Type of standards-related documents created by the IETF.
- Internet-Draft (I-D) - informal draft versions of an IETF specification that may be changed or removed at any time and expires within 6 months of last update. Documents achieve this status simply by being placed in the IETF's "Internet-Drafts" directory. They have no formal status and can be changed or removed at any time.
- Request for Comments (RFC)
All RFCs are available in ASCII text. Some are also available in Postscript. To obtain a copy of rfc-retrieval.txt, which contains the latest information on how to get RFCs, send a message to email@example.com or visit the RFC Editor Homepage.
- RFC Taxonomy - One common occurence is the the self-referential meta-document, e.g. FYIs on FYIs, RFCs on RFCs, an SOB on SOBs (which is actually the only SOB). The categories presented below are not mutually exclusive, i.e. some documents fall under more than one category.
- Standards Track - the ASCII text version is the definitive reference, and therefore it must be a complete and accurate specification of the standard, including all necessary diagrams and illustrations.
- Proposed Standard - immature specification. A specific action by the IESG is required to move a specification onto the standards track at the "Proposed Standard" level.
- Draft Standard - specification from which at least two independent and interoperable implementations from different code bases have been developed, and for which sufficient successful operational experience has been obtained.
- Standard (STD) - specification for which significant implementation and successful operational experience have been obtained. When a specification has been adopted as an Internet Standard, it is given the additional label "STDxxx", but it keeps its RFC number and its place in the RFC series.
- Official Protocol Standards RFC (STD1) - lists a general requirement level for each TS, updated periodically - RFCs 1500, 1600, 1720, 1780, 1800, 1920, 2000, 2200, 2300, 2400, 2500, 2600, 2700, 2800, 2900, 3000
- Non-Standards Track - not subject to the rules for Internet standardization and may be published directly as "Experimental" or "Informational" RFCs at the discretion of the RFC Editor in consultation with the IESG.
- Best Current Practice (BCP) - designed to be a way to standardize practices and the results of community deliberations. While these guidelines are generally different in scope and style from protocol standards, their establishment needs a similar process for consensus building. They provide a structured way for the IAB and IESG to insert proposals into the consensus-building machinery of the IETF while gauging the community's view of that issue and can also be used to document operations of the IETF itself. - RFCs: 1818, 1871, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1930, 2008, 2014, 2026, 2027, 2028, 2048, 2050, 2119, 2148, 2184, 2219, 2277, 2278, 2282, 2317, 2350, 2360, 2365, 2379, 2418, 2434, 2438, 2388, 2489, 2505, 2506, 2606, 2611, 2644, 2717, 2727, 2736, 2780, 2827, 2850, 2870, 2929, 2939, 2964, 2978, 3005, 3013, 3066, 3150, 3152, 3155, 3171, 3172, 3180, 3184
- Experimental - typically part of some research or development effort. Published for the general information of the Internet technical community and as an archival record of the work, subject only to editorial considerations and to verification that there has been adequate coordination with the standards process. May be the output of an organized Internet research effort (e.g., a Research Group of the IRTF), an IETF Working Group, or an individual contribution.
- Historic - superseded by a more recent specification or is for any other reason considered to be obsolete.
- Informational - The types below have been drawn from an analysis of existing RFCs. Only the FYI and RTR are specifically designated by the IETF.
- April Fools - RFCs 1438, 1605, 1607, 1925, 2100, 2321, 2322, 2323, 2324, 2325, 2549, 2550, 2551, 2795, 3091, 3092, 3093
- Biographical - RFCs 1251, 1336, 2441, 2468
- For Your Information (FYI) - like an STD, has its own subseries number in addition to the RFC number (e.g. RFC 1177 is also FYI0004). And, also like an STD, an FYI that obseletes an earlier FYI will take that older document's FYI number but will still have a unique RFC number. This is why there are more RFCs that are FYIs than FYI numbers - RFCs 1147, 1150, 1175, 1177, 1178, 1198, 1206, 1207, 1244, 1251, 1290, 1292, 1302, 1325, 1355, 1359, 1391, 1392, 1402, 1462, 1463, 1470, 1491, 1539, 1578, 1580, 1594, 1632, 1635, 1689, 1709, 1713, 1718, 1739, 1855, 1941, 1983, 2007, 2116, 2150, 2151, 2196, 2235, 2398, 2504, 2635, 2664, 2901, 3098, 3160
- Glossary - RFCs 1208, 1392, 1983, 2828
- Handbook - RFCs 185, 766, 774, 1244, 2196, 2504
- Literature Review - RFC 1432
- Poetry/Verse - RRCs 1300, 1882, 2100
- RARE Technical Report (RTR) - reports developed in the Reseaux Associes pour la Recherche Europeenne (RARE) community that were published as RFCs to provide easy access to the general Internet community. (RARE no longer exists.) - RFCs 1384, 1685, 1689
- Statement Of Boredom (SOB) - novel classification that strangely only has itself (RFC 1438) as a member
- Summary notes - RFCs 160, 200, 699, 800, 899, 999, 1000, 1012, 1099, 1199, 1299, 1399, 1799, 1899, 1999, 2099, 2199, 2299, 2399, 2499, 2599, 2699, 2799, 2899, 2999, 3099
- Other Organizations that produce RFCs
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) - one of the 16 specialized agencies of the United Nations system of organizations, responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property throughout the world through cooperation among States, and for the administration of various multilateral treaties dealing with the legal and administrative aspects of intellectual property.
- Guide for Internet Standards Writers - (IETF RFC 2360) defines those characteristics that make standards coherent, unambiguous and easy to interpret, and singles out usage believed to have led to unclear specifications, resulting in non-interoperable interpretations in the past, Gregor D. Scott, editor, June 1998
- Instructions to RFC Authors - (IETF RFC 2223) provides information about the preparation and certain policies relating to the publication of RFCs, Jon Postel and Joyce K. Reynolds, October 1997
- Internet Request for Comments - Ohio State site that allows you to browse through or search over a directory of all RFCs (though some links are broken). To get an idea of how unrestrained the content of an RFC can be, check out some of the humorous ones at the bottom of their page.
- Using Microsoft Word to create Internet Drafts and RFCs - (IETF RFC 3285) describes the steps to configure the Microsoft Word application to produce documents in Internet Draft and RFC format, Mike Gahrns and Tony Hain, May 2002
- xml2rfc - tool for converting XML source documents into the ASCII or HTML format for RFCs
- Internet Experiment Note (IEN) - Published in parallel to RFCs and intended to be "working documents." They have been replaced by Internet-Drafts in the early 1980s and are currently of historic value only.
- Internet Monthly Report (IMR) - communicate to the Internet Research Group the accomplishments, milestones reached, or problems discovered by the participating organizations.
- Diff - a small correction that an author indicates he or she wishes to make to an I-D that has been submitted to the RFC Editor for review as a potential RFC.
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Page last updated: 2006-08-18