Re: "why I quit writing internet standards"

Spencer Dawkins <spencerdawkins.ietf@gmail.com> Wed, 16 April 2014 17:08 UTC

Return-Path: <spencerdawkins.ietf@gmail.com>
X-Original-To: ietf@ietfa.amsl.com
Delivered-To: ietf@ietfa.amsl.com
Received: from localhost (ietfa.amsl.com [127.0.0.1]) by ietfa.amsl.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id D14C61A01E9 for <ietf@ietfa.amsl.com>; Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:08:05 -0700 (PDT)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at amsl.com
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -2
X-Spam-Level:
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-2 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[BAYES_00=-1.9, DKIM_SIGNED=0.1, DKIM_VALID=-0.1, DKIM_VALID_AU=-0.1, FREEMAIL_FROM=0.001, SPF_PASS=-0.001] autolearn=ham
Received: from mail.ietf.org ([4.31.198.44]) by localhost (ietfa.amsl.com [127.0.0.1]) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id vHG8nW1EiCSP for <ietf@ietfa.amsl.com>; Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:08:01 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from mail-oa0-x236.google.com (mail-oa0-x236.google.com [IPv6:2607:f8b0:4003:c02::236]) by ietfa.amsl.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 4E73E1A0165 for <ietf@ietf.org>; Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:08:01 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by mail-oa0-f54.google.com with SMTP id n16so12909248oag.27 for <ietf@ietf.org>; Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:07:58 -0700 (PDT)
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=gmail.com; s=20120113; h=message-id:date:from:user-agent:mime-version:to:cc:subject :references:in-reply-to:content-type:content-transfer-encoding; bh=uDB/rfvxsAvzIkRZ9LpaYKVyZVozs+FY/+QHBWGm6aQ=; b=yatRi9sbbpRcQHQWl+gMudmMiL8yH7qlNz+UCtYCG1MC6FGrweZQZWrtZaLbw8MR2w TBXVNXEMzb7l2wZUyAwuXK0Fcyzby0DHNisgYDuG68XT5AvPRYnELQtWyPPNfZIjVqsi zBt58v5ftl2NqaTwas9tLh/4bqWZbeyRtSzfwoQC52SYgwlFAB2OU8VSglrRvUvMoVce IFcfqI/NQscQsMq7van8RZhFwOziSm/5myu1s6Yv6bITNUDxwBlgnTjHqHUEXoDrdW4Y 2JszZn/951LWeDVLya5+fyxCyyPKp3aBeauny+Z/VfEDWanQM0j6qR3qNVEGZvg1tU97 miOg==
X-Received: by 10.182.250.200 with SMTP id ze8mr1562115obc.72.1397668078039; Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:07:58 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from [192.168.0.13] (cpe-76-187-7-89.tx.res.rr.com. [76.187.7.89]) by mx.google.com with ESMTPSA id np9sm40240830obc.12.2014.04.16.10.07.56 for <multiple recipients> (version=TLSv1 cipher=ECDHE-RSA-RC4-SHA bits=128/128); Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:07:57 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <534EB8EC.8010409@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:07:56 -0500
From: Spencer Dawkins <spencerdawkins.ietf@gmail.com>
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.4.0
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: Carsten Bormann <cabo@tzi.org>, Thomas Clausen <ietf@thomasclausen.org>
Subject: Re: "why I quit writing internet standards"
References: <CF71721A.180A9%wesley.george@twcable.com> <201404142144.s3ELipR8014504@hobgoblin.ariadne.com> <C16CB48C-9462-4514-B675-D750D4DC9357@piuha.net> <534DB785.7040609@gmail.com> <EF72D31A-8134-42DB-B750-D5C3831869EE@tzi.org> <534DC46C.60703@gmail.com> <8962F23C-1486-4F52-AD58-BE64CFBC3B4A@thomasclausen.org> <534E8D3B.7080705@mti-systems.com> <33D51F54-A5A6-42F2-90EC-FE09783BB5A2@thomasclausen.org> <A17B60B3-7921-4F02-9EDE-297FA126193A@tzi.org>
In-Reply-To: <A17B60B3-7921-4F02-9EDE-297FA126193A@tzi.org>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
Archived-At: http://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/ietf/s2v4btlmOfezJPPAupfD2sop_ss
Cc: "ietf@ietf.org List" <ietf@ietf.org>
X-BeenThere: ietf@ietf.org
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.15
Precedence: list
List-Id: IETF-Discussion <ietf.ietf.org>
List-Unsubscribe: <https://www.ietf.org/mailman/options/ietf>, <mailto:ietf-request@ietf.org?subject=unsubscribe>
List-Archive: <http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/ietf/>
List-Post: <mailto:ietf@ietf.org>
List-Help: <mailto:ietf-request@ietf.org?subject=help>
List-Subscribe: <https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/ietf>, <mailto:ietf-request@ietf.org?subject=subscribe>
X-List-Received-Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:08:06 -0000

I need to go read some drafts, but on one point ...

On 04/16/2014 11:08 AM, Carsten Bormann wrote:
> On 16 Apr 2014, at 16:19, Thomas Clausen <ietf@thomasclausen.org> 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.

This was my point in mentioning https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3933. The 
parts of my memory of the early 2000s that I haven't successfully 
blotted out lead me to think that we were consistently making two errors 
in those discussions.

We tried to figure out *the* right answer when there probably were right 
answers with (quoting Carsten) "diametrically opposed" characteristics, 
and since we couldn't stretch one right answer over all the problems, 
nothing happened.

And we had to get IETF consensus for one answer that didn't solve all 
the problems, with no actual experience with that answer.

The IETF approved BCP 93 to give people the possibility of experimenting 
with multiple answers, dropping the answers that don't work, and keeping 
the ones that do.

The IETF discussion list has seen a lot of spilled digital ink trying to 
solve problems like these. If people want to chat and move on, that's 
fine. If people want to try to put proposals together, that's fine 
(perhaps even more fine).

But please don't make the mistakes we made more than a decade ago.

Spencer