One size doesn't fit all [Re: DMARC ....]

Brian E Carpenter <> Sun, 20 April 2014 20:37 UTC

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Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2014 08:37:33 +1200
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
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To: Pete Resnick <>
Subject: One size doesn't fit all [Re: DMARC ....]
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On 21/04/2014 02:57, Pete Resnick wrote:
> On 4/19/14 10:17 AM, wrote:
>> I also think the time has come to try and address the more general
>> problem
>> of misunderstanding and/or misrepresentation of the status of various
>> documents. This probably needs to be addressed through a combination of
>> automatic labeling as well as some explicit statements here and there.
>> And this really needs to be spearheaded by the IESG, not the IAB. I
>> hope the
>> IESG is already considering taking action. If not, they should be.
> The timing has been impeccable. The IESG had been privately talking
> about the "IETF relevance" issue, including why people are bringing
> "done" work to the IETF instead of working inside of the IETF. 

Allow me to repeat something I said a few days ago that probably
got lost in the heat and dust of the "why I quit..." discussion:

We have at least 3 modes of working, each of which has its value:

1. Preemptive standardisation: problem statement first,
then requirements, then design, then standardise, then sit
back and wait for implementation.

2. Parallel standardisation: there's some design work and
maybe some code, then retro-fit requirements, write the specs
as the code evolves, then standardise and hope that the code is
updated to match the spec.

3. Retroactive standardisation: there's some running code that
got itself deployed; write the v1 spec to be compatible with
the code, call it a standard, then develop v1.1 or v2 and
hope the code is updated.

We've done all three, and all with varying degrees of success.
I could give examples, but that would just start arguments ;-).
It isn't reasonable to expect all standards to fit the same
model. And people who don't have the desire to work in any
of these models may well prefer to quit standards work (but
still contribute code to one of the three models).


> related to "done" work, we have also been discussing the relative merits
> of AD-sponsored documents vs. ISE documents and what the appropriate use
> of IESG and IETF time is for these things. We've had all of that on our
> agenda for our upcoming retreat in a couple of weeks, and planned to
> discuss it with the IAB during a joint meeting. Then this DMARC thing
> happens, and Vidya published her article on "why I quit writing internet
> standards". It could not have been timed better.
> I'm trying to get my head around what we should have done differently on
> this, both tactically and strategically, so that I can summarize it for
> the discussion. But I can say pretty confidently that this is a topic
> frontmost in the minds of IESG folks.
> pr