Image: Shutterstock, Ruth Black
The documentation series known as Request for Comments (RFC) turned another year older this past April as the 46th anniversary of the first RFC, known as RFC 1, was observed and celebrated by the web standards community.
RFC 1 was authored by Stephen D. Crocker in 1969 as an effort to record and organize unofficial notes regarding the development of the groundbreaking packet switching network, ARPANET. Crocker was an undergrad student at UCLA at the time and his RFC proved an effective way to help insure information fidelity in the technical areas while making the development process available to a wider audience.
Since its inception, the RFC series has grown into a collection over 7000 published documents, all of which are freely accessible in public indexes. RFC 2555, published on the 30th anniversary of RFC 1, serves as a collaborative portrait of reflections on the RFC series, with several luminaries of the web standards community lending their personal anecdotes to the collection.
What began as a simple text file documenting the development of a network prototype, the RFC series now features a broad array of document types. And although the official file type remains simple ASCII text, RFC documents are available in many different mediums and formats. Proven time and time again to be a tremendous boon to the web development community, the RFC series is a sterling example of the power of open standards and information sharing.
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