Requesting Comments: Enabling Readers to Annotate RFCs

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Network Working Group                                         Y. Sheffer
Internet-Draft                                                    Intuit
Intended status: Informational                         December 27, 2016
Expires: June 30, 2017

         Requesting Comments: Enabling Readers to Annotate RFCs


   RFCs were initially intended as, literally, requests for comments.
   Since then, they have turned into standards documents, with a
   peculiar process to report errors and a highly onerous process to
   actually have the RFC modified/republished.  Non-IETF participants
   are typically unaware of any way to provide feedback to published
   RFCs, other than direct email to the listed authors.  This is very
   different from the way many web specifications are developed today
   and arguably leads to the value of published RFCs diminishing over
   time.  This document proposes an experiment to remedy this situation
   through the deployment of web annotations.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on June 30, 2017.

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   Copyright (c) 2016 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents

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   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
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   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

1.  Introduction

   IETF participants use the term "RFC" on a daily basis.  We all know
   that "RFC" stands for "Request for Comments".  However the RFCs we
   publish are anything but requests for comments.  RFCs today are
   static documents that do not invite comments.  Acute readers who
   insist on providing feedback will find the following text:
   "Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at http://www.rfc-"  Once on this page, they will only find the
   email address of a working group, which may long be defunct.

   We can do better than that.  This document proposes, as a process
   experiment [RFC3933], to enable web annotations on published RFCs.
   The target audience is non-IETF participants, essentially the IETF's
   customers.  We discuss the advantages of such a system and the risks
   associated with it.

1.1.  Conventions used in this document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2.  Overview

   We propose to enable, for an initial period of 1 year, annotations on
   published RFCs.  Document readers will be able to attach textual
   comments to published RFCs, and these comments will be public,
   visible to all other readers who will also be able to respond to

   Specifically, we recommend using the Hypothesis
   ( system on our "tools" RFCs,  We propose not to build any
   custom infrastructure around this system but rather to use it as-is.
   When the experiment is done, we will publish an experiment report
   which will enable the IETF to decide whether this is of benefit for
   the long term.

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