting the
   precedent for regular face-to-face meetings.  We also instantly felt
   the irony.  This new network was supposed to make it possible to work
   together at a distance, and the first thing we did was schedule a
   significant amount of travel.

   Over the next several months, a small, fairly consistent set of
   graduate students and staff members from the first four sites met.
   We used the term Network Working Group (NWG) to designate ourselves.
   This was the same term Elmer Shapiro had used when he convened our
   first meeting, although it had been used until that point to refer to
   the principal investigators and ARPA personnel: senior people who had
   been planning the network.  Our group was junior and disjointed from
   the prior group, except, of course, that each of us worked for one of
   the principal investigators.

   The first few meetings were quite tenuous, primarily because we
   weren't sure how narrow or expansive our goals should be.  We had no
   official charter or leadership, and it remained unclear, at least to
   me, whether someone or some group would show up with the official
   authority and responsibility to take over the problems we were
   dealing with.  Without clear definition of what the host-IMP
   interface would look like, or even a precise definition of what
   functions the IMP would provide, we focused on broader ideas.  We
   envisioned the possibility of application-specific protocols, with
   code downloaded to user sites, and we took a crack at designing a
   language to support this.  The first version was known as DEL, for
   "Decode-Encode Language" and a later version was called NIL, for
   "Network Interchange Language".

   In late 1968, Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) in Cambridge, MA won the
   contract for the IMPs and began work in January 1969.  A few of us
   flew to Boston in the middle of February to meet the BBN crew.  The
   BBN folks, led by Frank Heart, included Bob Kahn, Severo Ornstein,
   Ben Barker, Will Crowther, Bernie Cosell, and Dave Walden.  They were
   organized, professional, and focused.  Their first concern was how to
   meet their contract schedule of delivering the first IMP to UCLA at
   the beginning of September and how to get bits to flow quickly and
   reliably.  The details of the host-IMP interface were not yet firm;
   the specification came a few months later as BBN Report 1822.  In
   particular, BBN didn't take over our protocol design process, nor did
   any other source of authority appear.  Thus, we doggedly continued
   debating and designing the protocols.

   A month later, our small NWG met in Utah.  As the meeting came toward
   an end, it became clear to us that we should start writing down our
   discussions.  We had accumulated a few notes on the design of DEL and
   other matters, and we decided to put them together in a set of notes.
   We assigned writing chores to each of us, and I took on the
   additional task of organizing the notes.  Though I initiated the
   RFCs, my role was far less than an editor.  Each of the RFCs were
   numbered in sequence.  The only rule I imposed was the note had to be
   complete before I assigned a number because I wanted to minimize the
   number of holes in the sequence.

   I tried a couple of times to write a note on how the notes would be
   organized, but I found myself full of trepidation.  Would these notes
   look as if we were asserting authority we didn't have?  Would we
   unintentionally offend whomever the official protocol designers were?
   Finally, unable to sleep, I wrote a few humble words.  The basic
   ground rules were that anyone could say anything and that nothing was
   official.  And to emphasize the point, I used Bill Duvall's
   suggestion and labeled the notes "Request for Comments".  I never
   dreamed these notes would eventually be distributed through the very
   medium we were discussing in these notes: talk about Sorcerer's
   Apprentice!  (See [APPRENTICE].)

   After BBN distributed the specification for the IMP hardware and
   software interface to the initial ARPANET sites, our attention
   shifted to low-level matters.  The ambitious ideas for automatic
   downloading of code evaporated.  It would be several years before
   ideas like mobile code, remote procedure calls, ActiveX, JAVA, and
   Representational State Transfer (RESTful) interfaces appeared.

   Over the spring and summer of that year, we grappled with the
   detailed problems of protocol design.  Although we had a vision of
   the vast potential for intercomputer communication, designing usable
   protocols was another matter.  We knew a custom hardware interface
   and a custom software addition in the operating system was going to
   be required for anything we designed, and we anticipated these would
   pose some difficulty at each of the sites.  We looked for existing
   abstractions to use.  It would have been convenient if we could have
   made the network simply look like a regular device, e.g., a tape
   drive, but we knew that wouldn't do.  The essence of this network was
   peer-to-peer cooperation among the machines and the processes running
   inside them, not a central machine controlling dependent devices.  We
   settled on a virtual bit stream layer as the basic building block for
   the protocols; but even back then, we knew that some applications
   like voice might need to avoid that layer of software.  (Why a
   virtual bit stream instead of a virtual byte stream?  Because each
   computer had its own notion of how many bits were in a byte.  8-bit
   bytes didn't become standard until a few years later.)

   Over the next two years, we developed, exchanged, and implemented
   ideas.  I took a leave from UCLA in June 1971 to spend time working
   at ARPA.  Jon Postel took over the care and feeding of the RFCs,
   evolving the process and adding collaborators over the next twenty-
   seven years.

   The rapid growth of the network and the working group also led to a
   large pile of RFCs.  When the 100th RFC was in sight, Peggy Karp at
   the MIT Research Establishment (MITRE) took on the task of indexing
   them.  That seemed like a large task then, and we could have hardly
   anticipated seeing more than 1000 RFCs several years later and the
   evolution toward Internet-Drafts yet later.

   When we first started working on the protocols, the network did not
   exist.  Except for our occasional face-to-face meetings, RFCs were
   our only means of communication.  In [RFC0003], I set the bar as low
   as possible:

      |  The content of a NWG note may be any thought, suggestion, etc.
      |  related to the HOST software or other aspect of the network.
      |  Notes are encouraged to be timely rather than polished.
      |  Philosophical positions without examples or other specifics,
      |  specific suggestions or implementation techniques without
      |  introductory or background explication, and explicit questions
      |  without any attempted answers are all acceptable.  The minimum
      |  length for a NWG note is one sentence.
      |
      |  These standards (or lack of them) are stated explicitly for two
      |  reasons.  First, there is a tendency to view a written
      |  statement as ipso facto authoritative, and we hope to promote
      |  the exchange and discussion of considerably less than
      |  authoritative ideas.  Second, there is a natural hesitancy to
      |  publish something unpolished, and we hope to ease this
      |  inhibition.

   Making the RFCs informal was not only a way of encouraging
   participation; it was also important in making the communication
   effective.  One of the early participants said he was having trouble
   writing and sending an RFC because his institution wanted to subject
   them to publication review.  These are not "publications", I
   declared, and the problem went away.  Another small detail, handled
   instinctively and without debate, was the distribution model.  Each
   institution was required to send a copy directly to each of the other
   handful of participating institutions.  Each institution handled
   internal copies and distribution itself.  Submission to a central
   point for redistribution was not required so as to minimize delays.
   SRI's Network Information Center, however, did maintain a central
   repository of everything and provided an invaluable record.

   We didn't intentionally set out to challenge the existing standards
   organizations, but our natural mode of operation yielded some
   striking results.  The RFCs are open in two important respects:
   anyone can write one for free and anyone can get them for free.  At
   the time, virtually everyone in the ARPANET community was sponsored
   by the government, so there was little competition and no need to use
   documents as a way of raising money.  Of course, as soon as we had
   email working on the ARPANET, we distributed RFCs electronically.
   When the ARPANET became just a portion of the Internet, this
   distribution process became worldwide.  The effect of this openness
   is often overlooked; even now, students and young professionals all
   over the world have been able to download RFCs, learn about the
   technology within, and in turn, build the most amazing software.
   (They are also a fantastic resource for historians.)

   Where will it end?  The ARPANET begat the Internet, and the
   underlying technology transitioned from the original host-host
   protocol to TCP/IP.  But, the superstructure of protocol layers,
   community-driven protocol design, and RFCs continued.  Through the
   changes in physical-layer technology, resulting in speed increases
   from thousands to billions of bits per second, and similarly from
   thousands to billions of users, this superstructure, including the
   RFCs, has continued to serve the community.  All of the computers
   have changed, as have all of the transmission lines, but the RFCs
   march on.  Maybe I'll write a few words for RFC 10,000.

   Quite obviously, the circumstances have changed.  Email and other
   media are most often used for the immediate exchange of inchoate
   thoughts.  Internet-Drafts are the means for exchanging substantial,
   albeit sometimes speculative, content, while RFCs are reserved for
   fully polished, reviewed, edited, and approved specifications.
   Comments to RFCs are not requested, although usage-related
   discussions and other commentary on mailing lists often take place
   nonetheless.  Rather than bemoan the change, I take it as a
   remarkable example of adaptation.  RFCs continue to serve the
   protocol development community.  Indeed, they are the bedrock of a
   very vibrant and productive process that has fueled and guided the
   Internet revolution.

3.2.  The RFC Management and Editing Team - by Vint Cerf

   As Steve Crocker mentions in Section 3.1, Jon Postel assumed the role
   of RFC manager in 1971 when Steve left UCLA for ARPA.  Jon took on
   this role in addition to his subsequent "numbers Czar"
   responsibilities.  Initially, his focus was largely on assigning RFC
   numbers to aspiring writers, but with time, and as the
   standardization of the ARPANET and Internet protocols continued
   apace, he began to serve in an editorial capacity.  Moreover, as an
   accomplished software engineer, he had opinions about technical
   content in addition to writing style and did not hesitate to exercise
   editorial discretion as would-be published authors presented their
   offerings for his scrutiny.  As the load increased, he recruited
   additional "volunteer" talent, most notably Joyce K. Reynolds, a
   fellow researcher at USC/ISI.  Over the ensuing years, he also
   drafted Robert (Bob) Braden onto the team, and when Jon unexpectedly
   passed away in October 1998 (see [RFC2468]), Joyce and Bob undertook
   carrying on with the RFC work in his stead, adding Sandy Ginoza to
   the team.  During the period when Jon and Joyce worked closely
   together, Joyce would challenge me to tell which edits had been made
   by Jon and which by her.  I found this impossible, so aligned were
   they in their editorial sensibilities.  Sadly, three of these
   tireless Internauts have passed on, and we have only the product of
   their joint work and Sandy Ginoza's and others' corporate memory by
   which to recall history.

3.3.  Formalizing the RFC Editor Model - by Leslie Daigle

   I was the chair of the Internet Architecture Board, the board
   responsible for the general oversight of the RFC Series, at a
   particular inflection point in the evolution of all Internet
   technology institutions.  To understand what we did, and why we had
   to, let me first paint a broader picture of the arc of these
   institutions.

   Like many others who were in decision-making roles in the mid '00s, I
   wasn't present when the Internet was born.  The lore passed down to
   me was that, out of the group of talented researchers that developed
   the core specifications and established the direction of the
   Internet, different individuals stepped up to take on roles necessary
   to keep the process of specification development organized and open.
   As the work of specification expanded, those individuals were
   generally supported by organizations that carried on in the same
   spirit.  This was mostly Jon Postel, managing the allocation and
   assignment of names and numbers, as well as working as the editor of
   RFCs, but there were also individuals and institutions supporting the
   IETF's Secretariat function.  By the late 20th century, even this
   model was wearing thin; the support functions were growing, and
   organizations didn't have the ability to donate even more resources
   to run them.  In some cases (IANA), there was significant industry
   and international dependence on the function and its neutrality.

   The IETF, too, had grown in size, stature, and commercial reliance.
   This system of institutional pieces "flying in formation" was not
   providing the kind of contractual regularity or integrated
   development that the IETF needed.  People who hadn't been there as
   the institutions developed, including IETF decision makers, didn't
   innately understand why things "had to be the way they were" and were
   frustrated when trying to get individual systems updated for new
   requirements as well as better integrated across the spectrum of
   activities.

   Internet engineering had expanded beyond the point of being
   supportable by a loosely coupled set of organizations of people who
   had been there since the beginning and knew each other well.  New
   forms of governance were needed along with a rationalized funding
   model.  The IANA function was absorbed into a purpose-built
   international not-for-profit organization.  The IETF stepped up to
   manage its own organizational destiny, creating the IETF
   Administrative Support Activity (IASA), and the Secretariat became
   one of its contracted functions.

   This left the RFC Editor function as an independent effort supported
   by the Internet Society.

   That independent nature was necessary for the historic role of the
   RFC Series in considering all technical contributions.  But, at that
   inflection point in the Series' history, it needed a new governance
   and funding model, just as the other organizations supporting
   Internet technical specification had.  Also, the IETF leadership had
   some concerns it felt needed to be addressed in its own technical
   publication stream.  While the RFC Series had been established before
   there was an IETF, and had historically continued to have documents
   in it that didn't originate from the IETF, the IETF was its largest
   and most organized contributor.  There was no particular organization
   of independent contributors.  Equally, the funding for the RFC Editor
   was at that point coming from the Internet Society in the guise of
   "support for the IETF".  For people who hadn't been involved with the
   institution from the outset, it was pretty easy to perceive the RFC
   Series uniquely as the IETF's publication series.  So, the challenge
   was to identify and address the IETF's issues, along with governance
   and funding, without sacrificing the fundamental nature of the RFC
   Series as a broader-than-IETF publication series.

   To give a sense of the kind of tensions that were prevalent, let me
   share that the one phrase that stuck in my mind from those
   discussions was "push to publish".  There were those in IETF
   leadership who felt that it would significantly reduce costs and
   improve timeliness if an RFC could be published by, literally,
   pushing a button on a web interface the moment it was approved by the
   IESG.  It would also, they argued, remove the specification issues
   being introduced by copy editors that were hired as occasional
   workers to help with improving publication rates but who weren't
   necessarily up to speed on terms of art in technical specifications.
   (There were some pretty egregious examples of copy editors
   introducing changes that significantly changed the technical meaning
   of the text that I forbear from citing here; let's just say it wasn't
   strictly a problem of Internet engineers getting uptight about their
   cheese being moved.)  While "push to publish" would have addressed
   those issues, it would not have addressed the loss of clarity from
   the many significant text improvements copy editors successfully
   introduced, or the fact that not all RFCs are approved by the IESG.

   Institutionally, it was clear that the target was to have the RFC
   Editor function governance within the reach of the Internet technical
   community (as opposed to any particular private organization) without
   tying it specifically to the IETF.  That was reasonably achievable by
   ensuring that the resultant pieces were established under the
   oversight of the IAB (which is, itself, independent of the IETF even
   as it is supported by the IASA organization).

   The IETF worked on a document outlining functional requirements for
   its technical specification publication.  This could have been useful
   for establishing its own series, but it also was helpful in
   establishing awareness of the challenges in document publishing (it
   always looks easy when you haven't thought about it) and also in
   laying the groundwork for dialogue with the RFC Editor.  The
   requirements document was published as [RFC4714] as an Informational
   RFC that stands today to provide guidance in the editing processes
   surrounding IETF publications.

   There was still, however, a certain lack of clarity about
   responsibilities for making decisions and changes in the RFC Series
   itself.  To that end, I and the IAB worked with the various involved
   parties to produce [RFC4844].  That document captured the RFC Series
   mission (for a purpose greater than IETF technical specification
   publication) as well as the roles and responsibilities of the parties
   involved.  The RFC Editor is responsible for ensuring the
   implementation of the mission.  The IAB continues to have oversight
   responsibilities, including policy oversight, which it could act on
   by changing the person (organization) in the role of RFC Editor.  At
   the same time, operational oversight was migrated to the IASA support
   function of the IETF (and IAB).

   The discussions, and the resulting publication of [RFC4844], allowed
   greater visibility into and commitment to the RFC Series as a general
   Internet publication.  It also meant that subsequent adjustments
   could be made as requirements evolved; the responsible parties are
   clearly identified.

3.4.  The Continuation, or Creation, of a Stream - by Nevil Brownlee

   Arguably starting in 2006 with [RFC4714], the IAB and the IETF
   community spent some time in the mid-'00s evolving the structure of
   the RFC Series.  This work included defining how those groups that
   published into the RFC Series (initially including the IETF, the IAB
   [RFC4845], and the Independent Submissions Stream [RFC4846], and
   later growing to include the IRTF [RFC5743]) would handle approving
   documents to be published as RFCs.  In 2009, the IAB published "RFC
   Editor Model (Version 1)" [RFC5620].  In this model, a new role was
   created within the RFC Editor: the RFC Series Editor (RSE).  This
   individual would oversee RFC publishing and development while leaving
   the process for approving documents for publication outside his or
   her mandate.  While, arguably, this was a role long filled by people
   like Jon Postel, Bob Braden, and Joyce Reynolds, [RFC5620] saw the
   role of RFC Series Editor defined in such a way as to distinctly
   separate it from that of the Independent Submissions Editor (ISE).

   Before 2009, the RFC Editor could accept "Independent" submissions
   from individuals and, if they were judged significant, publish them
   as RFCs; the Independent Stream was set up to continue that function.
   From February 2010 through February 2018, I was the ISE.  After
   reading [RFC4846], I went on to develop the Independent Stream (IS).

   First, I spent several days at the RFC Production Center at the
   Information Sciences Institute (ISI) in Marina Del Ray with the RFC
   Editor (Bob Braden), Sandy Ginoza, and Alice Hagens so as to learn
   how RFCs were actually edited and published.  All RFCs reach the
   Production Center as Internet-Drafts; they are copy edited until the
   edited version can be approved by its authors (AUTH48).  At any
   stage, authors can check their draft's status via the RFC Editor
   website.

   For the Independent Submissions, Bob kept a journal (a simple ASCII
   file) of his interactions with authors for every draft, indexed by
   the draft name.  Bob also entered the Independent drafts into the RFC
   Editor database so that authors could track their draft's status.
   After my few days with his team at ISI, he handed that journal
   (covering about 30 drafts) over to me and said, "Now it's over to
   you!"

   I began by following in Bob's footsteps, maintaining a journal and
   tracking each draft's status in the RFC Editor database.  My first
   consideration was that every serious Internet-Draft submitted needed
   several careful reviews.  At that time, if the ISE knew of suitable
   reviewers, he or she could simply ask them.  Otherwise, if the draft
   related to an IETF or IRTF Working Group, the ISE could ask Working
   Group Chairs or Area Directors to suggest reviewers.  The Independent
   Submissions Editorial Board (Ed Board) was another place the ISE
   could request reviewers from.  My experience with reviewers was that
   most of those I approached were happy to help.

   Most drafts were straightforward, but there were some that needed
   extra attention.  Often, a draft requested IANA code points, and for
   that, IANA was always quick to offer help and support.  Code points
   in some IANA registries require Expert Review [RFC8126]; sometimes
   the interactions with Expert Reviewers took quite a long time!
   Again, sometimes a draft seemed to fit better in the IETF Stream; for
   these, I would suggest that the draft authors try to find an Area
   Director to sponsor their work as an individual submission to the
   IETF Stream.

   After my first few years as ISE, the IETF Tools Team developed the
   Datatracker [DATATRACKER] to show draft status and perform all the
   "housekeeping" tasks for all of the streams.  At that stage, I
   switched to using the Datatracker rather than the RFC Editor
   database.

   Once a draft has been reviewed and the authors have revised it in
   dialogue with their reviewers, the ISE must submit that draft to the
   IESG for an "IESG Review" [RFC5742].  Overall, each IS draft
   benefited from discussions (which were usually simple) with my Ed
   Board and the IESG.  A (very) few were somewhat controversial; for
   those, I was able to work with the IESG to negotiate a suitable "IESG
   Statement" and/or an "ISE Statement" to make it clear why the ISE
   published the draft.

   One rather special part of the Independent Stream is the April 1st
   RFCs.  These are humorous RFCs that have no formal review and
   approval process.  The authors must send them directly to the ISE or
   the RFC Editor.  Only a few of them can be published each year, and
   each is reviewed by the ISE and the RSE.  Bob Braden's criteria for
   April 1st drafts were:

   *  They must relate to the Internet (like all drafts).

   *  Their readers should reach the end of page two before realizing it
      is an April 1st RFC.

   *  They must actually be funny!

   April 1st RFCs have a large following, and feedback from the Internet
   community on April 1st of each year has been enthusiastic and quick!

   159 RFCs were published in the Independent Stream during my eight
   years as ISE.  Over those eight years, I worked with most of their
   authors and often met with them at IETF meetings.  For me, that was a
   very rewarding experience, so I thank all those that contributed.
   During those eight years, I also worked with most of the IESG
   members, who all also gave me a lot of helpful interaction.  Lastly,
   I've always enjoyed working with the RSE and all the staff of the RFC
   Production Center.  The IETF (as a whole) is very fortunate to have
   such an effective team of talented professional staff.

3.5.  A View from inside the RFC Editor - by Sandy Ginoza

   When I joined ISI, shortly after Jon Postel passed away, the RFC
   Editor model as we know it today (as defined in [RFC5620] and as
   obsoleted by [RFC6548] and [RFC6635]) did not exist.  The RFC Editor
   functioned as one unit: there was no RSE, Production Center,
   Publisher, or Independent Submissions Editor.  All of these roles
   were performed by the "RFC Editor", which was comprised of four
   individuals: Bob Braden, Joyce Reynolds, a part-time student
   programmer, and me.

   Bob provided high-level guidance and reviewed Independent
   Submissions.  While Bob was a researcher in "Div 7" (Networking) at
   ISI, ostensibly, the percentage of time he had for the RFC Editor was
   10%, but he invested much more time to keep the Series running.  He
   pitched in where he could, especially when processing times were
   getting longer; at one point, he even NROFFed a couple of RFCs-to-be.

   Joyce was a full-time ISI employee.  However, while continuing to
   ensure RFCs were published, she was also serving as a User Services
   Area Director and a keynote speaker about the Internet, and she was
   also temporarily on loan to IANA for 50% of her time while IANA was
   getting established after separating from ISI.  The student
   programmer performed programming tasks as requested and was, at the
   time, responsible for parsing MIBs.

   I was a full-time staffer and had to quickly learn the ropes so RFCs
   would continue to be published.  My primary tasks were to manage the
   publication queue, format and prepare documents for Joyce's review,
   carry out AUTH48 once Joyce completed her review, and publish, index,
   and archive the RFCs (both soft and hard copies).

   The workload increased significantly over the next few years.  As the
   workload increased, the RFC Editor reacted and slowly grew their
   staff over time.  To understand the team growth, let's first take a
   look at the publication rates throughout history.  The table below
   shows average annual publication rates during 5-year periods.

                   +-------------+--------------------+
                   |    Years    | Avg. Pubs per Year |
                   +=============+====================+
                   | 1969 - 1972 |         80         |
                   +-------------+--------------------+
                   | 1973 - 1977 |         55         |
                   +-------------+--------------------+
                   | 1978 - 1982 |         20         |
                   +-------------+--------------------+
                   | 1983 - 1987 |         39         |
                   +-------------+--------------------+
                   | 1988 - 1992 |         69         |
                   +-------------+--------------------+
                   | 1993 - 1997 |        171         |
                   +-------------+--------------------+
                   | 1998 - 2002 |        237         |
                   +-------------+--------------------+
                   | 2003 - 2007 |        325         |
                   +-------------+--------------------+
                   | 2008 - 2012 |        333         |
                   +-------------+--------------------+
                   | 2013 - 2017 |        295         |
                   +-------------+--------------------+

                    Table 2: Annual Publication Rates

   There were significant jumps in the publication rates in the '90s and
   onward, with the number of publications almost doubling between 1993
   and 2007.  The annual submission count surpassed the 300 mark for the
   first time in 2004 and reached an all-time high of 385 in 2011.  The
   submission rate did not drop below 300 until 2016 (284).

   As the submissions grew, the RFC Editor experienced growing pains.
   Processing times began to increase as the existing staff was unable
   to keep up with the expanding queue size.  In an attempt to reduce
   the training hump and to avoid permanently hiring staff in case the
   submission burst was a fluke, ISI brought on temporary copy editors;
   this way, the staff could easily be resized as needed.  However, as
   Leslie noted, this didn't work very well.  The effects of the
   experiment would be lasting, as this led to a form of the process we
   have now, where the RFC Editor asks more questions during AUTH/AUTH48
   and technical changes require approval from the relevant Area
   Directors or stream managers, depending on the document stream.
   These changes added to the workload and extended publication times;
   many often now jokingly refer to AUTH48 as the authors' "48 days",
   "48 weeks", etc.

   In addition to the increase in document submissions, we engaged in
   tools testing and went through several editorial process changes.
   Because of the lesson learned with temporary copy editors, our team
   grew to be more permanent.  While we added other editors in between,
   two additions are of particular interest, as they experienced much of
   the RFC Editor's growing pains, helped work us out of a backlogged
   state, shaped the RFC Editor function, and are still with the team
   today: Alice Russo joined the team in 2005 and Megan Ferguson joined
   us in 2007.

   With the understanding that the record-breaking number of submissions
   was not an anomaly, we made significant upgrades to the
   infrastructure of the RFC Editor function to facilitate document
   tracking and reporting.  For example, the illustrious "black binder"
   (an actual 3-ring binder used to track RFC number assignment), a
   manually edited HTML file for the queue page, and a Rube Goldberg set
   of text files and scripts that created queue statistics, all were
   eventually replaced; an errata system was proposed and implemented;
   and XML became a newly accepted source file.

   In 2009, [RFC5620] was published, introducing the initial version of
   the RFC Editor model we have now.  While it was published in 2009, it
   did not go into effect until 2010, when the RFC Editor project as I
   knew it was disbanded and divvied up into four pieces: RFC Series
   Editor (RSE), Independent Submissions Editor (ISE), RFC Production
   Center (RPC), and the Publisher function.  In addition, the RFC
   Series Advisory Group (RSAG) was created to "provide expert, informed
   guidance (chiefly, to the RSE) in matters affecting the RFC Series
   operation and development" [RSAG].

   In 2010, the RPC and Publisher contracts were awarded to Association
   Management Solutions (AMS).  There, we started with three existing
   team members (Alice Russo, Megan Ferguson, and me), and we were
   pleased to be joined by Lynne Bartholomew and Rebecca VanRheenen, new
   colleagues to anchor us in the AMS office.

   I was wary of this model and was especially worried about the hole
   Bob Braden's departure would create.  Luckily for us, Bob Braden
   provided wise counsel and insight during the transition (and beyond).
   He gave the staff transitioning to AMS particularly helpful parting
   words, "keep the RFCs coming", and that is what we did.

   AMS embraced the RFC Series and helped us quickly get set up on new
   servers.  The RFC Production Center and Publisher were now part of
   the AMS family and it was all hands on deck to make sure the
   transition went smoothly to minimize the impact on document
   processing.

   Our focus during transition was to 1) keep the trains running; that
   is, we wanted to get ourselves up and running with minimal down time,
   and 2) work with the Transitional RSE (a role that concluded before
   the transition ended), the ISE (Nevil Brownlee), RSAG, and the IETF
   Administrative Director (IAD) to better understand and implement the
   newly defined RFC Editor model.

   Though some portions of the transition were challenging and lasted
   longer than expected, the Acting RSE (Olaf Kolkman) officially handed
   the reins over to the new RSE (Heather Flanagan) in 2012.  She had to
   jump in, learn the RFC Editor and IETF culture, and work through a
   backlog of issues that had been left unattended.

   Two of the backlogged issues were so old that they were ones someone
   had asked me about at my first IETF meeting: When was the RFC Editor
   going to allow non-ASCII characters in RFCs?  When would the RFC
   Editor adopt a more modern publication format?

   At that time, while we understood the desire to move toward
   supporting a broader range of character sets and having more-modern
   outputs, we also routinely received emails from individuals
   requesting that we send them plaintext files (instead of pointing
   them to the website) because their Internet access was limited.  We
   also regularly received complaints from users of <https://www.rfc-
   editor.org> whenever something on the site didn't work correctly with
   their older browsers.  In short, we could not advance without leaving
   a large number of users behind.

   However, we now find ourselves on the precipice of change.  The next
   few years promise to be exciting for the RFC Series as we transition
   from publishing plaintext, ASCII-only files to publishing multiple
   file formats (XML, HTML, PDF/A-3, and TXT) that allow both non-ASCII
   characters and SVG art.

   Interestingly enough, I find that the RFC Editor has been in an
   almost constant state of change since I joined the team, even though
   the goal of the RFC Editor remains the same: to produce archival
   quality RFCs in a timely manner that are easily accessible for future
   generations.

4.  The Next Fifty Years of RFCs

   As Steve Crocker mentioned, the Series began with goals of
   communication over formality and openness over structure.  As the
   Internet has grown and become a pervasive, global construct, we still
   aim for openness and communication, but recognize that for protocols
   and other information to support interoperability, there must be
   points of stability to build from.  Everyone, from small-time app
   developers to multi-billion dollar companies, is on the same footing.
   Anyone should be able to look back at a point in time and understand
   what was done and why.

   While the informality has given way to increased structure, the
   openness and solid foundation that the Series provides must continue.
   With that in mind, what does the future hold for the next fifty years
   of RFCs?

4.1.  Preservation

   The RFC Editor exists to edit, publish, and maintain an archive of
   documents published in the RFC Series.  A proper digital archive,
   however, is more than just saving RFCs to disk and making sure the
   disks are backed up; the field of digital preservation has grown and
   transformed into an industry in and of itself.  "Digital Preservation
   Considerations for the RFC Series" [RFC8153] reviews what a digital
   archive means today and describes ways to support the archive into
   the future.  It also recommends ways for the RFC Editor to take
   advantage of those organizations that specialize in this field.

   The future of digital preservation, as far as the RFC Series is
   concerned, will mean both finding new partners that can absorb and
   archive RFCs into a public, maintained digital archive and reviewing
   the RFC format to ensure that the published documents are archivable
   according to whatever the industry best practice is over time.

4.2.  Evolution of the RFC Format

   RFCs have been digital documents since very early in the days of the
   Series.  While not always published in US-ASCII, that format has been
   the canonical format for decades.  The fact that this format has
   lasted through so much evolution and change is remarkable.

   Unfortunately, the US-ASCII format does not extend enough to meet the
   expectations and requirements of many users today.  The entire field
   of online document presentation, consumption, and preservation has,
   in some cases, only been invented years after the first RFC was
   published.  While it can be (and has been) argued that those newer
   fields and their tools have not had a chance to stand the test of
   time, the RFC Series Editor (in consultation with the community)
   started a concerted effort in 2012 to bring the RFC Series into
   alignment with a new array of possibilities for preservation and
   display.

   Information on the RFC format project and the initial reasoning and
   requirements for the changes underway can be found in [RFC7990].
   With the advent of these changes, the door has been opened to
   consider further changes in the future as the specifications for
   archiving digital material evolves, and as the expectation of web
   development advances.

4.3.  Stream Structure

   In the eyes of many, particularly within the IETF, the RFC Series is
   synonymous with the IETF.  While the Series itself predates the IETF
   by eighteen years, over time, the IETF has become the source of the
   majority of documents submitted for publication to the RFC Editor.
   The policies developed for IETF Stream drafts tend to apply across
   all four document streams, and publication-related tools tend to
   focus on the IETF as the primary audience for their use.  It is
   difficult for people to see how, or even why, there is a distinction
   between the Series and the IETF.

   We are in the midst of that question now more than ever.  What is the
   future of the Series?  If people cannot tell where the IETF ends and
   the Series starts, should we consider this an artificial distinction
   and declare them to be the same entity?

   Ultimately, this will be something the community decides, and
   conversations are underway to consider the ramifications of possible
   changes.

5.  Conclusion

   As the Internet evolves, expectations and possibilities evolve, too.
   Over the next fifty years, the Series will continue to demonstrate a
   balance between the need to stay true to the original mission of
   publication and preservation, while also staying relevant to the
   needs of the authors and consumers of RFCs.  The tension in balancing
   those needs rests on the RFC Editor and the community to resolve.  We
   will not run short of challenges.

6.  IANA Considerations

   This document has no IANA actions.

7.  Security Considerations

   This document has no security considerations.

8.  Informative References

   [APPRENTICE]
              Wikipedia, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", December 2019,
              <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Sorcerer%2
              7s_Apprentice&oldid=925824658>.

   [DATATRACKER]
              Internet Engineering Task Force, "IETF Datatracker",
              <https://datatracker.ietf.org>.

   [IAB-19880712]
              IAB, "IAB Minutes 1988-07-12", July 1988,
              <https://www.iab.org/documents/minutes/minutes-1988/iab-
              minutes-1988-07-12/>.

   [IETF1]    The MITRE Corporation, "Proceedings of the 16-17 January
              1986 DARPA Gateway Algorithms and Data Structures Task
              Force", IETF 1, January 1986,
              <https://www.ietf.org/old/2009/proceedings/prior29/
              IETF01.pdf>.

   [ISI-to-AMS]
              IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA), "RFC
              Production Center Agreement between Association Management
              Solutions, LLC and The Internet Society", October 2009,
              <https://iaoc.ietf.org/documents/AMS-RPC-Public-Final-
              2009.pdf>.

   [RFC-ONLINE]
              RFC Editor, "History of RFC Online Project", 2000,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc-online-2000.html>.

   [RFC0001]  Crocker, S., "Host Software", RFC 1, DOI 10.17487/RFC0001,
              April 1969, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc1>.

   [RFC0003]  Crocker, S., "Documentation conventions", RFC 3,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC0003, April 1969,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc3>.

   [RFC0114]  Bhushan, A., "File Transfer Protocol", RFC 114,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC0114, April 1971,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc114>.

   [RFC0433]  Postel, J., "Socket number list", RFC 433,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC0433, December 1972,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc433>.

   [RFC0690]  Postel, J., "Comments on the proposed Host/IMP Protocol
              changes", RFC 690, DOI 10.17487/RFC0690, June 1975,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc690>.

   [RFC0748]  Crispin, M., "Telnet randomly-lose option", RFC 748,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC0748, April 1978,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc748>.

   [RFC0902]  Reynolds, J. and J. Postel, "ARPA Internet Protocol
              policy", RFC 902, DOI 10.17487/RFC0902, July 1984,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc902>.

   [RFC1000]  Reynolds, J. and J. Postel, "Request For Comments
              reference guide", RFC 1000, DOI 10.17487/RFC1000, August
              1987, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc1000>.

   [RFC1083]  Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Internet
              Activities Board, "IAB official protocol standards",
              RFC 1083, DOI 10.17487/RFC1083, December 1988,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc1083>.

   [RFC1122]  Braden, R., Ed., "Requirements for Internet Hosts -
              Communication Layers", STD 3, RFC 1122,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC1122, October 1989,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc1122>.

   [RFC1123]  Braden, R., Ed., "Requirements for Internet Hosts -
              Application and Support", STD 3, RFC 1123,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC1123, October 1989,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc1123>.

   [RFC1150]  Malkin, G. and J. Reynolds, "FYI on FYI: Introduction to
              the FYI Notes", RFC 1150, DOI 10.17487/RFC1150, March
              1990, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc1150>.

   [RFC1311]  Postel, J., "Introduction to the STD Notes", RFC 1311,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC1311, March 1992,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc1311>.

   [RFC1818]  Postel, J., Li, T., and Y. Rekhter, "Best Current
              Practices", RFC 1818, DOI 10.17487/RFC1818, August 1995,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc1818>.

   [RFC2441]  Cohen, D., "Working with Jon, Tribute delivered at UCLA,
              October 30, 1998", RFC 2441, DOI 10.17487/RFC2441,
              November 1998, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2441>.

   [RFC2468]  Cerf, V., "I REMEMBER IANA", RFC 2468,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2468, October 1998,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2468>.

   [RFC2555]  Editor, RFC. and et. al., "30 Years of RFCs", RFC 2555,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2555, April 1999,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2555>.

   [RFC4714]  Mankin, A. and S. Hayes, "Requirements for IETF Technical
              Publication Service", RFC 4714, DOI 10.17487/RFC4714,
              October 2006, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4714>.

   [RFC4844]  Daigle, L., Ed. and Internet Architecture Board, "The RFC
              Series and RFC Editor", RFC 4844, DOI 10.17487/RFC4844,
              July 2007, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4844>.

   [RFC4845]  Daigle, L., Ed. and Internet Architecture Board, "Process
              for Publication of IAB RFCs", RFC 4845,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4845, July 2007,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4845>.

   [RFC4846]  Klensin, J., Ed. and D. Thaler, Ed., "Independent
              Submissions to the RFC Editor", RFC 4846,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4846, July 2007,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4846>.

   [RFC5540]  Editor, RFC., "40 Years of RFCs", RFC 5540,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5540, April 2009,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5540>.

   [RFC5620]  Kolkman, O., Ed. and IAB, "RFC Editor Model (Version 1)",
              RFC 5620, DOI 10.17487/RFC5620, August 2009,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5620>.

   [RFC5742]  Alvestrand, H. and R. Housley, "IESG Procedures for
              Handling of Independent and IRTF Stream Submissions",
              BCP 92, RFC 5742, DOI 10.17487/RFC5742, December 2009,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5742>.

   [RFC5743]  Falk, A., "Definition of an Internet Research Task Force
              (IRTF) Document Stream", RFC 5743, DOI 10.17487/RFC5743,
              December 2009, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5743>.

   [RFC6360]  Housley, R., "Conclusion of FYI RFC Sub-Series", RFC 6360,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6360, August 2011,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6360>.

   [RFC6410]  Housley, R., Crocker, D., and E. Burger, "Reducing the
              Standards Track to Two Maturity Levels", BCP 9, RFC 6410,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6410, October 2011,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6410>.

   [RFC6548]  Brownlee, N., Ed. and IAB, "Independent Submission Editor
              Model", RFC 6548, DOI 10.17487/RFC6548, June 2012,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6548>.

   [RFC6635]  Kolkman, O., Ed., Halpern, J., Ed., and IAB, "RFC Editor
              Model (Version 2)", RFC 6635, DOI 10.17487/RFC6635, June
              2012, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6635>.

   [RFC6949]  Flanagan, H. and N. Brownlee, "RFC Series Format
              Requirements and Future Development", RFC 6949,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6949, May 2013,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6949>.

   [RFC7990]  Flanagan, H., "RFC Format Framework", RFC 7990,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7990, December 2016,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7990>.

   [RFC8126]  Cotton, M., Leiba, B., and T. Narten, "Guidelines for
              Writing an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26,
              RFC 8126, DOI 10.17487/RFC8126, June 2017,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8126>.

   [RFC8153]  Flanagan, H., "Digital Preservation Considerations for the
              RFC Series", RFC 8153, DOI 10.17487/RFC8153, April 2017,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8153>.

   [RSAG]     RFC Editor, "RFC Series Advisory Group",
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/about/rsag/>.

IAB Members at the Time of Approval

      Jari Arkko
      Alissa Cooper
      Stephen Farrell
      Wes Hardaker
      Ted Hardie
      Christian Huitema
      Zhenbin Li
      Erik Nordmark
      Mark Nottingham
      Melinda Shore
      Jeff Tantsura
      Martin Thomson
      Brian Trammell

Acknowledgements

   Many thanks to John Klensin for his feedback and insights on the
   history of the Series, as someone who directly engaged and influenced
   many of the key individuals involved in developing the RFC Series.

   Additional thanks to members of the RFC Series Advisory group and the
   Independent Submissions Editorial Board, in particular, Scott
   Bradner, Brian Carpenter, and Adrian Farrel, for their early reviews
   and input into the sequence of key moments in the history of the
   Series.

Contributors

   Many thanks to Steve Crocker, Vint Cerf, Leslie Daigle, Nevil
   Brownlee, and Sandy Ginoza for their perspectives on the Series and
   their ongoing support.

Author's Address

   Heather Flanagan (editor)
   RFC Editor

   Email: rse@rfc-editor.org
   URI:   https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2647-2220


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