Link: RFC 6919: Further Key Words for Use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels

November 21, 2016

If you read RFCs, you may know about the standard use of the MUST, SHOULD, and so on key words that come from RFC 2119. RFC 6919, issued April 1st 2013, adds some useful additional key words like "MUST (BUT WE KNOW YOU WON'T)", "REALLY SHOULD NOT", and the like.

By itself this would be amusing and interesting. But what really makes RFC 6919 rewarding to read is that it shows usage examples for each of its new key words that are drawn from existing RFCs. If you have much exposure to how RFCs are actually implemented in the field, this will make you alternate laughter and sad sighs. To quote myself from when I first saw it:

RFC 6919 makes me laugh but it's sad laughter. Such honesty had to be published Monday.

(I was reminded of RFC 6919 by @whitequark's tweet, and was actually surprised to discover that I've never linked to it here on Wandering Thoughts. So now I'm fixing that.)


Comments on this page:

By Albert at 2016-11-22 04:51:12:

You know that RFCs published on April 1st are meant to be jokes, right?

By cks at 2016-11-22 08:24:47:

Sometimes the truth can only be said as a joke.

By Jim at 2016-11-22 17:34:10:

I'm pretty sure RFC 3501 and its derivatives could provide examples for all the new language sanctioned here.

Scratch that -- RFC 3501 OUGHT TO be an April 1st RFC all by itself.

Written on 21 November 2016.
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Last modified: Mon Nov 21 22:11:39 2016
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