... We, at IETF, sometimes
forget the process is there for a purpose. Particularly, this process
foster the review among technical peers so as to produce a standard
which is scalable, robust and actually usable.
A committee, specifically including any and every standards committee,
is a quite unlikely place for such good results.
But more importantly, it to ensure people actually use the standard
The IETF Standards Process is powerless to ensure anything of the sort,
at least as my dictionary defines "ensure."
In the past, the IETF could put an iron clap on those who dont use the
standard ("if you dont switch to DNS from your host.txt, don't complain
you can't resolve hosts").
My recollection of that many years of life of the hosts file suggests
that even in those good old days, the IETF's iron was more than a rusty.
In recently years, the IETF wins by pure
technical merits which makes sense to community. ....
My recollections suggest the opposite, that in the old days the IETF won
"design ins" on technical merit despite laws and rules such as GOSIP's,
but today the IETF imprimatur is more important (e.g. PPP BACP).
IMHO, a successful WG is one whereby it has been successful been adopted
and used by the industry.
I think instead that a sucessful WG is one that documents industry
practice and so fosters interoperability, regardless of whether the
industry practice is invented inside or outside the WG. Since a WG is
a committee, the chances of it doing the inventing are low.
Also, the question of whether or not failure to produce a document is
a good thing in particular cases, is beside the point. It doesn't
change the fact that people *are* paid to prevent working groups from
developing protocols (whether they produce documents or not). Saying
that this may not be necessarily bad is not the same as saying it
On the contrary, far more people are paid to participate in the IETF to
"advance" than to impede documents. Most of them are not paid to flog a
particular corporate interest but instead just wave the corporate flag
and otherwise show the folks back at the factory that their participation
in The Standards Process is worthwhile. For example, while I respect "The
Motley Fool," I wonder why my previous note produced the following notice:
] The person you are trying to contact is no longer with The Motley Fool.
] Please contact us at (703) 838-3665.
Vernon Schryver vjs(_at_)rhyolite(_dot_)com