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L Lab - Re esearchi ing RFC Cs

O Objectives
Part 1: RF FC Editor Navig gate to the RF FC Editor. Searc ch for RFCs using u keyword ds. Find RFCs R by statu us. Searc ch for humoro ous RFCs.

Part 2: Pu ublishing RF FCs

B Backgroun nd / Scenar rio


Request for f Comments s (RFCs) were created by Steve Crocke er to help reco ord notes on development t of Advanced d Research Projects Agenc cy Network (A ARPANET) in n 1969 and ev ventually evolved into an official collection of memorand dum that desc cribes topics that are main nly related to t the Internet a and the TCP/IP protocol suite. s Today th he RFCs are managed by the IETF. Th ere are curre ently over 6,00 00 RFCs, and d the complete list is availab ble at http://ww ww.ietf.org/do ownload/rfc-in ndex.txt. In this lab b, you will lear rn how an RFC is publishe ed today by IE ETF. Additiona ally, you will a also identify a few wellknown RF FCs that are used u in your network. n You can also find a few non-te echnical RFCs s that can pro ovide informatio on or engineering humor.

R Required Resources R
Device with Internet ac ccess

P Part 1: RFC R Edito or


RFCs started as a colle ection of mem morandum on the developm ment of the fir rst Internet (A ARPANET). In n this collection, only a few RFCs R are considered as Internet standa ards. Most of t the RFCs des scribe experim mental protocols. . Some of the RFCs are on nly informational. The main n purpose of R RFCs is to sti imulate comm ment and discussion n.

S Step 1: Na avigate to th he RFC Edit tor.


All the published RFCs s are available e for access at a http://www. .rfc-editor.org g. The RFC Editor is an RF FC repository y maintained by b the IETF. At the top p banner of this page, you can c click any of the links, a and these link ks direct you t to the differen nt searches, , databases, and a informatio on. A link to IETF HOME is s also include ed within this blue banner. After an RFC R is located d, you have access a to the full text of the e document.

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L Lab - Researching RFCs

S Step 2: Search for RF FCs using keywords.


a. Open a browser an nd navigate to o http://www.r rfc-editor.org. . On the RFC Editor Home epage, you ca an search and re etrieve RFCs and other inf formation rela ated to the Int ternet.

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L Lab - Researching RFCs b. In the e Finding and d Retrieving RFCs, etc. pane, these lin nks can help y you search fo or RFCs using g different metho ods. The Search for an RF FC and its meta-data m link k displays a lis st of RFCs aft fter inputting y your searc ch parameters s, such as num mber, author, title, or keyw word. The wor rd, pop, is used in the follo owing example.

ce Protocol Version 3 in the list. The e associated RFC number is RFC 1939 9. This Look for Post Offic i also an Inte ernet standard d, as indicate ed by the STD D number in th he Number c column. RFC is After an RFC is published and assigned a a nu umber, it cann not be change ed and the RF FC number is s never used again for a ne ewer RFC. Fo or example, in n the More In nfo column, R RFC 1939 has s made the pr revious RFC 1725 obsolete e. The inform mation in RFC 1725 has not t been modified, but it has s been replace ed with the information from m RFC 1939. . RFC 1939 has been upda ated by RFC 1957, RFC 2449, and RFC C 6186, as ind e full text of th dicated in the More Info co olumn. If you click any of th hese links, the he RFC displays. Refer r to the Status s column and d locate the Proposed Sta andard status s. They may b be technically sound, but re equire further testing and validation. Refer r to the Status s column and d locate the In nformational status. Inform mational RFC Cs can be any ything from technical t to humorous. For r example, RF FC 0035 (Net twork Meeting g) provides an n insight into the development of a network n proto ocol in the ear rly days of the e Internet.

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L Lab - Researching RFCs

S Step 3: Fin nd RFCs by status.


To find a list of RFCs that are either r Internet Stan ndards (STD) ) or by their st tatus, perform m the following tasks: a. Navig gate back to th he RFC Edito or Homepage. b. Click the Official In nternet Proto ocol Standar rd RFCs link in the left column. You will find a list of official standard RFCs foll lowed by othe er RFC status s lists. Each R RFC link leads s to the full R RFC text.

S Step 4: Search for humorous RF FCs.


Engineering humor can n also be foun nd in the RFC Cs, such as R RFC 1300 (Re emembrances s of Things Pa ast). An earch engine can be used to find inform mation on RFC Cs. Internet se a. Searc ch the Interne et for enginee ering humor rf fc to see mo re examples of whimsical RFCs. What did you find?

b. Searc ch for RFC 27 795. What is the t subject of this RFC?

What company doe es the author r of this RFC work w for?

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L Lab - Researching RFCs

P Part 2: Publishing P g RFCs


The late Dr. D Jonathan Postel mainta ained and managed the arc chiving of RF FCs for 28 yea ars (RFC 246 68). Today, RF FCs are a collection of doc cuments published and ma anaged by IET TF. IETF is a large, open, internation nal communit ty of network designers, op perators, vend dors, and res searchers rela ated to the Int ternet and the Internet protocol su uite. Anyone ca an submit a proposal p to the RFC Editor r for possible publication. T The proposal is initially pub blished as an Interne et-Draft (I-D). After review by the community and if it is approved b ditor, it will en nter the by an RFC Ed same pub blishing proce ess as IETF su ubmission. Fo or more detai ls regarding independent s submission, s see http://www w.rfc-editor.or rg/indsubs.htm ml. For propo osals that may y become Inte ernet Standar rd or Best Cur e and some E Experimental o or rrent Practice Informatio onal RFCs, these submissi ions are publi ished as Inter rnet-Drafts. T The Internet-D Drafts are mad de available for informal re eview and comments. The e Internet-Dra fts have no fo ormal status, and they are subject e or removal at a any time. They T can be fo ound at http:// /www.rfc-edit tor.org/. to change a. Navig gate to http://w www.rfc-editor.org. b. Click I-D SEARCH H at the top of the Homepag ge, and then click SEARC CH. This will d display a list o of the curren nt Internet-Dr rafts.

The list of results provides p links to the full tex xt of the I-Ds a and other use eful informatio on. The Sour rce colum mn lists the Wo orking Group with IETF tha at is responsiible for the dr raft. As an exa ample, 6man is a Worki ing Group tha at submitted multiple m drafts s. To find out more informa ation about this Working Group, click IETF I HOME at a the top of th he results pag ge. c. After arriving at the e IETF Homepage, click WG W Charters iin the left colu umn, listed un nder Working Groups. The Active A IETF Working W Group ps page displa ays. The IETF F Working Gr roups (WG) p primary function is to develop IETF spec cifications and d guidelines. Many M of these e specifications and guidelines are intended to becom e a list of Active Working G me standards s or recommendations. By scrolling the p page, you see Groups in differe ent developm ment areas for technology related to netw working. The 6man Workin ng Group can n be found listed in the Interne et Area. This working w group is responsib ble for mainte enance and advancement of the IPv6 protocol p spec cifications and d addressing architecture. a

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Lab - Researching RFCs d. Click 6man to view the complete list of current proposals and other information for this Working Group. After the I-D has received significant community review and is considered useful, stable, and wellunderstood by the community, it should become a Proposed Standard. The full text of the Proposed Standard can be found by searching in the RFC-Editor. The Proposed Standard may become an Internet Standard after significant implementation and successful operational experience. Note: Only a few RFCs published by IETF will become Internet standards.

Reflection
1. Why are RFCs important for Internet standards and history?

2. What are the advantages of RFCs as a collaborative effort?

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