Request For Comments

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Request For Comments

(RFC) One of a series, begun in 1969, of numbered Internet informational documents and standards widely followed by commercial software and freeware in the Internet and Unix communities. Few RFCs are standards but all Internet standards are recorded in RFCs. Perhaps the single most influential RFC has been RFC 822, the Internet electronic mail format standard.

The RFCs are unusual in that they are floated by technical experts acting on their own initiative and reviewed by the Internet at large, rather than formally promulgated through an institution such as ANSI. For this reason, they remain known as RFCs even once adopted as standards.

The RFC tradition of pragmatic, experience-driven, after-the-fact standard writing done by individuals or small working groups has important advantages over the more formal, committee-driven process typical of ANSI or ISO.

Emblematic of some of these advantages is the existence of a flourishing tradition of "joke" RFCs; usually at least one a year is published, usually on April 1st. Well-known joke RFCs have included 527 ("ARPAWOCKY", R. Merryman, UCSD; 22 June 1973), 748 ("Telnet Randomly-Lose Option", Mark R. Crispin; 1 April 1978), and 1149 ("A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers", D. Waitzman, BBN STC; 1 April 1990). The first was a Lewis Carroll pastiche; the second a parody of the TCP/IP documentation style, and the third a deadpan skewering of standards-document legalese, describing protocols for transmitting Internet data packets by carrier pigeon.

The RFCs are most remarkable for how well they work - they manage to have neither the ambiguities that are usually rife in informal specifications, nor the committee-perpetrated misfeatures that often haunt formal standards, and they define a network that has grown to truly worldwide proportions. W3. JANET UK FTP. Imperial College, UK FTP. Nexor UK. Ohio State U.

See also For Your Information, STD.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Mogul et al., Hypertext Transfer Protocol-http/1.1, RFC 2616, RFC Editor, June 1999, http://
Reschke, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (http/ 1.1): Message Syntax and Routing, RFC 7230, RFC Editor, June 2014,
Zeilenga, "Lightweight directory access protocol (ldap):technical specification road map," RFC 4510, RFC Editor, 2006, http://www.rfc-editor.
Levkowetz, "Extensible Authentication Protocol (eap)," RFC 3748, RFC Editor, June 2004,
Wheeler, "A Method for Transmitting PPP Over Ethernet (PPPoE)," RFC Editor RFC2516,1999.
Patrick, "DHCP Relay Agent Information Option," RFC Editor RFC3046,2001.
Kasch, Network time protocol version 4: Protocol and algorithms specification, Internet Requests for Comments, RFC Editor, RFC 5905, June 2010,
Postel, Daytime protocol, Internet Requests for Comments, RFC Editor, RFC 867, May 1983,
Kouvelas, "Protocol Independent Multicast--Sparse Mode (PIMSM): Protocol Specification (Revised),"IETF RFC Editor, United States, 2006.
He was the RFC editor. Besides this information, there is also an overview of the RFC series and process.