Complex topics (RE: Formalizing Design Teams) (fwd)

Harald Tveit Alvestrand
Fri Jan 3 07:56:31 CET 2003

I'd like to forward this thread from the wgchairs mailing list into the 
more open forum..... comments?


---------- Forwarded Message ----------
Date: torsdag, januar 02, 2003 08:55:21 +0100
From: Harald Tveit Alvestrand <>
Subject: Complex topics (RE: Formalizing Design Teams)

Happy new year everyone!
I just wanted to pick up on this thread from before Christmas....

it seems that we have different sets of problems:

- they're small, isolated, and we understand how to solve them: a short
focused IETF WG is the most likely answer - we don't understand how to
attack the problem: an IRTF WG, or "waiting until the research is done",
may be the answer - we aren't sure how to solve the problem, or don't know
how big the problem is, or we're not sure how it interacts with other
things: We tend to create some mechanism that doesn't quite fit with our
defined structure.

The mechanisms include long-lived WGs (IPv6), ad-hoc or new areas (SNMP,
SIP/SIPPING/SIMPLE), non-area directorates (Wireless, DNS) and more.

We the IETF might want to think about whether we want to have formal
constructs that fit better into this space than "areas" or "WGs".

But then again, this discussion probably belongs on problem-statement;
wgchairs is not an open list....


--On 20. desember 2002 15:33 -0800 Tony Hain <> wrote:

>> > we may decide initially that a temporary area is required
>> > to establish a level of focus across a range of groups. Over
>> time that
>> > will evolve to a point where a complex WG is sufficient to
>> maintain the
>> > necessary focus on the critical architectural issues.
>> Isn't that supposed to be an IRTF working group?
> Not necessarily. If all we are ever going to take on in the IETF are
> small incremental changes, short-term narrow-focus groups are
> appropriate. If we need to make significant changes like replacing the
> predominate protocol at a given layer, that isn't going to happen
> quickly, and no it is not research. What it means is that the breadth of
> the problem space is not well understood by the majority of the
> participants. Just figuring out what people need to have spelled out
> takes time.

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