I think you worry too much. The fact of the matter is that people, including
quite a few major vendors, implement internet-drafts all the time. Heck, they
even implement _unapproved_ internet-drafts all the time. (IMO sometimes this
is justified but often it isn't.) But AFAIK there have been no sightings of
protocol police swooping down and making arrests.
Sure, there's no enforcement -- but I still want to do the right thing w.r.t.
not citing drafts as references. My case is perhaps a bit unusual (the
implementation is a validating parser, which can emit a message including
references when there's a standards violation or potential interoperability
Ideally the RFC and IANA registration
would happen simultaneously; RFC first seems workable, but registration w/o
RFC causes difficulties.
Ideally, perhaps, but it isn't practical.
In principle, it doesn't seem to me to be a big deal to withhold publication
(review is a separate issue) in the registry until the RFC is published...
It creates a situation where additional steps are necessary. IANA has more
enough to do as it is, and experience has shown that adding considerable
coordination overhead just to achieve an _extremely_ slight increase in
coherency is almost never a good idea.
It seems to me that having IANA update the registry *twice* (once with the media
type and a bogus pointer to a non-RFC, and then again when the RFC is published)
would be more work than updating it *once*. Alternatively, since the registry
is in HTML format, the incomplete information could be commented out until RFC
publication; if I recall correctly, it's not at all difficult to do in Adobe
PageMill 3.0 (which is apparently what IANA uses).
The msgtrk issue isn't the first or only (or even the worst) problem; sometime
last November, IANA also introduced message/CPIM, and after 8 months or so,
still isn't any RFC reference -- and the draft had already passed its expiration
date by last November (the cpim draft expired about a year ago, in July 2003).
Now I'm not sure exactly what you meant earlier by "The actual RFC then gets
published in fairly short order after IANA actions are completed", but I think
we probably have a different idea of what constitutes "fairly short order".
I don't want to belabor the point; message/CPIM with no RFC was an annoyance,
was until recently the only unresolved entry in the message media type registry.
With the addition of message/tracking-status -- with message/CPIM still
I hope I'm not seeing the continuation of a trend.