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

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at
Thu Jun 12 21:22:57 CEST 2003

--On torsdag, juni 12, 2003 15:01:39 +0100 graham.travers at wrote:

> Harald,
> I see that you are seeking precision, rather than vague allusions, - which
> is what I would prefer too.
> I don't propose that we abdicate our responsibility; rather that we
> analyse and record to whom we owe that responsibility.  This must be
> particularly pertinent in cases where a specific requirement ( target )
> must be considered in the light of competing/complementary requirements
> from other Areas or WGs.
> However, given the turnover in IETF participants and their attendant
> interests, if *we* set *our* targets, I believe it has implications for
> the mission of the IETF.  There are certainly some these days who want to
> use IETF standards for targets other than the Internet per se ( e.g. VPNs
> ) - targets which were probably unforeseen when the IETF originally
> assumed its mission for the Internet.  Does this mean that the mission of
> the IETF will be subject to change to meet *our targets* ?  A changing
> mission strikes me as very difficult to fulfil.

that's an issue that I think any open, member-controlled organization has 
to grapple with.... if the membership really, truly wants something 
different from the current stated purposes of the organization, it's nearly 
impossible to prevent them from achieving it.

However, I do think the IETF has a fairly stable core mission and core 
population.... and if we manage to be clearer and more effective in our 
mission, we'll attract more people who agree with that mission, too....

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