The IETF environment (was: Re: DMARC from the perspective of the listadmin of a bunch of SMALL community lists) Fri, 25 April 2014 15:14 UTC

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Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 07:56:54 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: The IETF environment (was: Re: DMARC from the perspective of the listadmin of a bunch of SMALL community lists)
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To: Dave Crocker <>
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I'm done with the original thread on this topic, but there's a bit here that
warrants a separate response.

> On 4/24/2014 7:45 PM, wrote:
> >> It's incredibly obvious that the IETF either didn't listen to, or
> >> didn't act on clear messages from the operator community on this
> >> topic.
> >
> > Well, here I sort of agree. What the IETF didn't do is react to the
> > danger this posed in a timely way. Either on a technical or political
> > level.

> The fundamental flaw in this sort of view is that the IETF initiates
> organization efforts. Or that it acts on "messages".  It doesn't.  It
> provides an environment for workers from the community to organize open
> standards efforts.

You may want to argue that's how the IETF should work, but I'm afraid I don't
see it matching up with how it actually works.

An obvious counterexample is what recently happened in perpass and the various
works it has started. Regardless of what anyone thinks of perpass or its
outcome, a fair characterization is that it was an IETF repsonse to the
message delivered by Snoden et al.

And maybe something has changed since the four years I spent going to IESG
retreats, but I recall lots of discussion of how the IETF as an organization
should respond to various industry trends.

Now, I suppose you could characterize both of these as "people  coming together
to work on stuff", with the IETF just providing the environment. But it seems
pretty clear that people regard the IETF as a bit more than that. Maybe they
shouldn't, but they do.