From: Harald Tveit Alvestrand
the MARID WG was shut down because it was unable to reach consensus.
That is, indeed, a failure of the IETF. But not the one you argue.
On the contrary, recognizing the hopeless lack of consensus and
refusing to continue dancing to the tune of various interests was
an outstanding success of the IETF.
The failure by the MARID WG to reach consensus can be viewed as a
failure or a success. Neither the IETF nor any other voluntary standards
organization can force standards on the world, as the ISO and governments
demonstrated with the OSI protocols. When consensus cannot be reached,
it is wrong to continue, as the ISO also demonstrated with the OSI
protocols. One of the worst things that committees (not just standards
committees) can do in such binds is to produce kitchen sink non-designs.
The essence of designing consists of making choices, and that consists
of saying "yes" to one or maybe few things and "no" to almost everything.
When consensus is impossible for making choices, the right response
is to stop spinning.
As has long been true, a bigger danger to the IETF than patents are
the special interests that try to use the IETF for ends unrelated
to ensuring the interoperability of network protocols. The baloney
started by some SPF advocates and widely repeated by others about
the reasons the MARID WG was shut down are more harmful to the IETF
than embrace-extend-and-patent games, even if such games were in
play, which is not at clear.
Vernon Schryver vjs(_at_)rhyolite(_dot_)com
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