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Internet Engineering Task Force

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Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF)
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REQUEST FOR COMMENTS (RFC)
In the concept of computer network engineering the term RFC refers to a published memorandum by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This is an informative document that provides information on such items as current research, important new innovations, methods and other aspects relative to the working of the internet and connected IT systems. The idea was designed by Steve Crocker in the late 60’s. This has since been adopted to contain the official records for development specifications for the internet, improvement of protocols and notification of important related events.
Each RFC is assigned a specific reference number. As such, once this number has been assigned and published it can never be revised, changed or updated. Should changes be required the author has to publish a revised document which has been assigned with another unique serial number. This approach ensures that there is a well-documented trail of the evolution and development of the internet. There are potentially four main categories of RFC’s. These are enumerated as: - (1) IETF (2) IRTF (3) IAB and (4) Independent submission. The source for obtaining RFC’s is by access from the RFC Editor. Historically all submissions were written in plain ASCII text and published in that format. Other versions are available today as part of a modernization of the process. The RFC Editor web site is a good starting point for additional information and searching through the vast number of RFC’s in the database linked from that site. (RFC Editor, 2013).
INTERNET DRAFT (ID)
This is essentially a group of working documents published by the IETF. They contain drafts of RFC’s but also many work in progress documents that have yet to be finalized. Therefore the use of Internet drafts is somewhat limited in scope and should not be relied upon for accuracy. The draft only has validity for 6 months where it has to be replaced again and goes through the same cycle of events. Eventually it is eliminated or ultimately becomes an RFC. In composing an internet draft, every document must contain an abstract section. This abstract is intended for the author to clearly state the purpose and objectives of the document. In essence, it is a comprehensive once over of the entire document. The abstracts are expected to be brief, concise and to the point; normally some 5-10 lines of writing. Lengthy abstracts will not be accepted.
The ID must contain a valid reference number, provided by IETF, with the paper marked DRAFT and contain the full filename, contact name, details and address. The draft should contain an e-mail address where comments or observation can be sent. All internet drafts must be submitted as plain text ASCII files. It is anticipated that no draft should be more than 15 pages long; otherwise table of contents need to be included. The drafts are mainly produced through the working groups of the IETF. The IETF provides advice and guidelines on the formulation and construction of the draft documents. (Verisign, 2013)
The IETF is essentially the driving force behind the creation of RFC’s and Internet drafts. The authors are mainly working groups of the IETF or specific focus groups. The IETF has set out the following prime objectives for this work: * Achieve a high level of technical competence * Procedures that cover prior testing and implementation * Documents that are clear concise brief and to the point * Environment of equity

References
RFC Editor. (2013, 3 7). RFC Editor. Retrieved from http://www.rfc-editor.org/
Verisign. (2013, 3 7). IETF STANDARDS. Retrieved from omain-name-services/value-added-products/idn-domain-names/ietf-standards/index.xhtml

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