John C Klensin john-ietf at
Wed Feb 19 11:57:34 CET 2003

--On Wednesday, 19 February, 2003 11:20 -0500 Keith Moore 
<moore at> wrote:

>> We often hear it said that "The Internet runs on Proposed
>> Standards."
> maybe it should be "The Internet limps on Proposed Standards."
> :)
> but it does seem fair to ask - what operational problems would
> be solved if more documents were advanced to DS or FS?

As you know, I long ago concluded that trying to make a 
distinction between DS and FS had stopped serving us well.  So, 
independent of exactly how one defines the boundary between PS 
and "next level", I can't tell you why FS is better than DS 
(from the standpoint of operational problems or otherwise). 
Others may be able to.

However, I think there are different ways to ask the above 
question that may be as, or more, helpful:

	* How many documents do we hold before they are accepted
	at Proposed in the hope of getting them [more] right,
	thereby indirectly encouraging vendors to deploy things
	while they are still I-Ds ?
	* How many protocols are implemented and maintained, in
	practice, as "proposed plus oral tradition" or "proposed
	plus conventional wisdom from interoperability
	experience"?  If this number is non-trivial, it is bad
	news because it implies that we haven't provided
	sufficient documentation for someone to implement a
	standard properly unless he or she is a member of the
	community, communicating with others.

The second group is, in many respects, the problem that DS (or 
FS) ought to be solving. And it probably is the operational 
problem.  If it is a null set, then there is no problem.  If it 
isn't a null set, then kre's question/analysis is, IMO, 
relevant, since it is hard to know what we have left out that is 
causing problems without the feedback and review that (at least 
in theory) goes into the DS process.


More information about the Problem-statement mailing list