Re: [apps-discuss] IETF technical plenary: the end of application protocols

Nico Williams <> Wed, 23 March 2011 18:32 UTC

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Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2011 13:34:29 -0500
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From: Nico Williams <>
To: "Peterson, Jon" <>
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Subject: Re: [apps-discuss] IETF technical plenary: the end of application protocols
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On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 6:12 PM, Peterson, Jon <> wrote:
>  We do hope that the plenary will help people to see this new work as a space where the IETF can make a meaningful contribution and not, say, as "an abomination."
> If, in light of all this, people feel that emergency course-correction is required in order for this plenary to be useful to the community, don't hesitate to raise any specific ideas with me or the IAB as a whole, and we'll see what we can do in our remaining couple days here.

"Emergency course-correction"?  No, no such thing is needed.  The
authors' dream(?) of protocol-less-ness may be over-the-top
simplification, but they should be allowed to share their viewpoint.

I believe that the driver for protocols or "APIs" is not the IETF, not
the Internet community, but the community of users and third party
developers that grows around successful services, as well as
competition.  Service providers may wish to retain full control over
their protocols -whether out of a desire to be unconstrained in their
evolution or for other reasons does not matter- but I believe that is
wishful thinking.  It is market forces, not the IETF, that will force
a fair measure of protocol/API stability/standardization (de facto or
de jure); market forces are likely to be overwhelming in the long run.
 Of course, it's always possible that some providers will succeed in
creating popular, non-interoperable services, and since they are
certainly free to try for that, therefore some will try.