This memo defines a list of often called "ID-NITS" that need to be checked before an Internet-Draft will be accepted for IESG consideration.
May 12, 2009
2. Form nits
2.2. Required sections - all I-Ds
2.3. Sometimes-required sections
3. Content issues
4. Protocol Issues
5. Change Log
6. Normative References
§ Author's Address
All Internet Drafts which are offered to an AD or the IESG with a request for publication as RFC must conform to the following requirements or they will be returned to the author(s)/editor(s) for revision.
The WG Chairs are responsible for having this list checked before submission to the ADs.
A handy tool (awk script) to check most of the formatting nits (as in Sections 2.1 and 2.2 below) is available at http://tools.ietf.org/tools/idnits/, courtesy of Henrik Levkowetz.
Another set of handy tools is available at the IETF TOOLS pages.
Checking for content related issues (as in Sections 2.3, 3, and 4 below) needs a human eye.
The content issues have to be checked early in the development of documents, being technically integral. The WG Chairs are responsible for this too.
The ADs will not accept the document and so will not put it on the IESG agenda if this check has not been done.
Responsibility for all checking is with the authors in the case of an individual submission.
This document only talks about "finished" Internet-Drafts. That is those I-Ds for which the IESG gets a request for publication. However, it is strongly RECOMMENDED to follow these rules/guidelines for documents that go to WG Last Call as well.
Guidelines for all Internet-Drafts are in Guidelines to Authors of Internet-Drafts, and are not repeated here.
As a suggestion for productivity improvement, it is strongly RECOMMENDED to use XML2RFC [RFC2629] (Rose, M., “Writing I-Ds and RFCs using XML,” June 1999.) as source files for generating an Internet-Draft. (There is even an online xml2rfctool to generate the nroff and Internet-Draft .txt files). That tool automatically takes care of most of the formatting, administrative and bureaucratic rules.
There is a rumor that the tool will soon also take care of all the content
In principle, the RFC-Editor can take care of a few small formatting errors. And if there are only a few, then they will do so. However, if many errors exist, the document will be returned to the author(s)/editor(s)/WG for fixes. In any event, please realize that not following the formatting rules will most probably delay publication and does consume time that can be spend on other work.
See "RFC Style Guide" https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7322 for details and further rules. Here is a checklist of formatting problems rules that often get neglected:
The following are REQUIRED sections in all Internet-Drafts:
Network Working Group <yourname> Internet-Draft <your affiliation> Obsoletes: xxxx (if approved) August 29, 2006 Updates: yyyy, zzzz (if approved) Intended status: Best Current Practice Expires: February 21, 2007 ... Abstract This document describes ..... It obsoletes RFC xxxx and updates RFC yyyy and RFC zzzz
In particular:A. All MIB modules SHOULD have correct SYNTAX, so they should compile cleanly using:
It allows you to extract the MIB module from a document for your own local use, but you can also directly run a syntax check. You can also download the libsmi tools for local use.
In most cases there should be no errors or warnings present in the report. Please evaluate all diagnostic messages before assuming that they are OK. If in doubt, feel free to check on the email@example.com mailing list or with the OPS ADs.
B. Besides the SYNTAX checking, a MIB document should also be checked against the "Guidelines for MIB Authors and Reviewers" [RFC4181] (Heard, C., “Guidelines for Authors and Reviewers of MIB Documents,” September 2005.) [RFC4841] (Heard, C., “RFC 4181 Update to Recognize the IETF Trust,” March 2007.)
C. All ABNF must be checked. A tool is available from www.apps.ietf.org See [RFC5234] (Crocker, D. and P. Overell, “Augmented BNF for Syntax Specifications: ABNF,” January 2008.) for information about IETF ABNF. If ABNF is used, you MUST include a normative reference to RFC 5234.
D. Protocol specifications that use XML should always use well-formed XML at a minimum. Sample XML instances included in a specification have to be well-formed, and if the XML is supposed to be valid (according to the current W3C definition of validity), the samples must reference and be validated using an appropriate XML Schema, DTD, or other standard validation mechanism that is structurally and syntactically correct. Links to tools to check XML validity, including a schema checker and a validating parser, can be found at www.apps.ietf.org Other guidelines for the use of XML in IETF protocols can be found in BCP 70 [RFC3470] (Hollenbeck, S., Rose, M., and L. Masinter, “Guidelines for the Use of Extensible Markup Language (XML) within IETF Protocols,” January 2003.).
E. XML provides structures, such as the <any> element information item in XML Schema, to allow element extensions. If these structures are included in a protocol, the protocol specification must include clear guidance on how, when, and where the extension structures, such as versioning, can be used.
F. XML Schemas, Namespaces, and Resource Description Framework (RDF) Schemas should be registered with the IANA using the procedures described in BCP 81 [RFC3688] (Mealling, M., “The IETF XML Registry,” January 2004.).
6. Addresses used in examples SHOULD use fully qualified domain names instead of literal IP addresses, and SHOULD use example fqdn's such as foo.example.com instead of real-world fqdn's. See [RFC2606] (Eastlake, D. and A. Panitz, “Reserved Top Level DNS Names,” June 1999.) for example domain names that can be used.
There is also a range of IP addresses set aside for this purpose:
A. For IPv4 these are 192.0.2.0/24 (see [RFC3330] (IANA, “Special-Use IPv4 Addresses,” September 2002.)).
B. For IPv6 these are 2001:DB8::/32 (see [RFC3849] (Huston, G., Lord, A., and P. Smith, “IPv6 Address Prefix Reserved for Documentation,” July 2004.)).
Private addresses that would be used in the real world SHOULD be avoided in examples.
Similarly, real telephone numbers should not be used. Instead use those numbers that were reserved for examples or fictitious use. Available numbersfor use in examples are:
C. UK: +44-<geographic-area-code>-496-<0000-0999> (see http://www.ofcom.org.uk/telecoms/ioi/numbers/num_drama)
D. USA: +1-<area code>-555-<0100-0199> (see http://www.nanpa.com/nas/public/form555MasterReport.do?method=display555MasterReport)
A. All references must be stable and resolvable.
B. A bare HTTP URL is not generally considered a stable reference. For Web-only documents, adding a reference number, title and/or an author will help make the reference more stable.
C. Judgment can be used here; the stability of normative references is even more important than the stability of informative references.
D. In case of references to Internet-Drafts, use the format: author, "title" (I-D file name).
Normative references to I-Ds will cause a standards-track or BCP document to wait in the RFC-Editor queue (see RFC-Editor queue) for the referenced I-Ds to be published as RFCs.
E. Normative and informative references to non-IETF documents are permitted. However, it is best to minimize such normative references, because assessing their status when the IETF document advances on the standards-track is very difficult. It is important to use the exact title, author name(s), organization and publication date.
8. Avoid text that will become outdated after RFC is published.
Examples include non-permanent URLs, mentions of specific mailing lists as places to send comments on a document, or referring to specific WGs as a place to perform specific future actions (e.g., reviewing followup documents). In some cases (like the ORGANIZATION clause in MIB modules), references to working groups are impossible to avoid; however, generally, Internet-Drafts should not assign powers or responsibilities to WGs unless the WG in question will exist as long as the practice documented in the published RFC remains valid. In cases where a specific WG is expected to be a focal point for future action, it is acceptable to give the task to the IESG, giving instructions on how the action is expected to be delegated, e.g., by forwarding to an appropriate WG or other set of experts.
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