Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) P. Hoffman, Ed.
Request for Comments: 6722 VPN Consortium
Obsoletes: 4677 August 2012
Publishing the "Tao of the IETF" as a Web Page
This document describes how the "Tao of the IETF", which has been
published as a series of RFCs in the past, is instead being published
as a web page. It also contains the procedure for publishing and
editing that web page.
Status of This Memo
This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
published for informational purposes.
This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has
received public review and has been approved for publication by the
Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Not all documents
approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet
Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
Copyright (c) 2012 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
(http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
publication of this document. Please review these documents
carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
to this document. Code Components extracted from this document must
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.
The "Tao of the IETF" ("Tao") describes the inner workings of IETF
meetings and Working Groups, discusses organizations related to the
IETF, and introduces the standards process. It is not a formal IETF
process document but instead an informational overview. The Tao has
traditionally been published as an RFC. It has been published as
RFCs 1391, 1539, 1718, and 3160; it is currently [RFC4677].
At the time this document is published, there is a strong desire in
the IETF community to turn the Tao into a web page that can be
updated more easily. This document describes that process. At the
same time, this document formally obsoletes the last version of the
Tao that was published as an RFC because the last version, RFC 4677,
is no longer considered the "latest" version of the Tao: the new web
This document contains the procedure agreed to by the IESG. The Tao
has traditionally been an IETF consensus document, which means that
the IESG has had the final say about what the Tao contained before it
was sent to the RFC Editor. Thus, the IESG should have final say
regarding what the Tao says when it is a web page.
2. Procedure for Publishing and Editing the Tao
The Tao is published at <http://www.ietf.org/tao.html> and
<https://www.ietf.org/tao.html>. The initial content for the Tao web
page is based on a draft document that was meant to replace RFC 4677.
The Tao is edited by one or more people as designated by the IESG.
Suggestions for changes to the Tao are discussed on the
firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list.
The editor of the Tao decides which proposed changes should be
submitted to the IESG for approval. The editor publishes the
proposed changes in a version at
<http://www.ietf.org/tao-possible-revision.html>. The IESG may
accept as many of the proposed changes as it wishes. The IESG then
submits the changed version to the IETF Secretariat for publication
on the IETF web page at the URLs given above. The Tao editor and the
IESG should confirm that the page appears on the web site as
Each version of the Tao has a visible timestamp near the beginning of
the document. All published versions are archived using URLs of the
form <http://www.ietf.org/tao-archive/tao-YYYYMMDD.html>, and a list
of the revisions is available at <http://www.ietf.org/tao-archive/>.
From time to time, versions of the Tao are translated into other
languages. These translations do not represent IETF consensus and
may be provided on an "as is" basis. The issues of how translations
are recorded, made available, cross-referenced to versions of the
Tao, and archived are outside the scope of this document and are for
3. Proposals for How the Tao Web Page Should Be Developed
During the discussion that led to this document, there were many
proposals for how the Tao, as a web page, should be published and
edited. Some wanted just a web page; some wanted a web page and
periodic snapshots as RFCs. Some wanted a wiki that could be easily
edited by anyone in the IETF community, with a master editor who
would revert bad edits; some wanted a wiki with a more limited group
of contributors. The procedure in Section 2 above was the rough
consensus of the discussion.
5. Security Considerations
The Tao is available over Transport Layer Security (TLS) at
6. Informative References
[RFC4677] Hoffman, P. and S. Harris, "The Tao of IETF - A Novice's
Guide to the Internet Engineering Task Force", BCP 17,
RFC 4677, September 2006.
Paul Hoffman (editor)