On Tue, 10 May 2005, Tom Lord wrote:
> But if you aren't interested, why are you here? What's your interest? I
> don't understand your point. Are you here to convince the rest of us that
> the IETF is irrelevant?
Absolutely not. Nearly the opposite. I hope that if you look back at
some of my other messages in this thread that's clear.
>> You're complaining that some application-layer stuff like IM
>> isn't as orderly as you'd like.
> Disorder isn't good for the users, either. Its not just a personal
> view of orderliness. And it isn't good for the market to have such
> unnecessary and gratuitous disorder. That's why standards of any
> form exist.
I'm not so sure IETF can help user's other than by producing very
good, easily accessed documents with available reference
The IETF doesn't produce documents that are meant to be accessible to
users. Nor does it produce reference implementations. IETF documents are
meant to be accessible to engineers and operators, creating and running
interoperable services of various types. One and possibly two
implementations are usually required for a standard to be acceptable. The
point of this is to require that specifications be both implementable and
An endorsement/trust-based system for calling attention to good
standards seems like all you've ultimately got -- why not
The trust-based system we have has a track record of obtaining good
specifications. We have institutionalized that, vaguely though it might
be. This doesn't mean this process can't be improved, nor that it
shouldn't be critically examined. But I don't see that this has anything
to do with calling attention to good standards.
The IETF has no marketing or promotion department to call attention to
anything it does. It is all through word of mouth and the interaction with
participants. I don't think such a department is necessary.
Why *isn't* the rest of the governance simply noise? Why *isn't* the
rest of the governance simply a game a professional organization has
agreed to play that will ultimately turn it into just another
consortium? Isn't the rule-mongering just a very indirect attempt to
find rules that coincidentally create the effects an endorsement/trust
system would render in a more naked form? What's the "value add" of
anything beyond an endorsement/trust system? My answers to those
questions are clear and that's why I say: strike while the iron is hot
-- while there are still recognizable names who roughly essentially
I'd offer one point: Name recognition has nothing to do with trust. In the
past few years, we've seen some very recognizable and previously highly
trusted names turn out to be untrustworthy in a number fields, endeavors,
and organizations. Whether someone is still trustworthy is also something
that needs to be critically examined now and again. An organization's
trust assets only remain assets if they remain trustworthy. Trusted staff
isn't the only thing going for the IETF, but it is a critical component.
But untrustworthy staff can be replaced without damage so long as they are
replaced promptly. It is usually delay in replacement of trusted staff
that creates the most damage for organizations that depend on trust.
So far as "striking while the iron is hot", well, "urgency" is usually and
historically a sign of weak technical arguments that won't hold up to
careful and critical scrutiny. There is nothing here that needs attention
so urgently we can't analyze the problem and the proposed solutions. So
far as I am aware, in _every_ case where "urgency" was cited as a reason
for foregoing analysis, it has been found both that there wasn't any
urgency, and that the proposal was seriously flawed.
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