ISSUE: excessive perfectionism (was Re: ISSUE: Timeframes sho ld be focused on IETF purposes, not markets)

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at
Thu Jun 12 11:20:48 CEST 2003

--On onsdag, juni 11, 2003 16:48:14 +0100 graham.travers at wrote:

> Keith,
> I'm not suggesting that we favour a sub-set; rather that we try to include
> all the *customers* ( stakeholders or users, if you prefer ) that we can
> identify - e.g. vendors, ISPs, researchers, end-users.....
> I realise that such a list can not be comprehensive forever, as new types
> of user will emerge;  but it does at least give us a checklist of who we
> should currently be considering.

In a very real sense, I believe the customers of the IETF process are us - 
the IETF participants.

*Our* customers are the ISPs and the end-users, the researchers, the 
enterprises, the governments and the fabric of society itself.

But I think it's *our* responsibility to set our targets; abdicating that 
responsibility to an abstract, unquantifiable notion like "market need" 
will not give us quality, relevant specifications for the Internet.

Abusing random people's names....

I want to accept as vaild input into the target-setting process Jim Bound 
saying "I need the XYZ specification to be completed by August 27, 2004, 
because I have a Sept 1 spec freeze, a 3-month QA cycle, and product 
shipments planned for February 2005 that intend to incorporate that 

And I want to also accept as valid input John Loughney saying "XYZ cannot
be completed by August 27, because ABC is barely going to meet its deadline 
of completing its spec by July, so XYZ cannot possibly incorporate that in 
less than 3 months; we can't make a good spec before October".

But I don't want to accept as valid input someone saying "XYZ is urgently 
needed in the market (no background given), so we have to abandon the ABC 
dependency and publish the spec in February 2004 whether it works or not".

See the difference?


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