Behalf Of Dave Crocker
Some IETF work items involve narrow topics that are
well-understood and have a core of interested folk who are
clear about both of these facts, and clear about their goals.
Other work items are not so lucky.
So it would appear to be a good idea to hold a BOF to decide which of
these categories this particular problem falls into.
As part of our efforts to ensure timely, useful output, we
should work pretty hard to assess likely risks for IETF work,
from before its inception (and on an on-going basis, of course.)
That is the type of decision I am happy for the Area Directors to have
Some items are clearly *very* important and *very* risky.
They warrant pursuit but they are prime candidates for
wasting the IETF's time. So they require extra efforts to
find ways to make things be both timely and productive.
So far it appears that at least 15 of the 50 or so people most closely
involved in this space over the years (SAML, Infocard, Identity 2.0)
will be attending the IETF for the sole purpose of attending this
particular BOF. At least another 10 were planning to attend anyway.
That looks like critical mass to me.
At the very least, a wasted BOF consumes an expensive slot
and delays the topic by at least 4 months.
15 * $650 = $9750, should be enough to cover the room hire.
Note, however, that the opportunity costs associated with a
BOF that is a public debacle can, in fact, have strategic
impact, essentially poisoning the IETF waters.
Given that this community is already familiar with working in OASIS,
Liberty and OATH and a workshop is planned in W3C it would appear to me
that far from being premature that the IETF would risk missing an
opportunity here if it does not act.
In retrospect it seems that the reason we did not address these issues
in the SAML group was that we did not feel we had sufficient leverage in
that forum to deploy a uniform identifier.
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