Re: [dsii] Potential IETF Work Items

Melinda Shore <> Wed, 15 August 2012 15:32 UTC

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Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2012 07:32:19 -0800
From: Melinda Shore <>
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Subject: Re: [dsii] Potential IETF Work Items
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On 8/15/12 7:06 AM, Ted Hardie wrote:
> Well, one way to look at the IETF is as a set of structures the enable
> whoever is interested in a specific technical topic to come together
> under known rules; so if the big data community does the work here,
> that community is part of the IETF and thus does have the related
> expertise.  One of advantages of participation as the key identifier,
> rather than membership, is that we have that fluidity.

I'm trying to remember whether or not membership was the concern
with the ITU-T moving into MPLS and other IP technologies
standardization.  If I'm recalling correctly it came down to
questions about expertise combined with old-fashioned territoriality.
Just sayin'.

But look: I think I'm possibly the only regular IETF person who's
actually done work in this (library/retrieval) space.  As nearly
as I can tell from the discussion so far there's no piece of work
that's been brought up that falls cleanly within the IETF's purview,
but of greater concern is that there's been no real problem
identified here, just an interest in the IETF doing something -
anything! - with "big data."

There's also a large body of existing work and a few big hunks of
repository software that address some of the topics you've raised,
and I wonder how many regular IETF participants can name even one.

Sorry to be so negative about this - as I said, it's an area I
find enormously interesting - but absent the description of a
specific problem I don't see much reason for the IETF to fish
for something to work on.  The cloud enthusiasts were (rightly)
discouraged from doing what's being done here, and it's not as
if the IETF has a shortage of existing problems to solve.

It seems to me that it might be a good idea for the IETF guys
to take a step back and let the non-IETF people with specific
expertise to sort out what problems they need to have solved.
The DSII meeting in October sounds like a good place to do that.
But truly, the IETFers should let the people who know what they're
doing drive this.


Melinda Shore
No Mountain Software

"Software longa, hardware brevis."