Dave Crocker dhc at
Tue Feb 25 11:29:31 CET 2003


Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 10:29:45 AM, you wrote:
JK> I don't think that trying to get a PS to focus on a narrow enough problem should
JK> deter IETF from trying to solve hard problems, do you?

I think that any given spec should solve as narrow and useful a problem
as it can.  Combinatorials of specs that solve larger, useful problems
are fine.

What we have generally shown a very, very good skill at is failing to
solve larger problems all at once.  We look like every other standards
body guilty of that error in approaching public standards.  And it
almost always means that the "useful" is lost, as well as the "timely".

We simply MUST start realizing what the IETF is good at and what it is
not.  We are not good at solving a problem that is large and poorly

Such problems are best called "research".  We don't do research.

JK> Or do you think that IETF should defer developing new technology

I suspect you mean the question seriously, however you should not.

Your question serves to take my specific, pragmatic concerns and
suggestions and move them to generic, theoretical, orthogonal questions.
In other words, it is a literal non sequitor.

What is at issue here is the basic approach to doing work within an open
forum seeking to satisfy global data communications requirements.

Some approaches work; others do not. The IETF has demonstrated both facts.

We should pay attention to that experience.

 Dave Crocker <mailto:dcrocker at>
 Brandenburg InternetWorking <>
 t +1.408.246.8253; f +1.866-358-5301

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