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RFC Structure

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Common Principles

From: ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2223.txt

First Page

Please see the front page of this memo for an example of the front page heading. On the first page there is no running header. The top of the first page has the following items:

Network Working Group

The traditional heading for the group that founded the RFC
series.  This appears on the first line on the left hand side
of the heading.

Request for Comments: nnnn

Identifies this as a request for comments and specifies the
number.  Indicated on the second line on the left side.  The
actual number is filled in at the last moment before
publication by the RFC Editor.

Author

The author's name (first initial and last name only) indicated
on the first line on the right side of the heading.

Organization

The author's organization, indicated on the second line on the
right side.

Date

This is the Month and Year of the RFC Publication. Indicated on
the third line on the right side.

Updates or Obsoletes

If this RFC Updates or Obsoletes another RFC, this is indicated
as third line on the left side of the heading.

Category

The category of this RFC, one of: Standards Track, Best Current
Practice, Informational, or Experimental.  This is indicated on
the third (if there is no Updates or Obsoletes indication) or
fourth line of the left side.

Other Numbers

Other numbers in the RFC series of notes include the subseries
of FYI (For Your Information) [4], BCP (Best Current Practice)
[5], and STD (Standard) [6].  These are placed on the left
side.

Title

The title appears, centered, below the rest of the heading.
Periods or "dots" in the titles are not allowed.

If there are multiple authors and if the multiple authors are from multiple organizations the right side heading may have additional lines to accommodate them and to associate the authors with the organizations properly.

Status Section

Each RFC must include on its first page the "Status of this Memo" section which contains two elements: (1) a paragraph describing the type of the RFC, and (2) the distribution statement.

Introduction Section

Each RFC should have an Introduction section that (among other things) explains the motivation for the RFC.

Examples:

  • Discussion
(The purpose of this RFC is to focus discussion on particular
           problems)
  • Interest
(This RFC is being distributed to members of the
           community in order to solicit their reactions to the
           proposals contained in it.)
  • Status Report
(In response to the need for maintenance of current
           information about the status and progress of various
           projects in the Internet community, this RFC is issued for
           the benefit of community members)

References Section

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. See the reference section of this RFC for an example. Please note that for protocols that have been assigned STD numbers, the STD number must be included in the reference.

In many standards track documents several words are used to signify the requirements in the specification. These words are often capitalized. BCP 14, RFC 2119 [3], defines these words as they should be interpreted in IETF documents.

Security Considerations Section

All RFCs must contain a section near the end of the document that discusses the security considerations of the protocol or procedures that are the main topic of the RFC.

Author's Address Section

Each RFC must have at the very end a section giving the author's address, including the name and postal address, the telephone number, (optional: a FAX number) and the Internet email address.