Pre-IETF work ( was - Re: "IETF work is done on the mailing lists")

Dave Crocker <> Wed, 28 November 2012 16:45 UTC

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Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 08:45:53 -0800
From: Dave Crocker <>
Organization: Brandenburg InternetWorking
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Subject: Pre-IETF work ( was - Re: "IETF work is done on the mailing lists")
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>>> I'm increasingly seeing a "paradigm" where the review happens _before_
>>> adoption as a WG draft.
>> and one consequence is that the design gets done outside of the ietf
>> process.
> But this isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It's nice to have reasonably
> well thought out ideas come in.

The IETF has a long history of starting efforts from many different 
levels of technical maturity.

However there seems to be some recent leadership pressure to change 
this, attempting an ad hoc policy, by suddenly choosing to challenge the 
importation of existing work apparently based on a spontaneous, personal 
belief that it is bad to have IETF start from existing, deployed 

There is, for example, a difference between saying "given the maturity 
and deployment of the document, what is the technical work to be done in 
the IETF?" versus "given the maturity and deployment of the document, 
why are you bringing it to the IETF?"  In pure terms, the latter 
question is, of course, entirely valid.

In pragmatic terms, I'll suggest that it is cast in a way that is 
frankly unfriendly, as well as going against quite a bit of established 
-- and productive -- practice.

I'll remind folk of the Thaler research suggesting that such work has 
the best track record of success for the modern IETF.

  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking