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IANA Converts Registries to XML

IANA Project Update: Convert Registries to XML

July 15, 2008

IETF Community:

As first announced in April 2008, IANA is improving the formatting of its protocol registries by migrating the source format of these registries to structured XML format. We are pleased to announce the first set of migrated registries have now come online.

Prior to this migration, typically protocol registries were formatted in a plain text version. Now, with XML formatted source documents, IANA will publish a number of different formats for converted registries. In particular, converted registries will initially be available in XML, XHTML and plain text versions. It is intended that XHTML become the preferred format for viewing registries, with plain text being made available for accessibility reasons.

The remainder of the registries which are not yet converted require further consultation on formatting issues. It is intended that over the coming months these issues will be resolved and the conversion will be completed. Some registries that have specific formatting requirements, such as Management Information Base (MIB) files, will not be converted.

In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, IANA will continue to maintain the legacy plain text formats until 30-November-2008. After this date, plain text versions will only be provided that are derived from the XML formats. However, implementors who intend to parse the contents of an IANA protocol registry should migrate to using the XML versions, rather than the plain text version.

All existing URLs to protocol registries shall continue to work, and the new formats will be available from our website at as they are rolled out.

An example of a converted registry is:

The next steps (in addition to completing the remaining registries) includes introducing new services such as the ability to subscribe to be notified of registry changes. IANA will continue to provide updates to the IETF list as more steps are completed.

If you have any questions regarding this project or regarding the format of the registries, please contact IANA ( or myself (contact information found below).

Thank you,

Michelle Cotton

About IANA

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the body responsible for coordinating some of the key elements that keep the Internet running smoothly. Whilst the Internet is renowned for being a worldwide network free from central coordination, there is a technical need for some key parts of the Internet to be globally coordinated — and this coordination role is undertaken by IANA.

Specifically, IANA allocates and maintains unique codes and numbering systems that are used in the technical standards ('protocols') that drive the Internet.

IANA's various activities can be broadly grouped in to three categories:

  • Domain Names

    IANA manages the DNS root, the .int and .arpa domains, and an IDN practices resource.

  • Number Resources

    IANA is responsible for global coordination of the Internet Protocol (IP) addressing systems, as well as the Autonomous System Numbers (AS) used for routing Internet traffic. Currently there are two types of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in active use: IP version 4 (IPv4) and IP version 6 (IPv6). IPv4 was initially deployed on 1 January 1983 and is still the most commonly used version. IPv4 addresses are 32-bit numbers often expressed as 4 octets in "dotted decimal" notation (for example, Deployment of the IPv6 protocol began in 1999. IPv6 addresses are 128-bit numbers and are conventionally expressed using hexadecimal strings (for example, 2001:0db8:582:ae33::29).

  • Protocol Assignments

    Internet protocols' numbering systems are managed by IANA in conjunction with standards bodies.

IANA is one of the Internet's oldest institutions, with its activities dating back to the 1970s. Today it is operated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an internationally-organised non-profit organisation set up by the Internet community to help coordinate IANA's areas of responsibilities.

IANA's Policy: IANA aims not to directly set policy by which it operates, instead implementing agreed policies and principles in a neutral and responsible manner. Using the policy setting forums provided by ICANN, policy development for domain name operations and IP addressing is arrived at by many different stakeholders. ICANN has a structure of supporting organisations that contribute to deciding how ICANN runs, and in turn how IANA develops. The development of Internet protocols, which often dictate how protocol assignments should be managed, are arrived at within the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Engineering Steering Group, and the Internet Architecture Board.

To improve its operations, IANA is actively involved in outreach too. As well as in ICANN forums, IANA participates in meetings and discussions with TLD operators, Regional Internet Registries, and other relevant communities. The Authority provides a manned helpdesk at IETF meetings to allow one-to-one interaction with its largest community of users — protocol developers.

IANA Project to Convert Registries to XML

Announcement April 23, 2008

IANA is currently engaged in a project to convert the IETF related registries to XML to provide the community with multiple ways of viewing registry information. When conversion to XML is done, XML will become the source format for the registries and the current formats of html and plain text will be generated from the XML source. Stylesheets and schemas will also be made available together with XML. Users will be able to access the registries in new and useful ways, while still having the ability to see the registries in the original style.

Part of the conversion requires IANA to "clean-up" the registries in order to fit with the XML schemas. IANA is not changing the data in the registries. IANA is cleaning up the formatting including regularizing spacing and providing consistent display of titles, references and registration procedures.

For those registries that need extensive format changes, IANA will be working with the appropriate working groups and area directors to make sure that the format changes do not affect the content of the registry.

Those registries that are required to be in specific formats, for example the MIBs and language subtags registries, will still be produced in the existing formats.

IANA has consulted with the IETF XML Directorate to make sure that the XML schemas are properly formulated. Certain decisions on schemas reflect the needs of IANA in maintaining the registries moving forward.

In the coming months, cleaned-up versions of the registries will begin appearing on the IANA website. If you notice any content issues with the updated versions, or if they are not accessible, please notify IANA staff immediately and we will work with the appropriate parties to correct any inconsistencies.

We look forward to providing the XML versions of the registries to better serve the community's needs. IANA will announce in advance when the registry conversion will be completed. After the conversion is complete, we intend to introduce new services such as the ability to subscribe to be notified when specific registries are updated

Thank you,

Michelle Cotton

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See also Specification Production: Software Automation Tools, IETF.

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