Discipline of Internet Protocol Engineering

john.loughney at nokia.com john.loughney at nokia.com
Wed Jun 4 13:46:28 CEST 2003

Hi Harald,

Thanks for posting 2418 - I have not read it this week.  One ommission
I see from the text you clipped is that there is no mention of
the WG scope.  If I understand Keith's complaints, some of them
relate to WG scope and that WGs often exceed there scope.  Could
this be part of the problem, that the definition of a WG Charter
(& formal guidelines thereof) are not crisp enough?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: ext Harald Tveit Alvestrand [mailto:harald at alvestrand.no]
> Sent: 04 June, 2003 12:31
> To: Loughney John (NRC/Helsinki)
> Cc: problem-statement at alvestrand.no
> Subject: RE: Discipline of Internet Protocol Engineering
> --On onsdag, juni 04, 2003 09:33:24 +0300 
> john.loughney at nokia.com wrote:
> > Just a short reply to myself - I forgot to add that one of the
> > difficulties of creating a charter is that, often, you 
> think you know
> > what you want to accomplish it, but sometimes it is 
> difficult to seperate
> > from what from  the how and the why.
> VERY much so.
> > Thinking about this a bit more, maybe we need to have more formal
> > guidelines on what a charter should contain.
> just in case someone hasn't read RFC 2418 yet this week, 
> here's what the 
> current formal guidelines say............
> 2.2. Charter
>    The formation of a working group requires a charter which is
>    primarily negotiated between a prospective working group Chair and
>    the relevant Area Director(s), although final approval is 
> made by the
>    IESG with advice from the Internet Architecture Board (IAB).  A
>    charter is a contract between a working group and the IETF 
> to perform
>    a set of tasks.  A charter:
>    1. Lists relevant administrative information for the working group;
>    2. Specifies the direction or objectives of the working group and
>       describes the approach that will be taken to achieve the goals;
>       and
>    3. Enumerates a set of milestones together with time 
> frames for their
>       completion.
>    When the prospective Chair(s), the Area Director and the IETF
>    Secretariat are satisfied with the charter form and content, it
>    becomes the basis for forming a working group. Note that an Area
>    Director MAY require holding an exploratory Birds of a 
> Feather (BOF)
>    meeting, as described below, to gage the level of support for a
>    working group before submitting the charter to the IESG and IAB for
>    approval.
>    Charters may be renegotiated periodically to reflect the current
>    status, organization or goals of the working group (see section 5).
>    Hence, a charter is a contract between the IETF and the 
> working group
>    which is committing to meet explicit milestones and delivering
>    specific "products".
>    Specifically, each charter consists of the following sections:
>    Working group name
>       A working group name should be reasonably descriptive or
>       identifiable. Additionally, the group shall define an acronym
>       (maximum 8 printable ASCII characters) to reference the group in
>       the IETF directories, mailing lists, and general documents.
>    Chair(s)
>       The working group may have one or more Chairs to perform the
>       administrative functions of the group. The email address(es) of
>       the Chair(s) shall be included.  Generally, a working group is
>       limited to two chairs.
>    Area and Area Director(s)
>       The name of the IETF area with which the working group is
>       affiliated and the name and electronic mail address of the
>       associated Area Director(s).
>    Responsible Area Director
>       The Area Director who acts as the primary IESG contact for the
>       working group.
>    Mailing list
>       An IETF working group MUST have a general Internet mailing list.
>       Most of the work of an IETF working group will be 
> conducted on the
>       mailing list. The working group charter MUST include:
>       1. The address to which a participant sends a 
> subscription request
>          and the procedures to follow when subscribing,
>       2. The address to which a participant sends submissions and
>          special procedures, if any, and
>       3. The location of the mailing list archive. A message archive
>          MUST be maintained in a public place which can be 
> accessed via
>          FTP or via the web.
>          As a service to the community, the IETF Secretariat 
> operates a
>          mailing list archive for working group mailing 
> lists. In order
>          to take advantage of this service, working group 
> mailing lists
>          MUST include the address "wg_acronym-archive at lists.ietf.org"
>          (where "wg_acronym" is the working group acronym) in the
>          mailing list in order that a copy of all mailing 
> list messages
>          be recorded in the Secretariat's archive.  Those archives are
>          located at ftp://ftp.ietf.org/ietf-mail-archive.  For
>          robustness, WGs SHOULD maintain an additional 
> archive separate
>          from that maintained by the Secretariat.
>    Description of working group
>       The focus and intent of the group shall be set forth briefly. By
>       reading this section alone, an individual should be 
> able to decide
>       whether this group is relevant to their own work. The first
>       paragraph must give a brief summary of the problem area, basis,
>       goal(s) and approach(es) planned for the working group.  This
>       paragraph can be used as an overview of the working group's
>       effort.
>       To facilitate evaluation of the intended work and to provide on-
>       going guidance to the working group, the charter must 
> describe the
>       problem being solved and should discuss objectives and expected
>       impact with respect to:
>          - Architecture
>          - Operations
>          - Security
>          - Network management
>          - Scaling
>          - Transition (where applicable)
>    Goals and milestones
>       The working group charter MUST establish a timetable 
> for specific
>       work items.  While this may be renegotiated over time, 
> the list of
>       milestones and dates facilitates the Area Director's tracking of
>       working group progress and status, and it is indispensable to
>       potential participants identifying the critical moments 
> for input.
>       Milestones shall consist of deliverables that can be 
> qualified as
>       showing specific achievement; e.g., "Internet-Draft finished" is
>       fine, but "discuss via email" is not. It is helpful to specify
>       milestones for every 3-6 months, so that progress can be gauged
>       easily.  This milestone list is expected to be updated
>       periodically (see section 5).

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