|Introduction to the STD Notes
Network Working Group Internet Activities Board
Request for Comments: 1311 J. Postel, Editor
Introduction to the STD Notes
Status of this Memo
This RFC describes a new sub-series of RFCs, called STDs (Standards).
Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
The STDs are a subseries of notes within the RFC series that are the
Internet standards. The intent is to identify clearly for the
Internet community those RFCs which document Internet standards.
2. The Assignment of STD Numbers
There is a need to be very clear about which specifications have
completed the full process of standardization in the Internet. To do
this an STD number will be assigned to a specification when it
reaches the Standard maturity level. Note that specifications may be
either Technical Specifications (TS) or Applicability Statements
When a specification reaches the final stage of the standardization
process and the IAB has designated it a standard for the Internet, an
STD number will be assigned to that specification.
The existing standards have been assigned STD numbers (see Appendix).
The standard for a particular protocol will always have the same STD
If at some future time a protocol is reworked and a new document
is produced as the specification of that standard and the new
specification is designated by the IAB as a standard for the
Internet, then the new document will be labeled with the same STD
number (of course, that new document will have a new RFC number).
Multiple Documents for One Standard:
A STD number identifies a standard not a document. A document is
identified by its RFC number. If the specification of a standard
is spread over several documents they will each carry the same STD
For example, the Domain Name System (DNS) is currently
specified by the combination of RFCs 1034 and 1035. Both of
these documents are now labeled STD-13.
To be completely clear the DNS "Concepts and Facilities"
document can be referenced as "STD-13/RFC-1034".
In such cases, whenever possible, the set of documents defining a
particular standard will cross reference each other.
One Standard or Multiple Standards:
One difficult decision is deciding whether a set of documents
describe one standard or multiple standards. In the Appendix, one
can see that there are several cases in which one STD applies to
multiple RFCs (see STDs 5, 13, and 20). There is one case in
which a family of specifications has multiple STD numbers; that is
the Telnet Options.
The general rule is that a separate STD number is used when the
specification is logically separable. That is, logically
separable options are assigned distinct STD numbers while
amendments and non-optional extensions use the same STD number as
the base specification.
Multiple Versions or Editions of a Standard:
It may occur that the documentation of a standard is updated or
replaced with a new document. In such cases, the same STD number
will be used to label the standard. No version numbers will be
attached to STD numbers. There need be no confusion about having
the up-to-date document about STD-9 since each version of the
document will have a distinct RFC number (and of course a
The complete identification of a specification and its document is
the combination of the STD and the RFC. For example, "STD-13/RFC-
1035" completely identifies the current version of the second part of
the Domain Name System specification.
To completely identify all of the DNS standard the citation would
One way to think of this is that an acronym (like TCP) refers to a
concept, which is called a protocol. An RFC number (like RFC-793)
indicates the specific version of the protocol specification. An STD
number (like STD-7) designates the status of the protocol.
2. Why an RFC Subseries ?
There are several reasons why the STDs are part of the larger RFC
series of notes.
The foremost reason is that the distribution mechanisms for RFCs are
tried and true. Anyone who can get an RFC, can automatically get a
STD. More important, anyone who knows of the RFC series can easily
find the STDs.
Another reason for making STDs part of the RFC series is that the
maintenance mechanisms for RFCs are already in place. It makes sense
to maintain similar documents is a similar way.
3. Format Rules
Since the STDs are a part of the RFC series, they must conform to
"Request for Comments on Request for Comments: Instructions to RFC
Authors" (RFC-1111) with respect to format.
3.1 Status Statement
Each STD RFC must include on its first page the "Status of this Memo"
section which contains a paragraph describing the intention of the
RFC. This section is meant to convey the status approved by the
Internet Activities Board (IAB).
3.2. Distribution Statement
Each STD RFC will also include a "distribution statement". As the
purpose of the STD series is to disseminate information, there is no
reason for the distribution to be anything other than "unlimited".
Typically, the distribution statement will simply be the sentence
"Distribution of this memo is unlimited." appended to the "Status of
this Memo" section.
3.3. Security Considerations
All STD RFCs must contain a section that discusses the security
considerations of the procedures that are the main topic of the RFC.
3.4. Author's Address
Each STD RFC must have at the very end a section giving the author's
address, including the name and postal address, the telephone number,
and the Internet email address.
In the case of multiple authors, each of the authors will be listed.
In the case of a document produced by a group, the editor of the
document will be listed and optionally the chair of the group may be
4. The STD Publication
New documents can only become STD RFCs through an action of the IAB.
The publication of STDs will be performed by the RFC Editor.
5. STD Announcements
New STD RFCs are announced to the RFC distribution list maintained by
the Network Information Center (NIC). Contact the NIC to be added or
deleted from this mailing list by sending an email message to RFC-
6. Obtaining STDs
STD RFCs may be obtained in the same way as any RFC.
Details on obtaining RFCs via FTP or EMAIL may be obtained by sending
an EMAIL message to "rfc-info@ISI.EDU" with the message body "help:
ways_to_get_rfcs". For example:
Subject: getting rfcs
The current standards are listed in the "IAB Official Protocol
Standards" (which is STD-1), whose current edition is RFC-1280.
Security issues are not discussed in this memo.
USC/Information Sciences Institute
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Marina del Rey, CA 90292
APPENDIX -- The Grandfathered STDs
Protocol Name Status RFC STD
======== ===================================== ======= ===== ====
-------- IAB Official Protocol Standards Req 1280 1
-------- Assigned Numbers Req 1060 2
-------- Host Requirements Req 1122,1123 3
-------- Gateway Requirements Req 1009 4
IP Internet Protocol Req 791 5
as amended by:
-------- IP Subnet Extension Req 950 5
-------- IP Broadcast Datagrams Req 919 5
-------- IP Broadcast Datagrams with Subnets Req 922 5
ICMP Internet Control Message Protocol Req 792 5
IGMP Internet Group Multicast Protocol Rec 1112 5
UDP User Datagram Protocol Rec 768 6
TCP Transmission Control Protocol Rec 793 7
TELNET Telnet Protocol Rec 854,855 8
FTP File Transfer Protocol Rec 959 9
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Rec 821 10
MAIL Format of Electronic Mail Messages Rec 822 11
CONTENT Content Type Header Field Rec 1049 11
NTP Network Time Protocol Rec 1119 12
DOMAIN Domain Name System Rec 1034,1035 13
DNS-MX Mail Routing and the Domain System Rec 974 14
SNMP Simple Network Management Protocol Rec 1157 15
SMI Structure of Management Information Rec 1155 16
MIB-II Management Information Base-II Rec 1213 17
EGP Exterior Gateway Protocol Rec 904 18
NETBIOS NetBIOS Service Protocols Ele 1001,1002 19
ECHO Echo Protocol Rec 862 20
DISCARD Discard Protocol Ele 863 21
CHARGEN Character Generator Protocol Ele 864 22
QUOTE Quote of the Day Protocol Ele 865 23
USERS Active Users Protocol Ele 866 24
DAYTIME Daytime Protocol Ele 867 25
TIME Time Server Protocol Ele 868 26
Telnet Options Option Status RFC STD
======== ================================= ====== ======= ===== ====
TOPT-BIN Binary Transmission 0 Rec 856 27
TOPT-ECHO Echo 1 Rec 857 28
TOPT-SUPP Suppress Go Ahead 3 Rec 858 29
TOPT-STAT Status 5 Rec 859 30
TOPT-TIM Timing Mark 6 Rec 860 31
TOPT-EXTOP Extended-Options-List 255 Rec 861 32