The International Engineering Task Force (IETF) is the body that defines standard Internet operating protocols such as the TCP/IP protocol. The IETF is supervised by the Internet Society Internet Architecture Board (IAB). IETF members are drawn from the Internet Society’s individual and organization membership. The IETF protocol standards are submitted and agreed in the form of Requests for Comments (RFCs).
Engineers, researchers and computer scientists, produce and submit the RFC. This document comes in the form of a written memorandum, which describes their methods, behaviors, research, or innovations applicable to the working of the Internet and Internet-connected systems. The IETF adopts some of the proposals published as RFCs as Internet standards.
RFC’s have various status:
Informational – This is wide ranging and can cover just about any submission
Experimental – This category is for submissions whereby it is not clear whether the draft will actually work or even if it does be widely adopted.
Best Current Practice – The best current practice (BCP) subseries collects administrative documents and other texts which are considered as official rules and not only informational, but which do not affect over the wire data. The BCP series also covers technical recommendations for how to practice Internet standards; for instance the recommendation to use well known solutions to mitigate risks or to optimize performance.
Historic – These are RFC’s that have become obsolete due to being superseded by a newer RFC.
Unknown – This category is only for very old RFC’s were the staus is ‘unknown’ and there is no clear indication how they would or could be implemented today. An example of this is early RFC’s, which were simply that requests for comments, they were only ideas for discussion, there was no real substance or research behind them rather a willingness to engage in discussion of a particular topic of research.