Re: "why I quit writing internet standards"

Spencer Dawkins <> Tue, 15 April 2014 22:49 UTC

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Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:49:41 -0500
From: Spencer Dawkins <>
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To: Jari Arkko <>, " List" <>
Subject: Re: "why I quit writing internet standards"
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On 04/15/2014 01:10 PM, Jari Arkko wrote:
> There are certainly also IETF process/organisation things that we should work on to improve. We do. Here are some things that I would like to see:
>    o  Are there ways to work to mutual benefit with open source efforts (those that would benefit from an IETF-like environment)?

... skipping down to

>    o  How can we better build specs to (rough) consensus, including making sure that (an understood) vocal minority opinion does not block progress?
>    o  More focus on running code.

In roughly 2002-2004, the IETF had conversations about a specification 

     Standards Track RFC > new specification level > Internet-Draft,

including a variety of proposals for "Working Group Snapshots"/"Stable 
Snap Shots". The idea was that you could declare a specific 
Internet-Draft "good enough for now", for a variety of reasons (which 
varied from proposal to proposal), and one of the reasons could be 
"we're going to stop working on this draft until we get some 
implementation experience".

Perhaps that would help us be more responsive to open source projects. 
Right now, their choices are either to implement based on an 
Internet-Draft (which gets deployed about the time it expires) or slog 
all the way to some flavor of RFC. In principle, Experimental should be 
a lower bar than Proposed Standard, but I'm not sure how much lower the 
bar is in practice.

("Maybe we don't need full IETF consensus on your idea before you figure 
out whether your idea is horrible" :-)


> (All my personal opinions, of course.)
> Jari