Internet draft names

Larry Masinter (
Thu, 13 Jul 1995 20:16:51 PDT

Subject: Internet draft names
From: Larry Masinter <>
Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995 20:16:51 PDT

Just FYI, here is a clarification on Internet Draft names.  I don't
think we should try to rename anything, but we should probably follow
these guidelines in future.


Subject: Having fun?????
Date:	Tue, 11 Jul 1995 08:24:52 -0700
From:	Steve Coya <>

Hi Larry,

I hear through the grapevine that there are some questions pertaining
to the naming of Internet-Drafts, and thought I'd give you the
"official" version - but PLEASE don't say you got it from the horse's
mouth (or other end :-)... I've gain enough weight lately!

There are two types of Internet-Drafts: the product of a Working Group
and individual submissions. The pathnames assigned to working group
products use the notation: drafts-ietf-wgname-whatever. Individual
submissions use the notation of draft-authorname-whatever. For
individual submissions, it is suggested that the first part of
"whatever" include the wg to which the document/idea is submitted. For
		draft-authorname-wgname-whatever or

The WG product is just that: a document which has been discussed in the
WG (either at IETF meetings or on the mailing list). In many instances,
the WG Chair/membership may direct (ask) an individual to document
something that is to be part of the WG effort. This is also a WG

Individual submissions are just that: documents written by individuals
(or design teams) which are submitted to the WG for consideration. This
is useful because, as you well know, it is easier to edit by committee
than it is to create by committee.

Individual submissions can be, and often are, adopted by the WG. Some
are not. Minority opinions or alternate proposals can be considered WG
products as well. This is primarily determined by constituency: if a
portion of the WG agree, it can be a WG product. If only one person
(the author) favors it, it is an individual submission.

Another bit of criteria is change control. If the author will not
permit changes proposed/requested/demanded by the WG, it is definitely
an individual submission.

If one wishes to be formal (yes, I'm still talking about the IETF :-),
a WG action/consensus might be needed to adopt an individual submission
as a WG effort.

The main reason for the distinction is for those OUTSIDE the WG: to
know merely by the title if the specification is the product of a WG or
an individual effort.

For the boring admin part, if an Internet-Draft is originally announced
as an individual submission, and the document is eventually adopted by
the WG, the next revision of the Internet-Draft can include a name
change (substituting "-ietf-wgname" for "authorname" and bumping up the
version number.

Before that, a note from the chair to ietf-web@cnri.... can result in
the Internet-Draft being listed among the WG documents on our WEB page.
No Internet-Draft revision or filename change is required for this

I hope this rambling is helpful. If not, go ahead and delete - or let
me know if I can help, and how.

See you in Stockholm.