18 months

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at alvestrand.no
Thu Jan 9 09:55:59 CET 2003

--On onsdag, januar 08, 2003 18:33:30 -0800 Dave Crocker <dhc at dcrocker.net> 

> Harald> So I would suggest that when you claim a pattern, you also
> mention at least  Harald> 3 specific examples that you think fit the
> pattern.
> Yes, that would be nice, just as it would be nice if those who think
> that groups taking years to produce anything useful would provide data
> showing how wonderfully successful such long projects were.
> In lieu of that, a rough consensus of the community should suffice.
> If the community thinks we've been doing great with working groups
> taking 3, 5 and 8 years, then that's dandy.  (Again, I admit to
> curiosity for examples, since I cannot think of any, within the IETF.)

Hmmm.... coming up with examples of long-lived working groups is certainly 
no problem at all.....

Diffserv was chartered before April 1998, according to the Wayback 
Machine's first copy of the charter (dated Nov 98; it's got April 1998 
milestones in the charter).

RFCs published:

2474 - Dec 98
2475 - Dec 98
2597 - June 99
2598 - June 99
2836 - May 2000
2983 - October 2000
3086 - April 2001
3140 - June 2001
3246 - March 2002
3247 - March 2002
3248 - March 2002
3260 - April 2002
3289 - May 2002
3290 - May 2002

The working group has taken at least 4 1/2 years, but has produced its 
first RFC before 18 months (if I have the start date right), and has 
produced documents at less than 12-month intervals.

I don't think many will say that we did "great" on diffserv, but I do think 
that the specifications produced by this group have seen takeup in the 

Another example, which I personally consider more fit for the "failure" bin 
(because of lack of industry pickup): SVRLOC.

Wayback machine charter at May 1997 shows unfilled milestones in June 1996, 
so we can assume it was chartered before then.

RFCs published:

2165 - June 1997
2608 - June 1999
2609 - June 1999
2614 - June 1999
2926 - Sept 2000

The group has been active for at least 6 1/2 years, and has taken 2 years 
from its first RFC to its second.

Third example, which is definitely a cornerstone of our technology: IDR, 
the owners of BGP.

Wayback machine charter from May 1997 shows milestones in june 1996, but 
it's listed as owning RFC 1105, which is published in june 1989 (and refers 
to the "IWG Task Force); I'll leave the interpretation of that history to 
the people who were around at the time.
Its charter shows some 35 RFCs; I don't think I want to list dates for them 
all - but there are no obvious long-term "holes" in the number spread.
RFC 1654, BGP-4, was published in July 1994.

The point?

Stuff varies. Unless we dare to look at specific examples, we can't verify 
that patterns exist.


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