Internet DRAFT - draft-alvestrand-newtrk-historical


Network Working Group                                      H. Alvestrand
Internet-Draft                                                   E. Lear
Updates: 2026 (if approved)                                Cisco Systems
Expires: September 24, 2004                               March 26, 2004

               Moving documents to Historic: A procedure

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004). All Rights Reserved.


   This document describes a procedure for performing the downgrading of
   old Proposed and Draft standards described in RFC 2026 without
   placing an unreasonable load on groups charged with performing other
   tasks in the IETF.

   It defines a new group, called the "Commission for Protocol
   Obsolesence", which shall recommend to the IESG downgrading or
   progressing documents on the IETF standards track.  Ultimate
   decisions still rest of with the IESG, with appeal to the IAB.

1. Introduction and history

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   RFC 2026, and RFC 1602 before it, specified timelines for review of
   immature (draft or proposed) standards.  The purpose of such review
   was to determine whether such documents should be advanced, retired,
   or developed further.[1]

   This procedure has never been followed in the history of the IETF.
   Since this procedure has not been followed, members of the community
   have suggested that the retiring of a document to Historic is a
   significant event, which should be justified carefully - leading to
   the production of documents such as RFC 2556 (OSI connectionless
   transport services on top of UDP Applicability Statement for Historic
   Status) and RFC 3166 (Request to Move RFC 1433 to Historic Status).

   Such documents require significant time and effort on the part of
   authors, area directors, and the RFC Editor.  Indeed such effort
   should be reserved for advancing or maintaining immature standards.
   Hence, no document should be required for an immature standard to be
   retired to Historic status.

2. New Decommissioning Procedure

   The decommissioning procedure for standards has the following steps:

   o  The Commission determines that a set of documents is eligible for
      reclassification as Historic according to RFC 2026. It's up to the
      Commission to decide which documents to tackle next.

   o  The Commission attempts to find out whether there are mailing
      lists or contactable individuals relevant to the technology
      described in the documents.

   o  For each standard in question, the Commission sends out a message
      to the IETF list and the lists deemed relevant, asking for
      implementation experience and active usage.

   o  If there are reports of implementation experience and/or active
      usage, the RFC is moved into the Commission's Individual
      Decommissioning Procedure.

   o  The Commission sends to the IESG the remaining list of documents
      it recommends be reclassified as Historic along with a record of
      steps taken to identify that standard's use.  That record should
      include pointers to archives, as well as a log of actions taken to
      seek out usage.

   o  The IESG will respond to the Commission's recommendation with a
      message to the IETF Announce list.  If it agrees to the change in
      status, the standard is marked Historic.  It may also request more

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      information from the Commission or outright disagree.

3. Individual Decommissioning Procedure

   This procedure is intended for use when one needs to consider
   evidence before deciding what to do with a document.

   Because of the time that has passed without applying the 2026 rule,
   this document describes three alternatives, not two:

   o  Maintenance on the standards track (per 2026)

   o  Reclassification as Historic (per 2026)

   o  Reclassification as Informational.(XXX Do we require a new

   Maintenance on the standards track at this point demands attention
   from the IETF if a document is not full standard.  Such a document
   should either be advanced by the IESG, or a working group should be
   formed to address its shortcomings. The last alternative is intended
   for cases where the technology is in active use, perhaps in a small
   community, and it is clearly not reasonable to expect it to advance
   on the standards track. (XXX DRAFT NOTE: Cannot a small community
   continue to use a Historic standard, such as, oh, SNMPv1?)

3.1 Procedure

   The Commission takes input from all sources it cares to take input
   from. As it does so it will keep an archive and a record of all such
   input. Once it determines a recommended action, it sends a
   recommendation to the IESG along with a pointer to the record, and
   the IESG will announce this to the IETF community if it agrees with
   the recommendation.

3.2 Evaluation criteria

   The decision on when to ask for reclassification is made by the

   Criteria that should be considered are:

   o  Implementations. A spec that is unimplemented should go to

   o  Usage. A protocol or feature that is completely unused should go
      to Historic. A protocol or feature that is used, and found useful,

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      but only in limited circumstances, should go Informational. XXX

   o  Potential for harm. A protocol or feature that has been shown to
      create opeational problems that clearly outstrip its benefits
      should go to Historic even if there is some usage of it. RFC 1137
      - "Mapping between full RFC 822 and RFC 822 with restricted
      encoding" - was reclassified for that reason.

   o  Interest in further work. If there is a reasonable expectation
      that the specification will be updated or advanced within a
      reasonable timeframe, the Commission should do nothing.

4. Selection of the Commission

   NOTE IN DRAFT: This is intended to be simple, and convey the idea
   that signing up for this is an 1-year stint, not a permanent

   The IESG will send out a call for volunteers for the Commission once
   a year, and will choose from the volunteers. A current member of the
   Commission may volunteer again if he/she wants to.

   The IESG will appoint as many members to the commission as it deems
   appropriate, along with a chair.  The chair will report every six
   months via electronic mail to the IETF Announce mailing list on the
   Commission's progress.

   The Commission otherwise organizes its own work.

   The IESG may cut short the term of the commission and send out a new
   call for volunteers if it finds that reasonable.

Normative References

   [1]  Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3", BCP
        9, RFC 2026, October 1996.

Authors' Addresses

   Harald Tveit Alvestrand
   Cisco Systems
   Weidemanns vei 27
   Trondheim  7043


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   Eliot Lear
   Cisco Systems
   170 W. Tasman Dr.
   San Jose, CA  95134

   Phone: +1 408 527 4020

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