Re: [alto] WG Review: ALTO Charter Update

Adrian Farrel <> Sat, 01 May 2021 11:37 UTC

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Date: Sat, 1 May 2021 12:37:36 +0100
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Subject: Re: [alto] WG Review: ALTO Charter Update
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Hi Qin, Chairs,

Thanks for this.

> Dear Martin and working group,
> Thank you for the useful rechartering discussions on the mailing list and
at IETF-110.
> I have listened to the people who say that further protocol work needs to
be based on
> strong deployment needs, and I also hear very many different use cases
proposed. I 
> think we need more discussion and understanding to work out which use
cases are
> high priority and which are more research-based.

Agree. While research-based use of ALTO is important and encouraging, I
think we need to focus on the primary use cases for IETF work. That is, we
need to understand the steps that are needed to move ALTO into the next
stage of implementations and deployments. As you hint, that is probably
going to take some careful discussion and probably some time.

> This makes me think that we need a small short-term recharter to allow us
to work on
> immediate issues (protocol maintenance, operational support) while we
discuss and
> investigate the best uses cases for further work.

That sounds like a very reasonable compromise: it allows the WG to fix small
issues with the protocol, and (IMHO) operational support is fundamental and
in need of attention; but it also doesn't make commitments to any specific
additional protocol work before the discussions have completed.

I only have one comment on the proposed charter text...

> o Future use cases. The working group will provide a forum to discuss
>    possible future use cases. The objective of this discussion will be to
>    determine a small set of use cases that have strong support and a
>    realistic chance of implementation and deployment. The working
>    group will not develop protocol extensions for these use cases until
>    it has been re-chartered specifically for that purpose.

I'm glad this is explicitly in the charter and it supports your initial
point about needing to discuss this point further. I think it is reasonable
to say that the WG will not work on protocol extensions until a further

But, this bullet item should say something about what the output of this
charter item is. I think it is: "The working group will report back to the
Area Director on the results of these discussions which may be documented in
an email or in an Internet-Draft."

In turn, that would lead to another milestone:

* Report back to the Area Director to identify any use cases that have
strong support and a realistic chance of implementation and deployment.