Guidelines for Requests for Comments

Author:Stephan Krause
Last Edit:$Date$

This document contains instructions for writing RFCs as well as a template for RFCs. Please read it carefully before submitting your own requests.

In this document the terms shall, should and may have a normative meaning that is well known from software engineering and standards definition:

  • shall: indicates an absolute requirement to be strictly followed
  • should: indicates a recommended item
  • may: indicates an optional item

Location of an RFC

The text of an RFC shall be located in the EOxServer SVN Trunk in the directory docs/en/rfc under the file name rfc<number>.rst. It will be published automatically on the Request For Comments site once the documentation has been built anew.

Discussion Page

Once the RFC status has been moved to PENDING, it is required that the authors create a discussion page for the RFC on the EOxServer Trac Wiki. A Template for RFC Discussion Pages is included below.

Structure of an RFC


The page heading shall be in the format “RFC <number>: <title>”.

Basic Information

The RFC shall start with a block containing the author(s) of the request, the creation date, the date of the last edit and its status, like in the following example:

Author:John Doe
Last Edit:$Date$

Description of the RFC

The first one or two paragraphs shall contain a short description of the RFC. They should give a high-level overview of the propositions of the request.


The first section of the RFC shall be called “Introduction”. It should contain a motivation for the RFC, describe the problem(s) the RFC addresses and give an overview of the proposed solution. It should contain forward references to the sections where specific items are discussed further where applicable.

Keep the introduction short and simple! It is not the place to go into the details, this should be done in the sections of the body of the RFC.

Body of the RFC

The body of the RFC starts right after the introduction. It may start with a more in-depth description of the motivation for the RFC and the problems to address if this cannot be discussed exhaustively in the introduction. Following that the proposed solution should be described in detail and as vividly as possible.

Use examples, tables and pictures where appropriate! Use references to external resources, to the documentation, to other RFCs, to the EOxServer Trac or to the source code.

The body of the RFC may be contained in one section or structured in sections, subsections and subsubsections or even further.

Voting History

The penultimate section of the RFC shall be called “Voting History”. It shall contain the records of the votes held on subject of the RFC. As long as the RFC is in preparation or pending, the section body shall be “N/A”. Example of a voting record:

Motion:To accept RFC 1
Voting Start:2011-03-01
Voting End:2011-03-02


The last section of the RFC shall be called “Traceability”. It shall contain references to the requirements that have motivated the request if applicable. Furthermore, if the request was accepted, it shall contain references to the tickets in the EOxServer Trac system that concern its implementation. Example:


Where possible, the requirements and tickets shall be hyperlinked to the respective resources (e.g. requirements document, requirement tracing system, EOxServer Trac).

Template for RFCs

Here is a template you should use for your RFCs. Please replace the items in brackets <> by the appropriate text:

.. _rfc_<number>:

RFC <number>: <title>

:Author: <author name>
:Created: <date when RFC was created: YYYY-MM-DD>
:Last Edit: <date of last edit: YYYY-MM-DD, please use subversion keyword "Date">
:Discussion: <external link to discussion page on EOxServer Trac>

<short description of the RFC>


<Mandatory. Overview of motivation, addressed problems and proposed

<Section title>

<Any number of sections may follow.>

<Subsection title>

<They may have any number of subsections.>

<Subsubsection title>

<And even subsubsections.>

Voting History

<Voting Records or "N/A">

:Motion: <Text of the motion>
:Voting Start: <YYYY-MM-DD>
:Voting End: <YYYY-MM-DD>
:Result: <Result>


:Requirements: <links to requirements or "N/A">
:Tickets: <links to tickets or "N/A">

Template for RFC Discussion Pages

RFC Discussion pages shall have the URL<number>. They shall be referenced on the page

= Discussion Page RFC <number>: <title> =

'''RFC <number>:''' [<link>]

== Template Comment ==

<comment text>

''Author: <author name> | Created: <date and time of creation: YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS>''

== Discussion ==