You may not know this but most of the internet is based on a series of standards known as an RFC
. They started out as a way to kick off a discussion on how to solve a problem, but rapidly evolved to the point where, once the RFC was adopted, it was still known as an RFC.
So the underlying networking protocols that make up the internet, TCP/IP, are defined in RFC 793
and RFC 760
. There are now several thousand RFCs that cover everything from POP
. these are the things that let you watch youtube, surf porn, and do banking.
I’m reading one of the RFCs the other day (hey, I’m a programmer, I need to know these things), and I come across the following statement.
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL
NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
"OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in
Wow. RFCs often reference other RFCs, but for some reasons I’d either never read this one before or never come across it before. But wow
, and again, wow
, this makes so much sense.
I mean, have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they say “you should not do that”. What do they mean? Are they expressing their disapproval? Are they saying it’s wrong, or dangerous, or that it just won’t work?
Well if everyone went out and read RFC 2119 we won’t have to worry about that anymore, would we?