Re: "why I quit writing internet standards"

Carsten Bormann <> Wed, 16 April 2014 16:08 UTC

Return-Path: <>
Received: from localhost ( []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 0CFB91A0176 for <>; Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:08:53 -0700 (PDT)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -1.551
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-1.551 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[BAYES_00=-1.9, HELO_EQ_DE=0.35, SPF_HELO_PASS=-0.001] autolearn=no
Received: from ([]) by localhost ( []) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id bJZbfxNab5vC for <>; Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:08:49 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from ( [IPv6:2001:638:708:30c9::12]) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id BA9671A014B for <>; Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:08:48 -0700 (PDT)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at
Received: from ( []) by (8.14.5/8.14.5) with ESMTP id s3GG8ZbS014846; Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:08:35 +0200 (CEST)
Received: from ( []) (using TLSv1 with cipher AES128-SHA (128/128 bits)) (No client certificate requested) by (Postfix) with ESMTPSA id 8F12511B1; Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:08:35 +0200 (CEST)
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252
Mime-Version: 1.0 (Mac OS X Mail 7.2 \(1874\))
Subject: Re: "why I quit writing internet standards"
From: Carsten Bormann <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:08:33 +0200
X-Mao-Original-Outgoing-Id: 419357313.532677-d7f23b09160da1d82f189752b4dbae87
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Message-Id: <>
References: <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
To: Thomas Clausen <>
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.1874)
Cc: " List" <>
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.15
Precedence: list
List-Id: IETF-Discussion <>
List-Unsubscribe: <>, <>
List-Archive: <>
List-Post: <>
List-Help: <>
List-Subscribe: <>, <>
X-List-Received-Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:08:53 -0000

On 16 Apr 2014, at 16:19, Thomas Clausen <> wrote:

> That "something" could conveniently be Experimental. 

Experimental means something different in the IETF, as in:

“This is a finished specification, but we are really not sure this will work until we have run an experiment.
Don’t base any plans on the assumption that this experiment will succeed.”

Implementation draft means:

“This is still subject to change, but we promise to be frugal in the changes we make from here on.
We are pretty sure this will work, no major experiments required, just implementation experience to maybe tweak it some more.
This will be done soon, so go ahead and build the products.”

Conflating these two almost diametrally opposed sets of features into a single class of document increases confusion.

Yes, we need to find a way for implementation drafts to get IANA numbers.
(The IANA numbers problem is bigger, e.g., downrefs from finished specs should also be in a position to get numbers immediately even if not all i’s are crossed and t’s are dotted in the downref spec.)

Grüße, Carsten