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IESG Statement: Normative and Informative References

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 17:35:51 +0900
Message-Id: <1EB3DC79-EB2E-4D7A-AFFA-7843E6C5A4EB@w3.org>
To: www-qa@w3.org

     * To: IETF Announcement list
     * Subject: IESG Statement: Normative and Informative References
     * From: IESG Secretary
     * Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 09:50:00 -0400

Normative and Informative References

Nearly all RFCs contain citations to other documents, and these are
listed in a References section near the end of the RFC. There are many
styles for references, and the RFCs have one of their own. Please
follow the reference style used in recent RFCs. Please note that for
documents that have been assigned an STD or BCP number, the number must
be included in the reference.

Within an RFC, references to other documents fall into two general
categories: "normative" and "informative". Normative references specify
documents that must be read to understand or implement the technology
in the new RFC, or whose technology must be present for the technology
in the new RFC to work. An informative reference is not normative;
rather, it only provides additional information. For example, an
informative reference might provide background or historical
information. Informative references are not required to implement the
technology in the RFC.

Note 1: Even references that are relevant only for optional features
must be classified as normative if they meet the above conditions for
normative references.

Note 2: It is not considered necessary to cite basic specifications
that may be safely assumed to be known to practitioners (for example,
RFC 791 need not be cited in every specification that mentions IPv4).

Note 3: The normative/informative distinction is relevant in
any document that amounts to a technical specification, even
if its intended status is Experimental or Informational.

Note 4: Normative references in RFCs cannot be to "work in progress"
documents such as Internet Drafts. Drafts with such references will
not be published as RFCs until the references are also published.

The distinction between normative and informative references is often
important. The IETF standards process according to RFC 2026 and RFC  
and the RFC Editor publication process, both need to know whether a
reference to a work in progress is normative. An RFC cannot be published
until all of the documents that it lists as normative references have  
published. In practice, this often results in the simultaneous  
of a group of interrelated RFCs.

For these reasons, the IESG and the RFC Editor have established
guidelines that will request separate reference lists for normative
and informative references in Internet Drafts and RFCs. For example,
if both types are present, there would be two reference subsections,
numbered s.1 and s.2 for example:

s.1. Normative References


s.2. Informative References


Of course, if there is only one type of reference, only one
section is needed.

The IESG]]]

Thu, 20 Apr 2006 22:42:48 GMT

Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager, QA Activity Lead
   QA Weblog - http://www.w3.org/QA/
      *** Be Strict To Be Cool ***
Received on Saturday, 29 April 2006 08:36:08 UTC

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