Network Working Group
Request for Comments: 1311
Internet Activities Board
J. Postel, Editor
March 1992

Introduction to the STD Notes

Status of this Memo

This RFC describes a new sub-series of RFCs, called STDs (Standards). Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

1. Introduction

The STDs are a subseries of notes within the RFC series that are the Internet standards. The intent is to identify clearly for the Internet community those RFCs which document Internet standards.

2. The Assignment of STD Numbers

There is a need to be very clear about which specifications have completed the full process of standardization in the Internet. To do this an STD number will be assigned to a specification when it reaches the Standard maturity level. Note that specifications may be either Technical Specifications (TS) or Applicability Statements (AS).

When a specification reaches the final stage of the standardization process and the IAB has designated it a standard for the Internet, an STD number will be assigned to that specification.

The existing standards have been assigned STD numbers (see Appendix).

The standard for a particular protocol will always have the same STD number.

If at some future time a protocol is reworked and a new document is produced as the specification of that standard and the new specification is designated by the IAB as a standard for the Internet, then the new document will be labeled with the same STD number (of course, that new document will have a new RFC number).

Multiple Documents for One Standard:

A STD number identifies a standard not a document. A document is identified by its RFC number. If the specification of a standard is spread over several documents they will each carry the same STD number.

For example, the Domain Name System (DNS) is currently specified by the combination of RFCs 1034 and 1035. Both of these documents are now labeled STD-13.

To be completely clear the DNS "Concepts and Facilities" document can be referenced as "STD-13/RFC-1034".

In such cases, whenever possible, the set of documents defining a particular standard will cross reference each other.

One Standard or Multiple Standards:

One difficult decision is deciding whether a set of documents describe one standard or multiple standards. In the Appendix, one can see that there are several cases in which one STD applies to multiple RFCs (see STDs 5, 13, and 20). There is one case in which a family of specifications has multiple STD numbers; that is the Telnet Options.

The general rule is that a separate STD number is used when the specification is logically separable. That is, logically separable options are assigned distinct STD numbers while amendments and non-optional extensions use the same STD number as the base specification.

Multiple Versions or Editions of a Standard:

It may occur that the documentation of a standard is updated or replaced with a new document. In such cases, the same STD number will be used to label the standard. No version numbers will be attached to STD numbers. There need be no confusion about having the up-to-date document about STD-9 since each version of the document will have a distinct RFC number (and of course a different date).

The complete identification of a specification and its document is the combination of the STD and the RFC. For example, "STD-13/RFC- 1035" completely identifies the current version of the second part of the Domain Name System specification.

To completely identify all of the DNS standard the citation would be "STD-13/RFC-1034/RFC-1035".

One way to think of this is that an acronym (like TCP) refers to a concept, which is called a protocol. An RFC number (like RFC-793) indicates the specific version of the protocol specification. An STD number (like STD-7) designates the status of the protocol.

2. Why an RFC Subseries ?

There are several reasons why the STDs are part of the larger RFC series of notes.

The foremost reason is that the distribution mechanisms for RFCs are tried and true. Anyone who can get an RFC, can automatically get a STD. More important, anyone who knows of the RFC series can easily find the STDs.

Another reason for making STDs part of the RFC series is that the maintenance mechanisms for RFCs are already in place. It makes sense to maintain similar documents is a similar way.

3. Format Rules

Since the STDs are a part of the RFC series, they must conform to "Request for Comments on Request for Comments: Instructions to RFC Authors" (RFC-1111) with respect to format.

3.1 Status Statement

Each STD RFC must include on its first page the "Status of this Memo" section which contains a paragraph describing the intention of the RFC. This section is meant to convey the status approved by the Internet Activities Board (IAB).

3.2. Distribution Statement

Each STD RFC will also include a "distribution statement". As the purpose of the STD series is to disseminate information, there is no reason for the distribution to be anything other than "unlimited".

Typically, the distribution statement will simply be the sentence "Distribution of this memo is unlimited." appended to the "Status of this Memo" section.

3.3. Security Considerations

All STD RFCs must contain a section that discusses the security considerations of the procedures that are the main topic of the RFC.

3.4. Author's Address

Each STD RFC must have at the very end a section giving the author's address, including the name and postal address, the telephone number, and the Internet email address.

In the case of multiple authors, each of the authors will be listed. In the case of a document produced by a group, the editor of the document will be listed and optionally the chair of the group may be listed.

4. The STD Publication

New documents can only become STD RFCs through an action of the IAB. The publication of STDs will be performed by the RFC Editor.

5. STD Announcements

New STD RFCs are announced to the RFC distribution list maintained by the Network Information Center (NIC). Contact the NIC to be added or deleted from this mailing list by sending an email message to RFC- REQUEST@NIC.DDN.MIL.

6. Obtaining STDs

STD RFCs may be obtained in the same way as any RFC.

Details on obtaining RFCs via FTP or EMAIL may be obtained by sending an EMAIL message to "rfc-info@ISI.EDU" with the message body "help: ways_to_get_rfcs". For example:

           To: rfc-info@ISI.EDU
           Subject: getting rfcs



The current standards are listed in the "IAB Official Protocol Standards" (which is STD-1), whose current edition is RFC-1280.

Security Considerations

Security issues are not discussed in this memo.

Author's Address

Jon Postel
USC/Information Sciences Institute
4676 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

   Phone: 310-822-1511
   Fax:   310-823-6714



APPENDIX -- The Grandfathered STDs

Protocol   Name                                      Status    RFC  STD
========   =====================================     ======= ===== ====
--------   IAB Official Protocol Standards           Req      1280    1
--------   Assigned Numbers                          Req      1060    2
--------   Host Requirements                         Req 1122,1123    3
--------   Gateway Requirements                      Req      1009    4
IP         Internet Protocol                         Req       791    5
            as amended by:
--------     IP Subnet Extension                     Req       950    5
--------     IP Broadcast Datagrams                  Req       919    5
--------     IP Broadcast Datagrams with Subnets     Req       922    5
ICMP       Internet Control Message Protocol         Req       792    5
IGMP       Internet Group Multicast Protocol         Rec      1112    5
UDP        User Datagram Protocol                    Rec       768    6
TCP        Transmission Control Protocol             Rec       793    7
TELNET     Telnet Protocol                           Rec   854,855    8
FTP        File Transfer Protocol                    Rec       959    9
SMTP       Simple Mail Transfer Protocol             Rec       821   10
MAIL       Format of Electronic Mail Messages        Rec       822   11
CONTENT    Content Type Header Field                 Rec      1049   11
NTP        Network Time Protocol                     Rec      1119   12
DOMAIN     Domain Name System                        Rec 1034,1035   13
DNS-MX     Mail Routing and the Domain System        Rec       974   14
SNMP       Simple Network Management Protocol        Rec      1157   15
SMI        Structure of Management Information       Rec      1155   16
MIB-II     Management Information Base-II            Rec      1213   17
EGP        Exterior Gateway Protocol                 Rec       904   18
NETBIOS    NetBIOS Service Protocols                 Ele 1001,1002   19
ECHO       Echo Protocol                             Rec       862   20
DISCARD    Discard Protocol                          Ele       863   21
CHARGEN    Character Generator Protocol              Ele       864   22
QUOTE      Quote of the Day Protocol                 Ele       865   23
USERS      Active Users Protocol                     Ele       866   24
DAYTIME    Daytime Protocol                          Ele       867   25
TIME       Time Server Protocol                      Ele       868   26

Telnet Options                               Option  Status    RFC  STD
========   ================================= ======  ======= ===== ====
TOPT-BIN   Binary Transmission                 0     Rec       856   27
TOPT-ECHO  Echo                                1     Rec       857   28
TOPT-SUPP  Suppress Go Ahead                   3     Rec       858   29
TOPT-STAT  Status                              5     Rec       859   30
TOPT-TIM   Timing Mark                         6     Rec       860   31
TOPT-EXTOP Extended-Options-List             255     Rec       861   32