[Standards] RFC 6120 vs. XEP (was: CSI and Carbons state after SM resumption)

Marvin Gülker m-guelker at phoenixmail.de
Mon Feb 6 20:37:23 UTC 2017

On Mon, Feb 06, 2017 at 06:09:50PM +0300, Evgeny Khramtsov wrote:
> Mon, 6 Feb 2017 14:57:10 +0000
> Kevin Smith <kevin.smith at isode.com> wrote:
> > Not really, that’s just how extensions work.
> I disagree. Extensions should extend, not replace, the RFC. Replacing
> RFCs by XEPs is some new phenomenon introduced in recent years.

Yes. An extension is something building on top of the RFC, not
contradicting it.

What is not spelled out here, but I guess what is behind Kevin's
position, is that amending RFC 6120 would be a time-consuming process as
it needs to go through the IETF. In the current changing world of mobile
messaging, a time-consuming standardisation process is the last the XMPP
universe needs.

I can see this point, but in my opinion the approach taken currently is
the wrong answer to this. RFC 6120 has the advantage that it covers and
consolidates quite a lot of functionality (together with RFC 6121) at a
central point. What happens currently is that parts of the RFC are
superseded by some XEP here, another XEP there, etc. The result is an
organisational mess. If replacing RFC 6120f. is what is wanted anyway,
then why not make some kind of "super-XEP" that consolidates the entire
thing into one document people can be pointed to, and have that document
explicitely state "this XEP obsoletes and supersedes RFC 6120 for any
modern use of XMPP; implementation of RFC 6120 is
discouraged". Preferably, the IETF should be asked to retire the RFC
6120 group. This sets things straight again and kicks the IETF out of
the standardisation boat, where it appearently causes more problems than
it helps.

If this sounds too radical, why not just submit the changes of the XEPs
in question to the IETF and have a note in the XEPs that they defer to
the resulting RFC once it has been approved by the IETF? After all, RFC
6120 has aged a little since it was published in 2011.


(second attempt in changing the discussion title of this subthread)

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