Re: [Chirp] [arch-d] on the nature of architecture discussion (was: Re: Fwd: IETF 107 Vancouver In-Person Meeting Cancelled)

Toerless Eckert <> Thu, 02 April 2020 16:15 UTC

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Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2020 18:14:57 +0200
From: Toerless Eckert <>
To: Jari Arkko <>
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Subject: Re: [Chirp] [arch-d] on the nature of architecture discussion (was: Re: Fwd: IETF 107 Vancouver In-Person Meeting Cancelled)
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On Thu, Apr 02, 2020 at 06:37:02PM +0300, Jari Arkko wrote:
> Toerless, you ask good questions. But I???d say it is difficult to discuss a large topic in the abstract. Not saying we shouldn???t have arch-dispatch, but it isn???t immediately obvious to me that such a meeting would work well.

I am sure it will not work well initially because it would be
new for us, but i am even more persuaded we should attempt to
do it and give it time through iteration and learning of how
to improve the process. For example, like in research
conferences, we might need to invest more into upfront
vetting/review of proposals - but not to limit the topics, but
to improve the quality. 

And we can look at the continuum of useful outputs:

On one end, there is a one-off draft/presentation, but it could
still turn out to be viable long-term reference for further
followup work. And compared to all those research conferences
we would have the chance for the community to review and
help improve the document through few iterations, even if it
stops there. Such as many abandoned IETF drafts. IMHO still
a lot better outcome than that of many journal published research
conference papers.

On the other end is the criticial mass of interested parties that
drive a topic over to a community vetted/approved RFC. But we
do not even have such a process for possible architecture RFCs
and IMHO existing IETF WGs mostly start when the architecture
is defined well enough already.

> It is however easier to discuss more specific issues, and for those there does exist many IAB-sponsored meetings (such as ones Stephen has helped set up)

The main problem to limit discussions to more specific topics
is always the problem of timelyness and priorities between
what the organizers think is of interest and what possible
contributors think.  Especially when there are commercial
divergences if not conflicts. 

> IRTF RG meetings looking at interesting Internet evolution topics, and meetings outside IETF meeting week (such as workshops).

Unfortunately, i have seen very strong rejection by the IRTF chair
to consider topics he deems to be more architectural in nature than
"research" in nature. Starting even with the problem of what
composition model we want or the like to have for system level
architecture or principles of how to evolve the forwarding plane.
And i would have no argument about that distinction if we just
had an architecture track as we have a reearch track to do the work.

> And ultimately there are of course many more private gatherings where some smaller set of people are starting to discuss a new topic.

Who are not even given equal access to collaboration tools in the IETF
community (concern raised at plenary by me). because of the IMHO bogus
argument of fear of "endorsement". 


> Jari
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