The RFC Process

I’ve just finished a seven-part series over at Packets Pushers about the process of writing and publishing an RFC. Even if you don’t ever plan to write a draft or participate in the IETF, this series will give you a better idea of the work that goes into creating new standards and IETF documents.

So … you have an idea you think would fit perfectly into the realm of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)—but where do you start?

This, the second, post, will consider document formatting and two of the (sometimes) more difficult sections of an IETF draft to fill in.

There are other seemingly mystical concepts in the IETF process as well—for instance, what is a “document stream,” and what is a document’s “status?”

You’re almost ready to submit a shiny new document to the IETF for consideration, right? Not quite yet—we still need to deal with mandatory sections and language.

You cannot simply post a draft to the IETF repository and expect “someone, somewhere,” to take action.

The working group chairs asked if your draft should become a working group item, and the consensus was to accept! It might seem like your draft is home free at this point—but there is still a lot of work to do.

Once the draft is written, socialized, accepted by a working group, and passes through the IESG telechat and review, what is next?


  1. Random Short Take #91 | on 28 December 2023 at 6:01 pm

    […] was a great series of posts on the RFC process. It doesn’t just happen by […]