My thoughts about the problems of the IETF

Dave Crocker dhc at
Mon Apr 21 09:32:21 CEST 2003


JCK> * The AD should have had informal discussions with the rest of


JCK> If the problem is understood early in the process and agreement
JCK> cannot be reached, chairs and editors should be changed, or the 
JCK> WG shut down, before it goes to the trouble of producing a 
JCK> claimed-final draft.


JCK> * The AD interactions with the WG if things do reach this point 
JCK> should be very public.

a great big yes!

JCK> * And either the WG or the AD should be able to seek a rapid and
JCK> public opinion from the IESG as to whether the AD is behaving 
JCK> reasonably.


JCK> Margaret,
JCK>     perhaps we need an
JCK> explicit criterion on all standards-track RFCs that are 
JCK> candidates for advancement that says "this document must be 
JCK> clear enough that it is precisely obvious to anyone skilled in 
JCK> the area what needs to be tested for interoperability".

I agree with the sentiment and the suggestion, except for a concern
about the pragmatics.

Requiring a specification to delineate its points of interoperability
places the burden on the right people, and permits the burden to be
satisfied *during* the working group process, rather than having it
pop up as a show-stopper at the end of the process.

The two problems that seem likely are :  1) too much bureaucracy in the
creation of specifications and 2) to much difficulty in providing the
interoperability detail for "sophisticated" (that is, large and/or
complicated) specifications.

 Dave Crocker <mailto:dcrocker at>
 Brandenburg InternetWorking <>
 Sunnyvale, CA  USA <tel:+1.408.246.8253>, <fax:+1.866.358.5301>

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