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Underlay RFCs

Published onAug 02, 2020
Underlay RFCs

RFC-0: Requests for Comment

v0.1 2020-09-15

The Underlay Requests for Comment series is expected to be a sequence of internal technical memos written for and by the Underlay working group. The hope is that URFCs will play a role similar to that of the RFCs of the working group that developed packet-switched networks. RFCs are published in a deliberately-archaic format: numbered memos, titled, dated and authored by one or more members of the working group. An RFC represents the authors’ considered thoughts, suggestions, understanding and opinions, as of the date of the memo. Revised versions may later be issued as a different RFC. To encourage the publication of RFCs, early and often, revised versions may later be issued by the authors. Such revised versions should use the new date with a version number appended to the RFC number after a decimal point. A Revisions section summarizing the cumulative sequence of revisions should be appended as the last section. Major rewrites or reorganizations should be issued as separate RFCs.

The Underlay working group is currently based at the MIT-affiliated Knowledge Futures Group (KFG). Membership is not closed. Although primarily intended for an internal audience, RFCs will also be distributed to other parties advising on the development of the Underlay, and they will be posted on our public website as a record of the evolution of the group’s thinking. Sam Klein will handle the logistics of assigning RFC numbers, circulating them to group members and posting them on the web site. 


RFCs discuss and describe designs, proposals, and opinions, related to the Underlay, not limited to original ideas of the author. Notes are encouraged to be timely rather than polished and philosophical positions without examples or other specifics, specific suggestions or implementation techniques without introductory or background explication, and explicit questions without any attempted answers are all acceptable. The hope is to promote and record the exchange and consideration of less than authoritative ideas.


The URFC concept was inspired by and largely copied from the Network Working Group’s RFC-3, by Steve Crocker in April 1969.


Version 0.1 was revised to include a description of versioning.

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