Hard problems [Re: Standards]

James Kempf kempf at docomolabs-usa.com
Wed Feb 26 09:43:41 CET 2003


> So, we have a problem about how to tackle hard problems (a.k.a.
> architectures in some circles). I think you'll find that is already
> covered in the draft, so I'm not sure we're advancing the charter here.
> I will comment, however, that the Global Grid Forum, although
> a beginner in this game, has already come up with a solution
> to this problem: when a topic XYZ is too hard for one WG, but too
> limited to be an Area, make a master WG that owns the XYZ architecture,
> and several specific WGs and RGs that own subtopics of XYZ, once
> the architecture is roughed out. It's too early in the life of the
> GGF to see if this really works, but it does offer a constructive
> approach to the mega-WG issue.

This issue was discussed at the IESG/IAB retreat last fall, and there were some
objections noted. One was that such working groups tend to attract people who
have little, if any, implemenation experience and therefore result in designs
that may have implementation problems or require the working groups doing the
protocol design to iterate with the architecture group to get rid of such
problems. Most of the discussion was in the context of a standing group to do
architecture, like 3GPP's SA2, but perhaps there would be less of a problem if
the group doing the architecture had a temporary life, as is typically the case
with IETF groups.

My own feeling is that working groups could be chartered to do architecture,
then rechartered to do the actual protocol, and that the architecture could be
subject to review to make sure it is consistent with the rest of the Internet
architecture on a detail level. I think this would be more likely to fit with
IETF's working style.


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