Designing the Time Machine together

Requests for Comments


Reaching consensus on the technology options to pursue in a programme as large as Time Machine is a complex issue. To ensure the open development and evaluation of work, a process inspired by the Request for Comments (RFC) that was used for the development of the Internet protocol IETF RFC 791 is being adapted to the needs of Time Machine. Time Machine Requests for Comments are freely accessible publications, identified with a unique ID, that constitute the main process for establishing rules, recommendations and core architectural choices for Time Machine components.


  1. Accessibility. RFCs are freely accessible, at no cost.
  2. Openness. Anybody can write an RFC.
  3. Identification. Each RFC, once published, has a unique ID and version number. It can nevertheless be revised over time as a living document, being republished with the same ID and a different version number.
  4. Incrementalism. Each RFC should be useful in its own right and act as a building block for others. Each RFC must be intended as a contribution, extension or revision of the Time Machine Infrastructure.
  5. Standardisation. RFCs should aim to make use of standardised terms to improve the clarity level of its recommendation.
  6. Scope. RFCs are designed contributions and implementation solutions for solving practical problems. RFCs are not research papers and may not necessarily contain experimental evidence. RFCs cover not only the technical infrastructure but the data standards, legal frameworks, and values and principles of Time Machine.
  7. Self-defining process. As used for the development of the Internet, RFCs are the main process for establishing Time Machine Infrastructure and Processes and also the processes and roles for managing RFCs themselves.

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