RE: Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF

Hannes Tschofenig <Hannes.Tschofenig@arm.com> Tue, 23 February 2021 11:00 UTC

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From: Hannes Tschofenig <Hannes.Tschofenig@arm.com>
To: Bron Gondwana <brong@fastmailteam.com>, "ietf@ietf.org" <ietf@ietf.org>
CC: "oauth@ietf.org" <oauth@ietf.org>
Subject: RE: Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF
Thread-Topic: Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF
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Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2021 11:00:04 +0000
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Hi Bron,

I have to respond to your statements about the OAuth working group below.

While we do not pay attention to keeping the charter page up-to-date, we have been able to advance our documents, produce many implementations, and got those deployed all over the Internet.

The bar for acceptance of new work varies among working group in the IETF. Some working groups develop technology that got widely deployed and hence randomly changing specs isn't such a great idea because you have to consider the deployment situation as well. This is a situation many IETF working groups face. Reaching (widespread) deployment is great on one hand and a pain on the other.

There are other groups, which are early in their lifecycle. In those groups you do not need to worry about deployments, backwards compatibility or even any source code.

In general, Rifaat and I are always open for anyone in the IETF (and outside) to reach out to us, if they want to bring new work forward to the group. Sometimes proposed work fits into the group and sometimes it does not. The work on JOSE, for example, was put into a separate working group even though it was initially developed for use with JSON Web Tokens.

I don't recall having chatted with you or with someone from the JMAP community on the use of OAuth. Sorry if my memory does not serve me well today.  Typically, applications just use OAuth and therefore there is no need to reach out to the OAuth working group.

Ciao
Hannes

From: ietf <ietf-bounces@ietf.org> On Behalf Of Bron Gondwana
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 5:20 AM
To: ietf@ietf.org
Subject: Re: Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF

Thanks Fernando,

I would add to this document something about inertia, backwards compatibility and existing dysfunction.

Many ideas are shut down because they aren't in the right place, or don't fit comfortably into the existing corpus of IETF documents.

When we brought JMAP to the IETF it was after a long process of socialisation, and still there was significant work in the first couple of meetings just to convince people that "this is worth doing, the existing work the IETF has done in this neighborhood is not sufficient".

JMAP also had an authentication scheme in it originally.  It was a good authentication scheme, but applications don't do authentication schemes, that's the bailiwick of OAUTH, where ideas go to die (in my experience, that working group has been dysfunctional for my entire time at IETF - exhibit 'A' being the "Milestones" section of the about page, which lists 6 items all due in 2017)

So we just removed all mention of authentication method and handwaved "the connection will be authenticated", because we wanted to publish something during the decade with years starting '201'.

... all that to say.  One of the biggest barriers to entry in the IETF is stumbling across an area in which no work is able to progress due to entrenched issues within that area.

And I'm not arguing for "no barriers to entry", because there needs to be a sanity check that we're actually producing high quality specifications, and that our specifications are compatible with each other so the entirety of the IETF's work product is a coherent whole.  But it's hard to get started if you don't already have the connections to have your work sponsored by somebody who already knows their way around the IETF's idiosyncrasies.  I'm doing some of that sponsoring myself now for the people from tc39 who are trying to get the IETF to look at defining an extended datetime format.

Cheers,

Bron.

On Tue, Feb 23, 2021, at 11:07, Fernando Gont wrote:
Folks,

We have submitted a new I-D, entitled "Diversity and Inclusiveness in
the IETF".

The I-D is available at:
https://www.ietf.org/archive/id/draft-gont-diversity-analysis-00.txt

We expect that our document be discussed in the gendispatch wg
(https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/gendispatch/about/). But given the
breadth of the topic and possible views, we'll be glad to discuss it
where necessary/applicable/desired.

As explicitly noted in our I-D, we're probably only scratching the
surface here -- but we believe that our document is probably a good
start to discuss many aspects of diversity that deserve discussion.

Thanks!

Regards,
--
Fernando Gont
SI6 Networks
e-mail: fgont@si6networks.com<mailto:fgont@si6networks.com>
PGP Fingerprint: 6666 31C6 D484 63B2 8FB1 E3C4 AE25 0D55 1D4E 7492






--
  Bron Gondwana, CEO, Fastmail Pty Ltd
  brong@fastmailteam.com<mailto:brong@fastmailteam.com>


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