MIL-STD vs. RFC


James Van Bokkelen (jbvb@vax.ftp.com)
Thu, 7 Apr 88 16:55:00 EDT


Recently, various people concerned with government RFPs have been
asking if my product conformed to the MIL-STDs. I know the original
1983 MIL-STDs for IP and TCP, at least (1777 and 1778) were wrong (as
outlined in RFC 963 & 964). I have no information which even hints
that they have been, or will be, corrected. I have also been told by
authorities whose word I accept "where the RFCs and the MIL-STDs differ,
the RFCs are correct".

Accordingly, I have been telling these people "We conform to the RFCs,
and to the MIL-STDs to the extent that they are correct." However, a case
has recently arisen where someone wanted more than just my word on it.
I gave them some people's names, and an organization or two. At one of
the places they called, the person they spoke to (not someone closely
involved in Internet development) told them that they thought the
MIL-STDs superceded the RFCs.

Is there a document where the primacy of the RFCs is explicitly stated
(other than being implied in RFC 1011, "Official Internet Protocols")?
Is there an organization which I should direct these questions to? A
person at that organization who considers it their business to answer
such, and is vested in some sort of formal authority that should be
accepted by the questioning parties? I promise to only use it as a
last resort...

James VanBokkelen
FTP Software Inc.



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