Re: "why I quit writing internet standards"

Miles Fidelman <mfidelman@meetinghouse.net> Mon, 14 April 2014 17:07 UTC

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Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:07:17 -0400
From: Miles Fidelman <mfidelman@meetinghouse.net>
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Subject: Re: "why I quit writing internet standards"
References: <CF71721A.180A9%wesley.george@twcable.com> <19983.1397493280@sandelman.ca> <8B56205B-8143-4B5B-B2FD-22FABE95ED16@unina.it>
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It probably also helped, back in the day, that so many people working on 
protocols were doing so under funded grants.

Miles

Simon Pietro Romano wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I read the post from Vidya and I have to say I totally agree with her. 
> As to running code, in particular, my impression is that if you are 
> used to implement prototypes of ongoing standards and you're neither a 
> big company nor a member of the IETF elite of gurus, the best you can 
> buck for is an informational "call flows" RFC. Standards Track stuff 
> is left to those who (seem to) do the high-level specification work. 
> This happens because people seem to rush for editing documents as soon 
> as a new WG is chartered, but then they progressively reduce efforts 
> when such a WG starts to lose momentum and is not latest fashion any 
> longer.
> Finally, coming to interoperability, it is hard to work on it if your 
> implementation is the only one available. In the long run, I do 
> acknowledge the fact that you get tired of doing all that hard work 
> and investing so many cycles in a highly underestimated engineering 
> activity.
>
> My two cents,
>
> Simon
>
>
> On 14/apr/2014, at 18:34, Michael Richardson wrote:
>
>>
>> George, Wes <wesley.george@twcable.com 
>> <mailto:wesley.george@twcable.com>> wrote:
>>> - We don’t have nearly enough focus on running code as the thing 
>>> that helps to
>>> ensure that we’re using our limited cycles on getting the right 
>>> things out
>>> expediently, and either getting the design right the first time, or 
>>> failing
>>> quickly and iterating to improve
>>
>>> The solution here may be that we need to be much more aggressive at 
>>> expecting
>>> any standards track documents to have running code much earlier in the
>>> process.
>>
>> For instance, had DMARC proponents and/or Yahoo, spent some time 
>> making sure
>> that there was some running code for mailing list use, life would be 
>> better.
>>
>> I'm not entirely clear how it was that we produced/funded (more) 
>> running code in the
>> 1990s.  Maybe this is a false idea; it could be that there was less 
>> code then
>> than there is now.   I will posit several factors:
>>  1) there was less working occuring, and perhaps over a longer time 
>> period
>>     (where time is subject to perception as well as reality), such that
>>     code became mature sooner in the specification process, and/or there
>>     were simply more volunteers willing to produce it.
>>
>>  2) many companies were much smaller, and it was easier to get line 
>> managers
>>     to see why they wanted to be directly involved, even lead, efforts.
>>
>>  3) it wasn't so much the dotcom boom which made money available via VCs,
>>     but rather that the (ultimately unstainable) revenue doubling, 
>> quarter
>>     over quarter which made resources available for prototypes.
>>
>>  4) there were some clear institutions (MIT, CMU, Berkeley, LLBL, UW) 
>> where
>>     some good reference implementations were developed by students, 
>> faculty,
>>     staff.  And don't forget WIDE and USAGI!!!
>>
>> When I founded Xelerance, it was with the idea that multiple large
>> organizations were shipping IPsec code on Linux, and would rather pay a
>> company a maintenance fee than attempt to manage the process internally.
>> We got some work funded, but we never got enough funding to get ahead of
>> the standardization process and write code will an ID was still young.
>> Overall, that effort failed.
>>
>> --
>> Michael Richardson <mcr+IETF@sandelman.ca 
>> <mailto:mcr+IETF@sandelman.ca>>, Sandelman Software Works
>> -= IPv6 IoT consulting =-
>>
>>
>>
>
>   _\\|//_
>       ( O-O )
>  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~o00~~(_)~~00o~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Simon Pietro Romano
> Universita' di Napoli Federico II
>      Computer Engineering Department
>       Phone: +39 081 7683823 -- Fax: +39 081 7683816
>  e-mail: spromano@unina.it <mailto:spromano@unina.it>
>
> <<Molti mi dicono che lo scoraggiamento è l'alibi degli
>  idioti. Ci rifletto un istante; e mi scoraggio>>. Magritte.
>                      oooO
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>
>
>
>
>
>


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