Next steps on re-organisation of areas

IETF Chair <> Thu, 19 February 2015 19:13 UTC

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Subject: Next steps on re-organisation of areas
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Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 21:13:06 +0200
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As noted earlier in, the
IESG has continued to discuss the re-organization proposal and the
comments previously provided.  That message identified several parts
and the IESG wanted to provide feedback on those parts.

1. Seating of a third RTG AD - The NomCom has recently concluded its
nominations process and has selected a third RTG AD:

2. AD to WG assignments - As noted previously, the tools team has
completed the changes necessary to allow for flexibility in the
assignment of ADs to WGs out of their immediate area.  We will monitor
the effectiveness of this capability going forward.

3. Re-structured areas - The feedback received on the combination of
APP, RAI, and TSV was much appreciated.  Going forward, the IESG is
proposing a more modest approach of combining the current APP and RAI
areas into the Applications and Real-Time (ART) area.  The TSV area
will remain as a separate area.

4. Reduced AD time commitment - The IESG remains committed to reducing
the time commitment needed for most AD positions, in order to allow
otherwise-qualified nominees to be considered for position under

One of the concerns voiced about the re-organization involved
questions about how the updated areas would operate.  The IESG has
formulated descriptions for these areas so that the community is aware
of how the affected areas will be managed.


We propose to merge the existing APPS and RAI areas into a combined
new area, known as the Application and Real-Time (ART) Area. The
motivation for this is as previously described at


The ART area develops application protocols and architectures in the
IETF. The work in the area falls into roughly three categories, with
blurry distinctions between them. One category consists of protocols
and architectures specifically designed to support delay-sensitive
interpersonal communications via voice, video, instant messaging,
presence, and other means, otherwise known as "real-time" applications
and services. A second category consists of protocols and
architectures to support applications that may be more tolerant of
delay, including HTTP, email, and FTP. The third category consists of
building blocks that are designed for use across a wide variety of
applications and may be employed by both real-time and non-real-time
applications, such as URI schemes, MIME types, authentication
mechanisms, data formats, metrics, and codecs.

If we go forward with this proposal, we would expect to begin taking
steps to create the ART area (e.g., tooling, WG shifting) in 2015.


Given the amount of work encompassed by real-time and non-real-time
applications, it is expected that the ART area will be initially
shepherded by the three area directors from RAI and APP who will be
serving on the IESG from March 2015. Going forward, we would expect
ART ADs to serve two-year terms as usual.

ART is a broad area that spans many different technology areas,
including web technologies, messaging, telephony,
internationalization, and interactions with the transport
layer. Successful ART ADs may have deep expertise in one or two
relevant topics, or broad experience with many of them. In any given
nomcom cycle, the IESG may inform the nomcom of its opinions about
particular expertise (e.g., web expertise) that may be particularly
necessary or lacking on the IESG at the time.

Regardless of their depth or breadth of expertise, ART ADs must be
capable of dealing with a large set of application protocols and
primitives, including many with which he or she may not have direct
experience. An ART AD needs to be good at evaluating new approaches to
new problems and assessing the expertise of the people who bring them
to the IETF. Cross-area expertise in transport or security is also

Any given set of ART ADs may choose to divide up their work in the
area according to their specific skill sets, which may yield a variety
of different management models. For example, it may be most
appropriate for one AD to manage lower-layer real-time infrastructure
aspects, one to manage real-time applications, and one to manage
non-real-time applications and building blocks. Or, if the ART ADs
have more generalist experience, they may each shepherd a more diverse
cross-section of work and working groups.

ART ADs should be capable of assisting liaison managers, the IAB, and
area participants in the facilitation of work of mutual interest with
other related organizations, including the W3C, the Unicode
Consortium, and 3GPP.


The existing use and functioning of the SDP Directorate, the RAI Area
Directorate (somewhat dormant as of now), and the Applications Area
Directorate will remain unchanged.

In the RAI area, the DISPATCH working group is chartered to consider
proposals for new RAI work and identify, or help create, an
appropriate venue for the work. In the ART area, we propose to
maintain the DISPATCH WG with a focus on real-time work and re-charter
the APPSAWG to function similarly to DISPATCH, with a focus on
non-real-time work. For purposes of the discussion below we will call
this second WG APATCH.

The DISPATCH process is described in RFC 5727, which scopes its work
to the RAI area. With the merger of RAI into ART, we propose to
maintain the functioning of DISPATCH as-is, scoped to focus on any new
work related to delay-sensitive interpersonal communications and
underlying technologies that support those communication services. We
propose to scope APATCH to include all other ART-area new work
proposals. Of course, the line between these scopes is imprecise and
in some cases it may be unclear whether proposals should be directed
to one WG or the other. In those cases the proponents, chairs, and ADs
should work together to decide; in practice the work should see
sufficient discussion either way assuming the two WGs continue to
attract their communities of interest. The ART ADs should make every
effort not to schedule DISPATCH and APATCH against each other at
in-person meetings.

If the creation of the ART area goes forward, the wording about "the
RAI area" in RFC 5727 should be amended.


The Routing Area will run with three ADs exactly as it has done with
two ADs. That is, each AD will be the responsible AD for a number of
working groups (approximately one third of the total) and will be the
responsible AD for documents coming out of those working groups
performing their own review and handling the process up to RFC
publication. All three ADs will ballot in IESG evaluation.


The Transport Area will remain a separate area and continue its
operation as today. In order to facilitate work load balancing of the
ADs, one option being considered is to move one or more working groups
from of the Transport area to other areas, if such working groups fit
equally well in another area. Discussions regarding this have only
just begun and no decision has been made.

The Transport ADs will continue discussions with the community about
the work load of the Transport Area Directors, the organization of the
area, and what possible changes in the area will be needed.  One of
the upcoming Transport Area (TSVAREA) sessions at the IETF-92 will be
used for this discussion.

Jari Arkko for the IESG