Complex Problems (Was: Re: Discipline of Internet Protocol Engineering)

Dave Crocker dhc at
Sat Jun 7 22:52:56 CEST 2003


MW> Your reasoning seems to run:  The IETF is bad at resolving
MW> complex issues, so we should only work on small, well-defined
MW> problems.

Actually, my reasoning runs a bit differently, and that bit of
difference is important:

IETF work has been notably successful only when it has done bite-sized
bits of coherent work. It has attacked complex issues successfully only
when it has attacked the issues piecemeal.

So, we should do what we know we are good at, rather than do what we
know we are bad at.

MW> My reasons runs:  The IETF is bad at resolving complex
MW> problems, so we need to find a way to get better at it.

That would be delightful.  But it does not make sense to place a
requirement into our critical path for something which we have almost 15
years of failure performing.  Better still, we have no basis for yet
believing we know how to perform it.

 Dave Crocker <mailto:dcrocker at>
 Brandenburg InternetWorking <>
 Sunnyvale, CA  USA <tel:+1.408.246.8253>, <fax:+1.866.358.5301>

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