IAB official protocol standards
RFC 1083

Document Type RFC - Historic (December 1988; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 1100
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                          Internet Activities Board
Request for Comments: 1083                                 December 1988


Status of this Memo

   This memo describes the state of standardization of protocols used in
   the Internet as determined by the Internet Activities Board (IAB).
   An overview of the standards procedures is presented first, followed
   by discussions of the standardization process and the RFC document
   series, then the explanation of the terms is presented, the lists of
   protocols in each stage of standardization follows, and finally
   pointers to references and contacts for further information.

   This memo is issued quarterly, please be sure the copy you are
   reading is dated within the last three months.  Current copies may be
   obtained from the Network Information Center or from the Internet
   Assigned Numbers Authority (see the contact information at the end of
   this memo).  Do not use this memo after 31-March-89.

   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

1.  Overview of Standards Procedures

   The Internet Activities Board maintains a list of documents that
   define standards for the Internet protocol suite.  It provides these
   standards with the goal of co-ordinating the evolution of the
   Internet protocols; this co-ordination has become quite important as
   the Internet protocols are increasingly in general commercial use.

   Protocol standards may be proposed by anyone in the Internet
   community, by writing and submitting an RFC.  In general, any
   proposed protocol will be reviewed or developed in the context of
   some Task Force of the IAB, or some working group within that Task
   Force.  The IAB will assign a proposed protocol to a working group if
   official delegation is necessary.

   The recommendation of the working group or task force is given major
   consideration in the decision by the IAB to assign a state and status
   to the protocol.  The general policy is not to designate a protocol
   as an official standard until there is implementation experience with

   In cases where there is uncertainty as to the proper decision
   concerning a protocol, the IAB may convene a special review committee

Internet Activities Board                                       [Page 1]
RFC 1083                     IAB Standards                 December 1988

   consisting of interested parties from the working group and members
   of the IAB itself, with the purpose of recommending some explicit
   action to the IAB.

   It is possible to proceed with widespread implementation of a
   standard without the approval of the IAB.  For example, some vendor
   standards have become very important to the Internet community even
   though they have not been proposed or reviewed by the IAB.  However,
   the IAB strongly recommends that the IAB standards process be used in
   the evolution of the protocol suite to maximize interoperability (and
   to prevent incompatible protocol requirements from arising).  The IAB
   reserves the use of the term "standard" in any RFC to only those
   protocols which the IAB has approved.

2.  The Standardization Process

   Anyone can invent a protocol, document it, implement it, test it, and
   so on.  The IAB believes that it is very useful to document a
   protocol at an early stage to promote suggestions from others
   interested in the functionality the of protocol and from those
   interested in protocol design.  Once a protocol is implemented and
   tested it is useful to report the results.  The RFC document series
   is the preferred place for publishing these protocol documents and
   testing results.

   The IAB encourages the documenting of every protocol developed in the
   Internet (that is, the publication of the protocol specification as
   an RFC), even if it is never intended that the protocol become an
   Internet standard.  A protocol that is not intended to become a
   standard is called "experimental".

   Protocols that are intended to become standards are first designated
   as "proposed" protocols.  It is expected that while in this state the
   protocol will be implemented and tested by several groups.  It is
   likely that an improved version of the protocol will result from this

   Once a proposed protocol has become stable and has a sponsor (an
   individual willing to speak for the protocol to the IAB) it may
   advance to the "draft standard" state.  In this state, it should be
   reviewed by the entire Internet community.  This draft standard state
   is essentially a warning to the community that unless an objection is
   raised or a flaw is found this protocol will become a "standard".

   Once a protocol has been a draft standard for a sufficient time
   (usually 6 months) without serious objections the IAB may act to
   declare the protocol an official Internet standard.

Internet Activities Board                                       [Page 2]
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