Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs
RFC 2434

Document Type RFC - Best Current Practice (October 1998; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 5226
Updated by RFC 3692
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                          T. Narten
Request for Comments: 2434                                           IBM
BCP: 26                                                    H. Alvestrand
Category: Best Current Practice                                  Maxware
                                                            October 1998

     Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the
   Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   Many protocols make use of identifiers consisting of constants and
   other well-known values. Even after a protocol has been defined and
   deployment has begun, new values may need to be assigned (e.g., for a
   new option type in DHCP, or a new encryption or authentication
   algorithm for IPSec).  To insure that such quantities have consistent
   values and interpretations in different implementations, their
   assignment must be administered by a central authority. For IETF
   protocols, that role is provided by the Internet Assigned Numbers
   Authority (IANA).

   In order for the IANA to manage a given name space prudently, it
   needs guidelines describing the conditions under which new values can
   be assigned. If the IANA is expected to play a role in the management
   of a name space, the IANA must be given clear and concise
   instructions describing that role.  This document discusses issues
   that should be considered in formulating a policy for assigning
   values to a name space and provides guidelines to document authors on
   the specific text that must be included in documents that place
   demands on the IANA.

Narten & Alvestrand      Best Current Practice                  [Page 1]
RFC 2434           Guidelines for IANA Considerations       October 1998

Table of Contents

   Status of this Memo..........................................    1
   1.  Introduction.............................................    2
   2.  Issues To Consider.......................................    3
   3.  Registration maintenance.................................    6
   4.  What To Put In Documents.................................    7
   5.  Applicability to Past and Future RFCs....................    8
   6.  Security Considerations..................................    8
   7.  Acknowledgments..........................................    9
   8.  References...............................................    9
   9.  Authors' Addresses.......................................   10
   10. Full Copyright Statement.................................   11

1.  Introduction

   Many protocols make use of fields that contain constants and other
   well-known values (e.g., the Protocol field in the IP header [IP] or
   MIME types in mail messages [MIME-REG]). Even after a protocol has
   been defined and deployment has begun, new values may need to be
   assigned (e.g., a new option type in DHCP [DHCP] or a new encryption
   or authentication algorithm for IPSec [IPSEC]).  To insure that such
   fields have consistent values and interpretations in different
   implementations, their assignment must be administered by a central
   authority. For IETF protocols, that role is provided by the Internet
   Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

   In this document, we call the set of possible values for such a field
   a "name space"; its actual content may be a name, a number or another
   kind of value. The assignment of a specific value to a name space is
   called an assigned number (or assigned value). Each assignment of a
   number in a name space is called a registration.

   In order for the IANA to manage a given name space prudently, it
   needs guidelines describing the conditions under which new values
   should be assigned. This document provides guidelines to authors on
   what sort of text should be added to their documents, and reviews
   issues that should be considered in formulating an appropriate policy
   for assigning numbers to name spaces.

   Not all name spaces require centralized administration.  In some
   cases, it is possible to delegate a name space in such a way that
   further assignments can be made independently and with no further
   (central) coordination. In the Domain Name System, for example, the
   IANA only deals with assignments at the higher-levels, while
   subdomains are administered by the organization to which the space
   has been delegated. As another example, Object Identifiers (OIDs) as
   defined by the ITU are also delegated [ASSIGNED].  When a name space
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