Re: net.stewards [Re: BitTorrent (Was: Re: [Isms] ISMS charter broken- onus should be on WG to fix it)]

Michael Thomas <> Fri, 16 September 2005 17:28 UTC

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Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 10:28:09 -0700
From: Michael Thomas <>
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Subject: Re: net.stewards [Re: BitTorrent (Was: Re: [Isms] ISMS charter broken- onus should be on WG to fix it)]
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Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> Michael Thomas wrote:
>> I know that we aren't the net.cops, but are we not
>> net.stewards either?
> Up to a point, but there are limits to what we can do.
> We can request that the RFC Editor not publish things we think
> are damaging. The IESG does this a few times a year. Similarly,
> we can request that IANA not register things we think are
> damaging, or at least to label them as potentially dangerous.
> We can publish screeds about damaging practices. The IAB does this
> a few times a year.
> We can try to develop non-damaging solutions for requirements where
> the easy solutions are damaging, and we can try to repair our own
> damage (as HTTP 1.1 repairs HTTP 1.0)

This is more or less what I had in mind. Correct me if
I'm wrong, but http 1.0 wasn't the invention of the ietf,
but sprang forth outside of its purview. Http 1.1 was a
response to the many difficulties placed on the net because
of http 1.0, and there was an active feedback loop between
the http world and the net (ietf) world to adapt both at
layer 7 as well as below. Http, after all, was The Big
Thing for all parties, so it's not surprising that there
was active cross interest.

What facinates me about p2p is that it was clearly the
next Big Thing, but there seems to be no feedback loop
operating whatsoever. I guess that surprises me. Thomas
brought up qos/diffserv and operator business models which
is certainly something ietf clue level could assist on, but
it seems that we neither know them, nor do they know us and
that both sets of people seem satisfied with that. I'm not
saying that it's bad -- it's just a very surprising outcome.
Ought both sides be that confident that the net as engineered
today is what it needs to be for this Big Thing and the
Big Thing after that? Or that our fertilization is really
the correct mix to prepare the ground for the next Big Thing?

> But we can't prevent people from deploying solutions that we
> didn't develop, and we shouldn't even try to IMHO.

I wasn't suggesting control, but much more that the cross
pollination of clue isn't happening and whether we should be
alarmed about that. In particular, what does that say about
ietf? Some have suggested that it means that we've done our
job, but that strikes me as a wee bit too self-satisifed
for my taste.


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