techie : rfcs



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Useful script

I have this script in my .bashrc . It caches local copies of the RFCs that I actually read. This makes finding a specific one a search of a smaller set. To use it type rfc 1000 where 1000 is the number of the rfc you are interested in.

The text will then be displayed in less, and a compressed copy cached in your home directory so that it will be faster to read next time.

function rfc () {
  file="rfc"$1".txt" ;
  if [ -f ~/.rfcs/$file.gz ] ; then
    zcat ~/.rfcs/$file.gz | less
    wget -o/dev/null -O- ""$file | gzip -9 | tee ~/.rfcs/$file.gz| zcat | less;  


RFC 1149

This standard reflects a growing need for wireless transmission. Field trials have been completed in Norway .

RFC 2322

An amazingly practical solution to a technical problem, dreamed up by a load of computer programmers. I have used this protocol at the LBW 2000 , and it worked really well. However I forgot to release my IP, and it is somewhere in my laptop bag. This leads the protocol to being best for short-term networks, based on private IP blocks.

RFC 2795

A discussion of protcols required for the management and care of an infinite typing pool of monkeys. I have not seen any practical implementations, except for possibly Barbara Cartland.

RFC 3252

A method of encoding IPV4 packets in XML. This enables cross-platform compatability and lagacy integration support for networking. Let us hope that this will enable IPV4 support for mainframes, via the flexability of XML.


RFC 1918

Real IPV4 addresses are getting scarse, yet very few people have moved over to IPV6. This is mainly by hiding hundreds of computers on a private network behind a single real IP. These machines can be assigned IPs from the netblocks listed in this standard.

RFC 1945

This is version 1.0 of the standard that most of what is popularly known as "The Internet" uses as a transport mechanism. These days most implementations are HTTP/1.1 though.

RFC 2068

This is a far more advanced version of the protocol specified in RFC 1945.

RFC 2317

This standard describes a way of delegating reverse lookups for IP address to the people who control them, in smaller blocks than were supported before. I have not seen many providers actually implementing it, partially because users tend not to care what their address resolves to. This standard has one minor disadvantage of liking "/" characters in the domains, meaning that having the filename containing the nameserver config for you domain in a file named after the domain is difficult on Unix systems.

RFC 2821

eMail, the so-called killer app of the Internet. How does it all work? How does an email manage to get to the right person most of the time? Well if people actually followed the rules in this doccument it would always either get delivered or the sender would get an error message. RFC 821 is also required reading for anyone implementing a mail transfer agent.

RFC 2822

This is the standard for the layout of the message content for emails and news articles. Even less softwares appears to give a shit about the content of this one. See also RFC 822.

RFC 3076

This is getting less interesting. In order to cryptographically sign an XML document, it is probably a good idea to do so after parsing it, so that you just sign the meaning. This standard describes how to represent an XML document in the same way as other people.