Re: Observations on (non-technical) changes affecting IETF operations

Dave Crocker <> Sat, 19 March 2016 19:46 UTC

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Subject: Re: Observations on (non-technical) changes affecting IETF operations
To: Melinda Shore <>,
References: <> <4A95BA014132FF49AE685FAB4B9F17F657DF2330@dfweml701-chm> <> <> <>
From: Dave Crocker <>
Organization: Brandenburg InternetWorking
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Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2016 12:46:39 -0700
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On 3/6/2016 8:26 PM, Melinda Shore wrote:
>  If we're going to let
> the market decide there's inevitably going to be some waste,
> but we really have put a pile of time and effort into standardizing
> things that have never seen any uptake and almost certainly
> never will.  That doesn't bother me that much, but what does
> bother me about it is that that's one of the reasons we're slow.

I'll suggest that that's not the reason we're slow.  Rather, there are 
two other reasons:

      1. When we start an effort, we do not press for demonstrated 
community need -- but more importantly, demonstrated community interest 
in /using/ the output.  So the folk who work on a topic tend to have no 
sense of urgency.  (Even when there is a claimed sense of urgency, such 
as for STIR, the work often is not pursued in a fashion that matches the 
claim, with an eye towards rapid development and deployment.)

      2. The folk making IETF approvals feel an unfortunate fear of 
letting flawed specifications through the process, even though the fear 
does not produce obviously superior results.  So we impose high barriers 
to entry and high barriers to completion.


   Dave Crocker
   Brandenburg InternetWorking