Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online
According to RFC 1549 (entitled FYI Q/A--for New Internet Users), "most RFCs are the descriptions of network protocols or services, often giving detailed procedures and formats for their implementation. Other RFCs report on the results of policy studies or summarize the work of technical committees or workshops." RFCs can range from only a couple of pages to book-length documents.
RFCs are useful, although not always particularly exciting (unless you are a network engineer.) But they are an important part of what goes on "behind the scenes" to make the Internet grow and flourish.
RFCs are numbered sequentially as they are published. Once a document is assigned an RFC number and published, that number is never reused, even if the RFC is revised. That way, there is never a question of having the most recent version of a particular RFC. (By the way, as of the day I'm writing this, RFCs are numbered up to 1609.)
Note: The term RFC is a misnomer. Although most
RFC authors surely won't mind if you give your opinions about the document,
RFCs usually aren't really requesting your comments at all: they're statements
or definitions. There are three types of RFCs: Standards Track, which
specify an Internet standards track protocol for the Internet community;
Experimental, which define an experimental protocol; and
Informational, which provide useful
Here's a sample list of a few of the most recent RFCs available. Most of it is dry, technical stuff, but some of RFCs can be useful, even to beginners.
1609 E G. Mansfield, T. Johannsen, M. Knopper, "Charting Networks in the X.500 Directory", 03/25/1994. (Pages=15) (Format=.txt) 1608 E T. Johannsen, G. Mansfield, M. Kosters, S. Sataluri, "Representing IP Information in the X.500 Directory", 03/25/1994. (Pages=20) (Format=.txt) 1607 I V. Cerf, "A VIEW FROM THE 21ST CENTURY", 03/31/1994. (Pages=13) (Format=.txt) 1606 I J. Onions, "A Historical Perspective On The Usage Of IP Version 9", 03/31/1994. (Pages=4) (Format=.txt) 1605 I W. Shakespeare, "SONET to Sonnet Translation", 03/31/1994. (Pages=3) (Format=.txt) 1604 PS T. Brown, "Definitions of Managed Objects for Frame Relay Service", 03/25/1994. (Pages=46) (Format=.txt) (Obsoletes RFC1596) 1603 I E. Huizer, D. Crocker, "IETF Working Group Guidelines and Procedures", 03/24/1994. (Pages=29) (Format=.txt) 1602 I I. Architecture Board, I. Engineering Steer, C. Huitema, P. Gross, , "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 2", 03/24/1994. (Pages=37) (Format=.txt) (Obsoletes RFC1310) 1601 I C. Huitema, I. Architecture Board (IAB), 03/22/1994. (Pages=6) (Format=.txt) (Obsoletes RFC1358) 1600 S J. Postel, "INTERNET OFFICIAL PROTOCOL STANDARDS", 03/14/1994. (Pages=36) (Format=.txt) (Obsoletes RFC1540) (STD 1) 1598 PS W. Simpson, "PPP in X.25", 03/17/1994. (Pages=8) (Format=.txt) 1597 I Y. Rekhter, R. Moskowitz, D. Karrenberg, G. de Groot, "Address Allocation for Private Internets", 03/17/1994. (Pages=8) (Format=.txt) 1596 PS T. Brown, "Definitions of Managed Objects for Frame Relay Service", 03/17/1994. (Pages=46) (Format=.txt) (Obsoleted by RFC1604) 1595 PS T. Brown, K. Tesink, "Definitions of Managed Objects for the SONET/SDH Interface Type", 03/11/1994. (Pages=59) (Format=.txt) 1594 I A. Marine, J. Reynolds, G. Malkin, "FYI on Questions and Answer Answers to Commonly asked "New Internet User" Questions", 03/11/1994. (Pages=44) (Format=.txt) (FYI 4) (Obsoletes RFC1325) 1593 I W. McKenzie, J. Cheng, "SNA APPN Node MIB", 03/10/1994. (Pages=120) (Format=.txt) 1592 E B. Wijnen, G. Carpenter, K. Curran, A. Sehgal, G. Waters, "Simple Network Management Protocol Distributed Protocol Interface Version 2.0", 03/03/1994. (Pages=54) (Format=.txt) (Obsoletes RFC1228) 1591 I J. Postel, "Domain Name System Structure and Delegation", 03/03/1994. (Pages=7) (Format=.txt) 1590 I J. Postel, "Media Type Registration Procedure", 03/02/1994. (Pages=7) (Format=.txt) (Updates RFC1521) 1589 I D. Mills, "A Kernel Model for Precision Timekeeping", 03/03/1994. (Pages=37) (Format=.txt) 1588 I J. Postel, C. Anderson, "WHITE PAGES MEETING REPORT", 02/25/1994. (Pages=35) (Format=.txt) 1587 PS R. Coltun, V. Fuller, "The OSPF NSSA Option", 03/24/1994. (Pages=17) (Format=.txt) 1586 I O. deSouza, M. Rodrigues, "Guidelines for Running OSPF Over Frame Relay Networks", 03/24/1994. (Pages=6) (Format=.txt) 1585 I J. Moy, "MOSPF: Analysis and Experience", 03/24/1994. (Pages=13) (Format=.txt) 1584 PS J. Moy, "Multicast Extensions to OSPF", 03/24/1994. (Pages=102) (Format=.txt, .ps)
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