Technology Evolution, Internet Standards, ISO and RFC’s

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How is technology evolution standardized? What roles are played by the International Organization of Standards (ISO) and Request for Comments (RFC’s)?


Request for Comment (RFC) is information proposed by an autonomous body, to outline the Internet suite of protocols and related experiments. All Internet standards are written as RFCs and are unique as these documents are not formally reviewed, established and advocated by organizations like American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Here are some categorical descriptions of RFC’s that indicate its status within the Internet standardization process:

1. Informational: An informational RFC can be nearly anything from April 1 jokes over proprietary protocols up to widely recognized essential RFCs like RFC 1591. Some informational RFCs form the subseries for your information (FYI).

2. Experimental: An experimental RFC can be an IETF document or an individual submission to the ‘RFC Editor’. In theory it’s considered experimental; in practice some documents are not applied on standards track because there are no volunteers for the methodology.

3. Best current practice: The best current practice (BCP) subseries gathers administrative documents and other texts, which are regarded as official rules and not only informational, but do not have affect over the wire data. The border between standards track and BCP is often ambiguous. If a document only affects the Internet Standards Process, like BCP 9, or IETF administration, it is clearly a BCP. If it only defines rules and regulations for Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) registries, it is imprecise. Most of these documents are BCPs but some are on the standards track.    click to continue…

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