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

Dave Cridland <> Sun, 06 March 2016 22:13 UTC

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Date: Sun, 06 Mar 2016 22:13:19 +0000
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Subject: RE: Observations on (non-technical) changes affecting IETF operations
From: Dave Cridland <>
To: Linda Dunbar <>
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On 1 Mar 2016 18:17, "Linda Dunbar" <> wrote:
> Jari,
> Very interesting write up. IMHO, the hardest challenge facing IETF is
that "Internet has been working over several decades".
> All the obvious technologies needed to enable Internet have been
developed already. All that left are tweaks and minor improvement.

This put me in mind of the following, probably apocryphal quote:

"There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now, All that remains is
more and more precise measurement." - Attributed to Lord Kelvin, circa 1900.

> Maybe it is the time to update the goal of the IETF.
> (is it still true: "The IETF brand is core Internet technology, and
improving the Internet, not specifically new things.?)
> We all know that the future belongs to the App & services. But people
from those emerging App & services companies are way under represented in
> Maybe more Heckathons effort should be invested into attracting Apps &
Services companies to utilize the work developed by IETF, ...
> My two cents,
> Linda Dunbar
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf [] On Behalf Of Jari Arkko
> Sent: Monday, February 29, 2016 4:04 PM
> To: IETF
> Subject: Observations on (non-technical) changes affecting IETF operations
> A while back I had asked for volunteers to join a design team to look at
(non-technical) trends and changes that relate to IETF operations.
> The team has been working and they have today published an -00 draft.
We’d love to have your feedback and thoughts on this topic!
> The document details are below:
> Title: IETF Trends and Observations
> Team: Jari Arkko, Alia Atlas, Avri Doria, Tobias Gondrom, Olaf Kolkman,
Steve Olshansky, Benson Schliesser, Robert Sparks, Russ White
> URL:
> Abstract:
> While most of the work in the IETF is technical, the IETF should and does
regularly examine itself, including its processes and goals, to determine
if the technical community is truly serving the larger network engineering
community effectively.  Changes in this area tend to be incremental, as is
fitting for an organization with decades of experience and history in
developing and managing the process of building technical specifications.
> The rapid and ongoing changes in the world have recently caused a number
of IETF participants to examine the current processes and operation of the
IETF, particularly in the context of the culture of the IETF.  This memo
discusses some cultural and global trends in relation to the IETF's
operating environment, how these trends might affect the operation of the
IETF, and notes some topics for further exploration.
> Writing this memo has been inspired by involvement in various decisions
that the IETF leadership has to take part in, often wishing to be able to
draw more on understanding trends and their impact on the IETF.
> This memo is also input for discussion that the IETF community should
> The memo has no particular official standing, nor does it claim to
represent more than the authors' thinking at the time of writing.
> There is no intent on the part of the authors for this to be published as
a RFC.  Please direct discussion about this topic to the
mailing list.