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

"Peterson, Jon" <> Tue, 22 March 2011 23:10 UTC

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From: "Peterson, Jon" <>
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Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 19:12:22 -0400
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Subject: Re: [apps-discuss] IETF technical plenary: the end of application protocols
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I am glad to see the plenary has already inspired some good discussion before it has even taken place. I only worry that the more dissent is vented in this thread, the more the actually plenary will be a let-down, but...

The purpose of this plenary is to raise awareness in the broader community of new areas for IETF work and for coordination with the W3C. Some of that work has already been chartered, some will be discussed in BoF form in Prague, and some has yet to be nailed down into engineering problems. The most immediate trigger for the plenary is the RTC-Web BoF, and the choice of panelists reflects that focus, but the IETF has plenty of other interactions in efforts like HyBi and the broader emergence of application designs building on top of javascript and HTML5.  I believe there is value in identifying the commonalities in these trends in applications development and asking where the IETF can help to make them better. Websockets will exist, in one form of another, the question is whether they will have the benefit of IETF review, of our understanding of transports, of NATs, of security, of all the things that make sockets hard. By addressing itself to these emerging application architectures, the IETF can find new areas of relevance and potentially attract new participants and ideas to our community.

The purpose of this plenary is not to say that this web architecture should be the exclusive focus of the Apps Area, nor to delineate some specific set of work that should be replaced by something else. That's why, in our plan for this, we didn't adopt a point/counterpoint format - I don't really think web applications and standalone applications are mutually exclusive, both will certainly exist in their own areas of applicability. As Hannes has mentioned already, a few IAB members put out a draft on this subject which is probably a better place to look for architectural thinking about this plenary than the blurb in the agenda. Note well, however, that document is not a consensus statement of the IAB. What the panelists will say is up to them, and should not be understood as a position of the IAB either. The IAB interest here is simply to shine a spotlight where we think attention is warranted - if anything, this thread has shown the interest of the community in this subject. 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.

Jon Peterson
NeuStar, Inc.