Request For Comments

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Request For Comments

(standard)
(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.

rfc.net. W3. JANET UK FTP. Imperial College, UK FTP. Nexor UK. Ohio State U.

See also For Your Information, STD.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the interest of ensuring that the on-going investigation is not compromised, the SIC will not respond to requests for comments. The SIC will issue further statements as and when there is any development of public interest.
As with previous requests for comments, the CFPB is asking for comments on such subjects as the regulatory burden involved in its examinations and other ways to improve its supervision of business.
Amazon failed to respond to our requests for comments.
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To supplement its personal meetings with the agencies, CCR periodically issues comment letters staking a position on a particular issue or rule--commonly in response to the agencies' own requests for comments. Most letters originate from one person or several on the relevant subcommittee, Brod says, and are circulated to other members of the subcommittee, and to him, before eventually being voted on by the entire CCR membership, where a two-thirds majority vote is required before the letter can be filed.
International Trade Commission (USITC) has issued interim rules with requests for comments to amend its rules of practice and procedure to implement Public Law 106-286.
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The Internet Engineering Task Force is a consensus-building body that facilitates discussion by posting Requests For Comments. Eventually, a new standard is established - the official standard for e-mail, for example, is RFC 822.
In addition, an interagency task force assembled and reviewed the public comments that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) had received in response to their spring 1992 requests for comments on regulatory burden.
In addition, the Institute affirmed its willingness to assist the IRS in developing the format for a taxpayer profile (or history) and in responding to requests for comments about (i) focused training for CEP agents and managers, (ii) providing case managers with settlement authority (on either a test or nationwide basis), and (iii) whether a procedure should be adopted to settle certain types of issues on a "forward" basis (through all open years).