[rtcweb] The late, great RTCWEB

Ted Hardie <ted.ietf@gmail.com> Wed, 14 August 2019 19:12 UTC

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From: Ted Hardie <ted.ietf@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2019 12:11:58 -0700
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To: RTCWeb IETF <rtcweb@ietf.org>, Harald Alvestrand <harald@alvestrand.no>, Gonzalo Camarillo <Gonzalo.Camarillo@ericsson.com>, Magnus Westerlund <magnus.westerlund@ericsson.com>, Mary Barnes <mary.ietf.barnes@gmail.com>, Sean Turner <sean@sn3rd.com>, Cullen Jennings <fluffy@cisco.com>, Alissa Cooper <alissa@cooperw.in>, Adam Roach <adam@nostrum.com>
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Subject: [rtcweb] The late, great RTCWEB
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For those of you who like to flip to the end of a book:  with the entry of
the final dependencies of its core work into the RFC Editor queue, the
working group is closing.  The mailing list will remain open for
discussion, and any trailing documents will be processed by Adam as AD
sponsored or headed to DISPATCH.

For those of you who wish to take a journey, open your books to IETF 80, in
Prague <https://www.ietf.org/proceedings/80/rtcweb.html>; it's late March
and Spring is in the air.  A large and plucky band of folks are trying to
work out if it is possible to have real time communications in a browser
without any plugins.  The resulting work will require protocol changes, new
APIs, and a new level of cooperation between the IETF and the W3C.  The
outlook is optimistic; the IESG agrees to a mailing list on April 4, 2011
and to make the effort a working group on May 3rd.

Our first meeting as a working group was  IETF 81
<https://www.ietf.org/proceedings/81/rtcweb.html>:  The rooms were large,
the energy palpable, and the optimism at a quick and decisive effort had
resulted in a charter with milestones like this:

Goals and Milestones:

Aug 2011 Architecture, Security, Privacy and Threat Model sent to W3C

Aug 2011 Use cases, Scenarios, and Requirements document (I-D) sent to  W3C

Sep 2011 Architecture and Security, Privacy, and Threat Model document(s)
to IESG as Informational

Sep 2011 Use cases, Scenarios, and Requirements for RTCWeb document sent to
IESG as Informational

Dec 2011 RTCWeb protocol profiles and Media format specification(s) to IESG
as PS

Dec 2011 Information elements and events APIs Input to W3C

Apr 2012 API to Protocol mapping document submitted to the IESG as
Informational (if needed)

Ladies and gentleman, we are a bit late.

During the time this working group was active, we went through multiple
ADs: Gonzalo was succeeded by Alissa and then by Adam.  The Area we were
in, RAI, was merged with APPS to create ART.  Magnus, one of the original
WG chairs, had a baby and was succeeded by Sean, who then had a baby
(Actually, make that two babies in both cases).  Cullen was eventually
poached by his management to serve as CTO of Webex.

The group was also prolific.  My personal archive for the mailing list
shows just over 9000 messages, (though this is slightly inflated by my
putting chair messages in there as well.)   The cluster of documents that
is the output of the work in RTCWEB and in the working groups on whom we
had dependencies has become legendary: cluster 238 gave rise to both some
extraordinary dwell times (the data protocol and channel drafts are at 1679
days, more than four and half years) and some RFC editor innovations (the
creation of a cluster mailing list, so that AUTH48 changes are coordinated
across groups).

While the working group tussled over interoperability with non-browser
systems and then on the implications of that decision for codecs, we lost
some time.  We appear, however,  to have made up for it:  WebRTC is
available in well over a billion applications or endpoints.  By the simple
metrics of rough consensus and running code, it is a runaway success.

On behalf of all the chairs and area directors who were part of the
journey, for your contributions to that success, whether as document
author, minute taker, jabber scribe, interim host, comment maker or poser
of questions,

many thanks,

Ted Hardie