Complex Problems

James Kempf kempf at
Tue Jan 7 08:16:54 CET 2003


Behind every architecture there are a set of assumptions. The assumptions behind
the Internet architecture are largely values based (user choice, openness,
etc.). The assumptions behind architectures done by other standards bodies are
largely business model based (how to maximize revenue for vendors/operators,
etc.). This is not to say that business model based assumptions don't play a
part in decisions in the IETF, they do, but I don't believe they drive the basic
discussions on architecture (or, at least, they have not up until now).

If we allow others to do the basic architecture, then we will end up accepting
their assumptions. I don't think this is a very good idea for the Internet.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Marshall Rose" <mrose at>
To: "Margaret Wasserman" <mrw at>
Cc: <problem-statement at>
Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 4:32 PM
Subject: Re: Complex Problems

> > I agree that we can and should attempt to break complex
> > problems into smaller problems.  However, it may not
> > always make sense (or even be possible) to charter a
> > WG to do the problem decomposition.
> hi. let's ask a simple question:
>     do we think it is appropriate for the ietf to *begin* work on
>     complex problems?
> the emphasis, of course, is on the word "begin".
> what i would like folks to consider is whether it is better for some other
> organization, e.g., the irtf, the w3c, an industry group, etc., to do the
> initial legwork, make the first set of mistakes, etc., and then come to the
> with an architecture and a taxonomy that allows us to do the
> strategy which tends to work well for us...
> /mtr

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