Request For Comments

Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

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.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
The National Credit Union Administration will be issuing a separate notice and request for comments pursuant to EGRPRA.
More information about the request for comments from the federal agencies can be found at: laws/federal/01joint345.pdf.
When a draft is considered acceptable by consensus, the Internet Drafts can next become Request for Comments (RFC) proposals which, when modified to incorporate those comments, can become standards.
19, 2000, FEI's Committee on Benefits Finance (CBF), the technical committee that formulates FEI policy on matters pertaining to the design, implementation, financing and administration of employee compensation, pension and healthcare plans, responded to the Internal Revenue Service's request for comments on cash balance pension plans.
RFC (Request For Comments) Bit like a Parliamentary Bill that becomes Law.
Later in the conference, IRS Chief Counsel Donald Korb reiterated the government's request for comments on the new legislation.
The DOD, GSA, and NASA issued a request for comments on whether guidance in the FAR addressing the application of the Brooks Act to mapping services should be amended.
Additional guidance from another revenue ruling dealing with the IRS's and Treasury's areas of request for comments (on defective merchandise shipments) is probably forthcoming.
Based upon comments received in response to its earlier request for comments in May 1999, the Board has concluded that the Federal Reserve Banks' deposit deadlines and pricing practices for ACH transactions they exchange with private-sector ACH operators should be modified and is now requesting comments on specific modifications that it is considering.
On October 21, 2004, Tax Executives Institute sent the following comments to the Virginia General Assembly in response to a request for comments on legislative proposals that the Department of Taxation is considering for the 2005 session.
On behalf of Tax Executives Institute, I am pleased to respond to your request for comments on LMSB's proposal for obtaining records limitation agreements in respect of machine-sensible files under Rev.
I am writing in response to your August 15, 2003, request for comments on five legislative proposals the Department of Taxation is considering for the General Assembly's 2004 session.

Full browser ?