AT&T Labs - Research
RFC 1264 Is Obsolete
Status of This Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Copyright © The IETF Trust (2006).
RFC 1264 was written during what was effectively a completely different time in the life of the Internet. It prescribed rules to protect the Internet against new routing protocols that may have various undesirable properties. In today's Internet, there are so many other pressures against deploying unreasonable protocols that we believe that existing controls suffice, and the RFC 1264 rules just get in the way.
RFC 1264 [RFC1264] describes various rules to be applied when publishing routing protocols on the IETF Standards Track, including requirements for implementation, MIBs, security, etc. These rules were written in an attempt to protect the Internet from incomplete or unscalable new protocols.
Today, one of the big problems the IETF faces is timeliness. Applying additional rules to a certain class of protocols hurts the IETF's ability to publish specifications in a timely manner.
The current standards process [RFC2026] already permits the IESG to require additional implementation experience when it appears to be needed. We do not need any more rules than that. RFC 2026 says:
Usually, neither implementation nor operational experience is required for the designation of a specification as a Proposed Standard. However, such experience is highly desirable, and will usually represent a strong argument in favor of a Proposed Standard designation.
The IESG may require implementation and/or operational experience prior to granting Proposed Standard status to a specification that materially affects the core Internet protocols or that specifies behavior that may have significant operational impact on the Internet.
2. RFC 1264 Is Obsolete
Therefore, this document reclassifies RFC 1264 as historic. While that does not prohibit the Routing Area Directors from requiring implementation and/or operational experience under the RFC 2026 rules, it removes the broad, general requirement from all routing documents.
3. Working Group Procedures
Some working groups within the Routing Area have developed procedures, based on RFC 1264, to require implementations before forwarding a document to the IESG. This action does not prevent those working groups from continuing with these procedures if the working group prefers to work this way. We encourage working groups to put measures in place to improve the quality of their output.
RFC 1264 required a MIB module to be in development for a protocol; this is still encouraged in a broad sense. This is not meant to be limiting, however; protocol management and manageability should be considered in the context of current IETF management protocols. In addition, [RTG-REQS] contains a description of a "Manageability Requirements" section; this is not currently a requirement but should be considered.
4. Security Considerations
While RFC 1264's rules placed additional constraints on the security-related contents of an RFC, current policies (e.g., the requirement for a Security Considerations section) suffice.
Alex Zinin and Bill Fenner spent a great deal of time trying to produce an updated version of the RFC 1264 rules that would apply to today's Internet. This work was eventually abandoned when it was realized (after much public discussion at Routing Area meetings, Internet Area meetings, and on the Routing Area mailing list) that there was just no way to write the rules in a way that advanced the goals of the IETF.
6.1. Normative References
[RFC1264] Hinden, R., "Internet Engineering Task Force Internet Routing Protocol Standardization Criteria", RFC 1264, October 1991. [RFC2026] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996.
6.2. Informative References
[RTG-REQS] Farrel, A., Andersson, L., and A. Doria, "Requirements for Manageability Sections in Routing Area Drafts", Work in Progress, October 2005.
Bill Fenner AT&T Labs - Research 1 River Oaks Place San Jose, CA 95134-1918 USA Phone: +1 408 493-8505 EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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