The first RFC we'll look at is RFC 1034, Domain Names - Concepts and Facilities.
I've reformatted a number of important RFCs to make them more suitable for Web presentation. If you'd like, click here to see RFC 1034 as it is distributed by InterNIC. This is a large document (123KB), and we're not going to view the RFCs in this format, but you may wish to see what the original documents look like.
In the Encyclopedia's Web format, each RFC has a top page containing a table of contents that leads to Web pages containing the rest of the document.
Let's take a look at RFC 1034's top page.
This RFC is an introduction to the Domain Name System (DNS), and omits many details which can be found in a companion RFC, "Domain Names - Implementation and Specification" [RFC-1035]. That RFC assumes that the reader is familiar with the concepts discussed in this memo.
A subset of DNS functions and data types constitute an official protocol. The official protocol includes standard queries and their responses and most of the Internet class data formats (e.g., host addresses).
However, the domain system is intentionally extensible. Researchers are continuously proposing, implementing and experimenting with new data types, query types, classes, functions, etc. Thus while the components of the official protocol are expected to stay essentially unchanged and operate as a production service, experimental behavior should always be expected in extensions beyond the official protocol. Experimental or obsolete features are clearly marked in these RFCs, and such information should be used with caution.
The reader is especially cautioned not to depend on the values which appear in examples to be current or complete, since their purpose is primarily pedagogical. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.