John C Klensin <klensin(_at_)jck(_dot_)com> writes:
What is says is that (Section 6.2)
A specification shall remain at the Draft Standard level
for at least four (4) months, or until at least one IETF
meeting has occurred, whichever comes later.
That is fairly clear except it doesn't really identify the time
at which the clock starts running.
Actually, I would assert that the term "specification" can only apply
to an RFC. Until we have the actual RFC in hand, it may be unclear
what the specification is, since there may be very last minute
changes. E.g., assignment of IANA code points.
FWIW, when I was an AD, the argument for moving to draft (typically
after a document was reissued at proposed) needing to wait 6 months
from RFC publication came from the following (quoting 2026):
4.1.2 Draft Standard
A specification from which at least two independent and
interoperable implementations from different code bases have been
developed, and for which sufficient successful operational
experience has been obtained, may be elevated to the "Draft
The key thing is that the code should have been developed from the
actual specifications (and not the drafts that led to them), because
the primary thing being checked was clarity of the text in the final
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