Re: [Acme] Considerations about ACME BoF

Phillip Hallam-Baker <phill@hallambaker.com> Tue, 31 March 2015 22:02 UTC

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From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <phill@hallambaker.com>
To: Warren Kumari <warren@kumari.net>
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Cc: Yaron Sheffer <yaronf.ietf@gmail.com>, "acme@ietf.org" <acme@ietf.org>, Scott Rea <Scott.Rea@digicert.com>
Subject: Re: [Acme] Considerations about ACME BoF
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On Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 2:03 PM, Warren Kumari <warren@kumari.net> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 11:03 AM, Yaron Sheffer <yaronf.ietf@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Scott,
>>
>> On 03/31/2015 01:22 AM, Scott Rea wrote:
>>>
>>> G'day Yaron,
>>>
>>> I will make 2 brief observations:
>>>
>>> a) Max and I actually proposed some usability focused work around TLS
>>> certs to the PKIX WG about 6 or 7 years ago, when PKIX was still going
>>> strong, and we were told that usability is not the purvey of IETF, its
>>> purely bits on the wire. So when did IETF morph from bits on the wire to
>>> now include usability?
>>>
>> The IETF works on bits on the wire that are necessary to achieve business
>> goals. And those goals certainly include usability.
>
> ... the IETF also works on what the participants in the WG happen to
> decide is interesting to them.
>
> Perhaps 6 or 7 years ago the participants in the PKIX WG simply didn't
> like your proposal, and decided that they didn't want to work on it.
> The "usability isn't the perview of the IETF" may have simply been a
> politer way of saying "ick".
>
> I have an idea for protocol that is unusable, and doesn't really
> benefit anyone. The protocol is simply bits on the wire; it doesn't
> necessarily follow that the IETF will want to work on it :-P

Actually, there was a W3C working group on TLS usability round about
that very time. So it might have been simply that W3C had the speaking
stick at the time.

There are two sorts of usability considerations that affect IETF
protocols. One is user experience design which we don't actually do.
The other is user convenience which has always been in scope.

Having to enter information manually into six different systems isn't
a user experience issue but it is user convenience.