pausable explanation for the Document Series

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at
Thu Jun 5 09:13:39 CEST 2003

--On torsdag, juni 05, 2003 06:53:57 +0300 john.loughney at wrote:

> Hi all,
> I've always assumed that industry does not use DS or FS simply because
> the IETF does not produce them in any great number.  The IETF doesn't
> seem to produce them because WGs are, in general, charted to make
> PSs; after which, they try to shut down.  There is very little incentive
> in the IETF progress documents.  Industry, being industry, takes what
> they get & runs with it.
> I'm not sure how many of the proposals discussed would impact this
> situation in any meaningful way.

at least two try to:

Brian's DS/Full merger

<shameless plug>
Maintenance Teams
</shameless plug>

but industry running on PS is not a core problem, I think.

The more-core problem is industry running on protocols with design flaws 
and protocol bugs, which cannot be fixed because of the installed base.

If PS was perfect, this would not be a serious problem. But it isn't so.

(my favourite example of deployment lock-in is the MIME version number - 
when the first post-RFC revision of the MIME spec was done, we wanted to 
increase the version number from 1.0 to 1.1, to celebrate the fixing of 
many bugs and unclear points in the specification.
One vendor had a product in days-before-release state, which would not 
interoperate with UAs that sent 1.1 in the version number.
We decided to freeze the version number at 1.0 forever......
not a big loss to humanity, but it looks stupid.)


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