IETF mission (RE: pausable explanation for the Document Series)

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at
Thu Jun 5 13:33:55 CEST 2003

--On torsdag, juni 05, 2003 11:36:04 +0300 john.loughney at wrote:

>> 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.

actually this comes back to the IETF mission statement thing....

if the mission of the IETF is to "make the Internet work", with our 
particular task in pursuit of that mission being to "make high quality, 
timely standards for the Internet", then flaws in the standards that the 
industry runs on are signs that we haven't achieved our mission.

I don't think we can assert "control", in the sense of "I decide, it 
happens" - if I asserted that I was in control of the IETF, I'd be as silly 
as if the IETF claimed that it was in control of the Internet.

But I do have influence over what the IETF does (and so do you), and the 
IETF does have influence over what the industry does.

Might be semantic quibbling .... then again, it might actually matter when 
we decide what to do.

>> 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).

RFC 2026 invented the term "applicability statements" - that's a term that 
seems to have fallen by the wayside......

>  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.

The "protocol, its current state and history book" site? Seems to make 
sense to me..... much of ancient history is actually preserved in various 
archives, but it can be VERY hard to find......

Nice thought!

More information about the Problem-statement mailing list