Re: bettering open source involvement

Brian E Carpenter <> Thu, 28 July 2016 21:07 UTC

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Subject: Re: bettering open source involvement
To: Melinda Shore <>, Suzanne Woolf <>
References: <> <> <> <> <>
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2016 09:06:58 +1200
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On 29/07/2016 07:52, Melinda Shore wrote:
> On 7/28/16 10:26 AM, Suzanne Woolf wrote:
>> As an aside, DNS is one of the areas where there's actually a pretty
>> active give-and-take between standards and open source development--
>> some of the leading implementations of the protocol are open source
>> and have been for years, and there's been enormous benefit in an open
>> "code to current spec; test multiple implementations; debug; revise
>> code; revise spec" cycle for DNSSEC some years ago or some of the
>> DPRIVE work more recently.
> Well, the PyCon thing took more the form of outreach to the
> application/systems programming community, who were not aware
> of some of the issues that the IETF has been working on for
> years.  Many of these technical communities tend to be less
> familiar with network plumbing issues, even those that have
> significant (if indirect) impact on them, or that could help
> them solve problems they're facing in their applications.
> That the IETF does not do APIs is pretty much a matter of
> both faith and practice, 

And there's our problem, right there. Protocols without APIs are
pretty much useless these days. IPv6 without a socket API would have
been an abject failure. Without RFC 2133, RFC 2292 and their successors,
who knows how the POSIX and Winsock support for IPv6 would have turned

I'm currently working on draft-ietf-anima-grasp and draft-liu-anima-grasp-api
and an open source prototype of GRASP, and I'm deeply convinced that
all three are *necessary* for the protocol to have any chance of
success whatever.

> but there are groups out there
> implementing IETF protocols and providing the APIs that allow
> application  developers to use those protocols and services.
> That is part of the open source landscape, as well.

Sure. But if the protocol design, the API, and at least one implementation
aren't developed in lock-step, what on earth are we doing?