pausable explanation for the Document Series

john.loughney at john.loughney at
Thu Jun 5 12:36:04 CEST 2003

Hi Harald,

> > 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

Actually, I'm not sure how Brian's proposal fits into the above 
picture, since PS seems to be the default level for most work
done in the IETF.  Without internal motiviation to progress the
work, I'm not sure it makes a difference.

> <shameless plug>
> Maintenance Teams
> </shameless plug>

I didn't think about your proposal in these terms, but the more 
I do, the more I like it.  It is, basically, the IETF taking
care of its own messes, which is a good thing.

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

I agree - mostly because it is outside of our ability to control.

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

Depends upon how you look at things.  I would say that the more-core
problem is that our quality control may be less than ideal.  As the IETF
is not a protocol enforcement agency, what the industry does with
what we make is beyond our control, in my opinion.

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

This touches on the relevant issue.  Should PS be perfect? At what
level do we raise (or lower) the bar?  What can we do about it?  
One possibility would be that we make sure that PS documents are
as perfect as possible (raise the bar).  Another could be to
require some sort of best practices document for most major PS
documents (which would capture operational issues, etc).  Another
could be your Maintenance Team idea, especially if it is coupled
with an object that captures all of the relevant RFCs, drafts
in progress, bug reports, etc.  I also think that if we go the
route of Maintenence Teams, perhaps the object could also
preserve any issue lists created during WG / IETF last call.


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