Re: An IETF repository for working code in our protocols?

Michael Richardson <> Thu, 20 August 2020 01:34 UTC

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From: Michael Richardson <>
To: Vijay Gurbani <>,
Subject: Re: An IETF repository for working code in our protocols?
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Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2020 21:34:18 -0400
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Vijay Gurbani <> wrote:
    > I think that is rather counter productive.  After all, we standardize
    > protocols so that others can write programs that implement the protocols,
    > and I see a lot of value in preserving any running code.  In the particular
    > case of the I-D I reviewed, there were two implementations, both from
    > reputable organizations (APNIC and the Italian National Research Council).
    > By simply deleting the "Implementation Status" section when the I-D was
    > published as an RFC, it seems that good, quality implementations that folks
    > spent time on would be lost, perhaps not irrevocably, but for most
    > practical purposes, the code would be orphaned.

"I find your lack of faith disturbing" :-)

In the days when code lived at, in a weird subdirectory
based upon the grant number under with the code was written... that was
certainly true.
In these days of github, I hardly think the code is lost.

Just the opposite seems to happen in my opinion: middle managers are
reluctant to commit funding to actually do a proper implementation because
they think they can download some proof of concept from github, compile it,
and ship it.

If the code gets orphaned, I think that either says something about the
relevance of the standard, or perhaps more charitably, about the quality of
the implementation.   or maybe the license was just wrong.

But, if the code grows it's own site with a readthedocs link,
and a "fork it on github", then it's probably stable and easy to find with
google.  If one is reluctant (as Joel mentioned) to appear to endorse the
code, then it might be better to write an Acknowledgement,e.g.:

  Much of the ideas and protocols described in this document were validated
  by APNIC[1] foo project team, and the Italian National Research Council[2]
  bar project team.

Michael Richardson <>ca>, Sandelman Software Works
 -= IPv6 IoT consulting =-