Network Working Group B. Fenner
Request for Comments: 4794 AT&T Labs - Research
Obsoletes: 1264 December 2006
RFC 1264 Is Obsolete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 (C) 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
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
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 RFC 1264 Is Obsolete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
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
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,
[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.
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