An RFC is an RFC when it is an RFC (Was: Question Re: best practices)

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Mon May 9 19:39:54 CEST 2011

On 5/9/2011 10:13 AM, Jeroen Massar wrote:
> On 2011-May-09 19:00, Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
>> That is a draft, not a real RFC.
> Ehmmm, from the top of the document:
> 8<=============================================
> Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
> Request for Comments: 6146
> Category: Standards Track
> ISSN: 2070-1721
> =============================================>8
> The fact that it is published as an RFC, it has a number makes it an
> RFC. And this RFC is a working group document AND is even Standards
> Track and marked as PROPOSED STANDARD.
> The draft along with it's 12 iterations are at the top, eg:

12 iterations ought to tell you something.

> Nothing 'not real' about it, RFC6146 is an RFC, if you like it or not.

To the general public "RFC" is shorthand for an RFC Standard, they do
not distinguish between an RFC Draft or an RFC Standard or an RFC
Informational (which carries no weight at all)  RFC Draft is nothing
more than an idea.

> When sufficient deployment is there, in (like 4 years ;) then it can
> even move to become a Standard, as well, it is standards track.

Maybe.  What is going on is that the NAT64 supporters are
attempting to get enough people to implement a draft that they can force
the issue with IETF by arguing that there's so much of it deployed
that they have to make it a standard.

> As it seems you have a problem with the IETF process, I suggest you
> raise that on the IETF lists where people can even better put you straight.

No it seems that the NAT64 people have a problem with the RFC process
because they won't take no for an answer.

> The IETF works with a consensus model, the only way to weigh your word
> in is to participate in it. The BEHAVE WG is where you want to be at for
> this one.

BEHAVE is just the latest in a series of NAT-in-IPv6 WG's that have
tried and failed to interject that hack of networking into IPv6.

IETF has repeatedly said NAT is a hack they don't want in IPv6.  How 
often does it have to be said before the NAT supporters get the message?

And in any case nothing else I have said regarding the draft has been
invalidated by your comments.  It's not a standard it's a draft, if you
won't be forthright in saying that then it just indicates you are not
interested in clarity to the consumer, and any consumer ought to be
very suspicious of a vendor or anyone else who is not willing to make
it crystal clear what they are doing.  And as I also said, buying 
equipment that implements a draft standard is no guarantee that the
draft standard won't change - many draft standards have been abandoned
in the past without ever making it to be a standard, and many have 
undergone significant revision - and the usual vendor response to a
customer who is complaining that the gear they bought 2 years ago that
implemented a draft standard but isn't compliant with the real standard
that came out of the draft, is tough cookies, buy new gear from us.

Thus, for the hypothetical OP's question (which sounded suspiciously 
like a troll anyway) to get into fooling with gear that implements a
draft standard is going to be very costly, and nobody should do it
unless they can realize an immediate financial gain for doing so, that
will pay back the investment - because for sure, your going to be buying
more gear when the draft standard is changed in the future.  While a
handful of content providers might be able to answer Yes to this, the
general public will not be able to.


> Greets,
>   Jeroen

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