Re: "why I quit writing internet standards"

Thomas Clausen <ietf@thomasclausen.org> Wed, 16 April 2014 13:32 UTC

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Subject: Re: "why I quit writing internet standards"
From: Thomas Clausen <ietf@thomasclausen.org>
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Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:31:53 +0200
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To: Spencer Dawkins <spencerdawkins.ietf@gmail.com>
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On 16 Apr 2014, at 01:44, Spencer Dawkins <spencerdawkins.ietf@gmail.com> wrote:

> 
> On 04/15/2014 06:03 PM, Carsten Bormann wrote:
>> On 16 Apr 2014, at 00:49, Spencer Dawkins <spencerdawkins.ietf@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> 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".
>> Working groups can do that today.
>> 
>> E.g., httpbis calls out some of their HTTP/2.0 drafts as “implementation drafts”.
>> 
>> Giving this qualification a slightly more formal standing (as in a place in the datatracker, an easily accessible list of implementation drafts on the web site, etc.) might help inform implementers that aren't following the entire WG mailing list traffic whether it is time to go ahead implementing.
> 
> Exactly.
> 
>> (Of course, the interesting part will be how to properly manage the expectation of stability.)
> 
> Indeed. Some proposals included a longer-than-six-months expiration date, and some other proposals established an archival series (the documents weren't called RFCs).
> 
> There are various ways to go. We'd just need to pick one.

And, convincing the IESG to start treating "Experimental" as exactly what you describe (and what, I believe, they were intended for) is simply not doable?

FWIW, my personal belief is that "running code" should be a requirement for anything going std. track -- and that a (mandatory) period as Experimental prior to go std. track would yield the stable spec against which to reasonably build code, and run (interoperability) tests, fix bugs, etc. If after (pulling a number out my hat here) a year as Experimental there's no running code, then that's probably a good indicator, also, as to if this is something the IETF should bother doing....