RFC madness

Something that has never ceased to amaze me is the collection of RFCs published by the IETF. Jon Postel was a hero of mine as a teenager, and my own small attempts at documenting protocol and standards are influenced by some of the dozens he authored or co-authored.

When Jon passed away in 1998 there were about 2400 RFCs published. Now, almost ten years later, there are 5200 allocated RFC numbers with a very large number of those linked to finished papers. While this represents the work of many thousands of authors, it’s no less a monumental task than the Linux kernel. It’s just not as sexy and attention-getting. In many ways, Jon was the Linus of the RFC series, giving it a healthy start and shepherding it once it grew legs of its own.

Some reading of RFCs for a personal project or two got me wondering what the new RFCs are all about. I’ll likely touch on the ones I find interesting here.


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