|Title||Request for comments on Request for Comments: Instructions to RFC
|Obsoleted by||RFC1543, RFC2223
Network Working Group J. Postel
Request for Comments: 1111 ISI
Obsoletes: 825 August 1989
Request for Comments on Request for Comments
Instructions to RFC Authors
Status of this Memo
This RFC specifies a standard for the Internet community. Authors of
RFCs are expected to adopt and implement this standard. Distribution
of this memo is unlimited.
RFCs are distributed online by being stored as public access files,
and a short message is sent to the distribution list indicating the
availability of the memo.
The online files are copied by the interested people and printed or
displayed at their site on their equipment. (An RFC may also be
returned via email in response to an email query.) This means that
the format of the online files must meet the constraints of a wide
variety of printing and display equipment.
2. Format Rules
To meet the distribution constraints the following rules are
established for the two allowed formats for RFCs: ASCII and
The RFC Editor attempts to ensure a consistent RFC style. To do this
the RFC Editor may choose reformat the RFC submitted. It is much
easier to do this if the submission matches the style of the most
recent RFCs. Please do look at some recent RFCs and prepare yours in
the same style.
You must submit an editable online document to the RFC Editor. The
RFC Editor may require minor changes in format or style and will
insert the actual RFC number.
2a. ASCII Format Rules:
The character codes are ASCII.
Each page must be limited to 58 lines followed by a form feed on a
line by itself.
Each line must be limited to 72 characters followed by carriage
return and line feed.
No overstriking (or underlining) is allowed.
These "height" and "width" constraints include any headers,
footers, page numbers, or left side indenting.
Do not fill the text with extra spaces to provide a straight right
Do not do hyphenation of words at the right margin.
Do not use footnotes. If such notes are necessary, put them at
the end of a section, or at the end of the document.
Use single spaced text within a paragraph, and one blank line
RFCs in ASCII Format may be submitted to the RFC Editor in email
messages (or as online files) in either the finished publication
format or in NROFF. If you plan to submit a document in NROFF,
please consult the RFC Editor first.
2b. PostScript Format Rules
Standard page size is 8 1/2 by 11 inches.
Margin of 1 inch on all sides (top, bottom, left, and right).
Main text should have a point size of no less than 10 points with
a line spacing of 12 points.
Footnotes and graph notations no smaller than 8 points with a line
spacing of 9.6 points.
Three fonts are acceptable: Helvetica, Times Roman and Courier
Plus their bold-face and italic versions. These are the three
standard fonts on most PostScript printers.
Prepare diagrams and images based on lowest common denominator
PostScript. Consider common PostScript printer functionality and
The following PostScript commands should not be used:
initgraphics, erasepage, copypage, grestoreall, initmatrix,
initclip, banddevice, framedevice, nulldevice and renderbands.
These PostScript rules are likely to changed and expanded as
experience is gained.
RFCs in PostScript Format may be submitted to the RFC Editor in
email messages (or as online files). Since PostScript is not
editable, an editable source version of the document must also be
submitted. If you plan to submit a document in PostScript, please
consult the RFC Editor first.
3. Status Statement
Each RFC must include on its first page the "Status of this Memo"
section which contains a paragraph describing the intention of the
RFC. This section is meant to convey the status granted by the RFC
Editor and the Internet Activities Board (IAB). There are several
reasons for publishing a memo as an RFC, for example, to make
available some information for interested people, or to begin or
continue a discussion of an interesting idea, or to make available
the specification of a protocol.
The following sample paragraphs may be used to satisfy this
This RFC suggests a proposed protocol for the Internet
community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
This RFC specifies a standard for the Internet community.
Hosts on the Internet are expected to adopt and implement
The purpose of this RFC is to focus discussion on particular
problems in the Internet and possible methods of solution.
No proposed solutions this document are intended as
standards for the Internet. Rather, it is hoped that a
general consensus will emerge as to the appropriate solution
to such problems, leading eventually to the adoption of
This RFC is being distributed to members of the Internet
community in order to solicit their reactions to the
proposals contained in it. While the issues discussed may
not be directly relevant to the research problems of the
Internet, they may be interesting to a number of researchers
In response to the need for maintenance of current
information about the status and progress of various
projects in the Internet community, this RFC is issued for
the benefit of community members. The information contained
in this document is accurate as of the date of publication,
but is subject to change. Subsequent RFCs will reflect such
These paragraphs need not be followed word for word, but the
general intent of the RFC must be made clear.
4. Distribution Statement
Each RFC is to also include a "distribution statement". In general,
RFCs have unlimited distribution. There may be a few cases in which
it is appropriate to restrict the distribution in some way.
Typically, the distribution statement will simply be the sentence
"Distribution of this memo is unlimited." appended to the "Status of
this Memo" section.
5. Author's Address
Each RFC must have at the very end a section giving the author's
address, including the name and postal address, the telephone number,
and the Internet email address.
6. Relation to other RFCs
Sometimes an RFC adds information on a topic discussed in a previous
RFC or completely replaces an earlier RFC. There are two terms used
for these cases respectively, UPDATES and OBSOLETES. A document that
obsoletes an earlier document can stand on its own. A document that
merely updates an earlier document cannot stand on its own; it is
something that must be added to or inserted into the existing
document, and has limited usefulness independently. The terms
SUPERSEDES and REPLACES are no longer used.
To be used as a reference from a new item that cannot be used
alone (i.e., one that supplements a previous document), to refer
to the previous document. The newer publication is a part that
will supplement or be added on to the existing document; e.g., an
addendum, or separate, extra information that is to be added to
the original document.
To be used to refer to an earlier document that is replaced by
this document. This document contains either revised information,
or else all of the same information plus some new information,
however extensive or brief that new information is; i.e., this
document can be used alone, without reference to the older
On the Assigned Numbers RFCs, the term OBSOLETES should be used
since the new document actually incorporates new information
(however brief) into the text of existing information and is
more up-to-date than the older document, and hence, replaces it
and makes it OBSOLETE.
In lists of RFCs or the RFC-Index (but not on the RFCs themselves),
the following may be used with early documents to point to later
To be used to refer to the newer document that replaces the older
To be used to refer to the newer document that adds information to
the existing, still useful, document.
7. The RFC Editor
The RFC Editor is Jon Postel.
8. The RFC Announcement List
New RFCs are announced to the RFC distribution list maintained by the
SRI Network Information Center (NIC). Contact the SRI-NIC to be
added or deleted from this mailing list by sending an email message
9. Obtaining RFCs
RFCs can be obtained via FTP from NIC.DDN.MIL, with the pathname
RFC:RFCnnnn.TXT (where "nnnn" refers to the number of the RFC).
Login with FTP, username ANONYMOUS and password GUEST.
The NIC also provides an automatic mail service for those sites which
cannot use FTP. Address the request to SERVICE@NIC.DDN.MIL and in
the subject field of the message indicate the RFC number, as in
"Subject: RFC nnnn".
Requests for special distribution (for example, hardcopy) should be
addressed to either the author of the RFC in question, or to
Unless specifically noted otherwise on the RFC itself, all RFCs are
for unlimited distribution.
The RFCs may also be obtained from other information centers,
including the CSNET Information Center (INFO@SH.CS.NET), the NSFNET
Information Service (INFO@NIS.NSF.NET).
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